Plunder on the High Seas!
Sea of Thieves was released a couple of weeks ago and I was drawn to the game like a pirate to a bottle of rum. For those of you that might not know about Sea of Thieves. The game is an extremely open world, open PVP, naval combat, FPS, fully co-operative (unless playing solo I suppose) Pirate Game.
As you can see by the left, that was my pirate when that screen shot was taken. This is the login screen where you pick if you’re going to go solo, two-man team, or a full four-man team. One thing to note before going into this game, gear doesn’t impact your game-play at all. Everything is fully cosmetic. I could have the most expensive sword or gun in the game, but I won’t do any more damage to you with my sword than you could to me with yours. The only grind in this game is Faction Rep grinding. That unlocks more cosmetics and slightly harder missions.
Another thing about this game, unlike other games with naval combat in them (at least that I’ve played), you and your crew are fully responsible for everything on the boat. You’ll need to raise/lower the anchor. Raise/lower the sails. Adjust the sails to catch the wind correctly. Drive the boat. Load and fire cannonballs (in addition to keeping a stock of cannonballs). If you take damage you’ll need to go downstairs to patch the hull and then bucket out water. It’s a full on job and with a crew, things can really go smoothly if everyone knows their job.
If you’re playing solo or just with one friend, you’ll be spawned on a sloop, which is the smaller boat. Once you have 3-4 players, you’ll be in a galleon, the large boat with 3 large sails. The galleon is a is a whole different experience, and one of the most notables are: the galleon doesn’t corner very well and the helmsman can not see where they are sailing. You really need someone to keep an eye out and tell you when to steer.
There is a lot of open sea, and if you’re going against the wind, some of your travel times can feel long. But if you’re wanting to enjoy a nice boating sim, then you’ll fit right in with this game. If you have a crew you can talk to, time will pass by quicker. Naval combat will either be your friend or something that makes you curse like a… well a pirate. You’ll need coordination with your team as you sail and attempt to launch cannonballs at your enemy. When you get the chance you’ll need to repair your boat and bucket out water if you take on too much damage.
On top of that, you’ll need to be vigilant and keep an eye out for the other players attempting to board you boat and slay your crew. If you die and your boat is still up, you will be able to re-spawn on your boat. However if your boat is sunk, then you’ll re-spawn on an island a good distance away from those who defeated you. And of course, the spoils go to the victor as any treasure or loot you may have had on your boat will float up to the top and retrievable by anyone.
There are three factions in the game, each with their own mission types. The Merchants Alliance will ask you to go fetch animals, such as pigs, snakes, and chickens or they’ll ask you to gather supplies and transport them to another island. You’ll have a destination and a time you’ll need to deliver your cargo.
Order of Souls will send you out on bounty missions to find NPC Skeletons and slay them, looking for their captain and collecting their skull. Finally the Gold Hoarders, who will give you treasure maps or clues that will lead you on the classic buried treasure hunt. Each of these three factions need you to go collect something and take the items back to the nearest outpost to collect your gold and reputation.
One last thing to note is, as I mentioned before, the game is a very open world pvp. There are no safe zones, including the starting island. On the bright side, you’ll always spawn on an outpost with your crew and not another crew nearby. But after that, be ready to fight if someone comes after you.
That’s pretty much Sea of Thieves in a nut shell. The game is fantastic if you have at least one friend to play with. If you don’t mind playing with random people, the match making is quick to find you other players as well. I haven’t played with any random people yet, but some of my friends have had great experiences with them when I haven’t been on. The game is also cross-platform with PC and Xbox. So if you happen to pick it up, then maybe I’ll see you on the open seas!