Sea of Thieves, the latest flagship game by Rare, is an exciting seafaring pirate adventure game. You create your own scallywag, select a crew size between 1-4. Team up with your friends or use the in-game matchmaking system to find other players and sail off to plunder, find and deliver goods or battle your way to both riches and infamy. The world itself is a beautiful collection of diverse islands, wrecks, forts and outposts; each riddled with caves, lore and other undiscovered secrets awaiting an intrepid adventurer. I really can’t say enough how fun this game is and how great it feels to play in it.
Everything about the water is amazing. The weather, ambient sounds and music are inspiring and immersive. Sailing is an enjoyable experience and the treasure hunting experience feels very rewarding. I could go on about everything you’ve probably heard. I’ve been playing it since day one Alpha and I am still here in the full release and I have to say this game is quite the quirk. It’s a big budget casual game. You don’t see many of them.
The newest model for games are ‘games as a service’, fewer more persistent titles as opposed to many standalone titles a year. Rare really have dove head first into this passion project. This is the biggest multiplayer venture they have ever attempted, but where most other titles have a hook to keep existing players, Sea of Thieves doesn’t. Not to say the game isn’t good. It is. It’s great! But many people are wondering about the long term sustainability. There are no bases or property to own, no competitive ranked mode or even major story arcs.
Questions like: ‘Why should we bother?’ or ‘what’s the point?’ have been circulating. After all, once you have your desired ship and personal cosmetic upgrades, none of which affect the gameplay, what else is there. What I think people are failing to realise is that this is a casual game on big budget. You can play for an hour every few days or be on it more consistently and have the same fun experience. No one will ever have an edge with their gear or ship. You could stop playing for months and come back to find yourself able to almost immediately keep up with your friends. The point is simply to sail in a pirate themed world with excitement and no stress. If you die, respawn back at your ship. If you get sunk, get a new boat. At the extreme, even if someone loots all of your chests, there are more sat out there just waiting to be found.
It’s all part of the casual nature of Sea of Thieves.
Rare have said that they plan on adding much more to the game. More cosmetics, events and probably some DLC. It seems like they have big plans. And I hope they do. For a company that have made so many great hits, it would be a shame if their newest game failed. At this point in time players are still clambering towards the status of Legendary Pirate, the highest rank and entrance to the highest tier content, so there may be some end game magic up Rare’s sleeve. We as a gaming community should let Rare show us what they can do, because in the past they have seldom left us disappointed.
Sea you on the high seas, ye scurvy dogs!