The internet is a puzzling thing, or maybe this reaction is everything we should have expected. One of the most anticipated games in Microsoft’s modest exclusive stables has finally just released, and the verdict is divided.
Writers from The Loot Gaming have been playing Sea of Thieves all week and give their initial take prior to our full review that should be going live shortly.
In the meantime, some of our writers thought it would be a good opportunity to write a short blurb each on how their first week at Sea went.
Chris M (spleenb0y)
Played Beta: Briefly
Following the birth of my daughter in November, it’s been a weird time for gaming and I. A record-setting Winterfell like winter in the Canadian Prairies has kept my wife and me inside a little more than I’d like. I have been determined to expand her palette from the casual gamer to include something a little different.
Enter Sea of Thieves.
I had toyed with the beta, but by no means could I be considered an authority on the game. When it released on Tuesday I found myself, like many others, on the outside looking in, or joining games that players had backed out of. Wednesday we had our first opportunity to run a two-person crew – and my wife (who admittedly had been keeping a keen eye on the game as I had) started to learn the mechanics.
Thursday night we made a pact – let’s find a treasure and turn it in. While there are some who are eons ahead of us in terms of mastering the game, this was a fun (though at times testy) romp that I was so happy to share with her. A lot of the game was spent stealthily watching for ships while we wove between islands and accomplished our goals.
I also spent some time alone with the game – while there has been a lot of vitriol on the interwebs regarding the challenges people have been experiencing in the PvP realm my experiences were mainly positive; crews with and without mics all working together to complete objectives.
While I have also heard that this is all Sea of Thieves has to offer, I get a sense that Sea of Thieves is a game that is easy to play but difficult to master, and I look forward to more time on the high seas.
Played Beta: Numerous Times
First things first: Rare has not made a bad game, not at all. What they may have done is make the more optimistically naive title ever created. The developers at Rare seem to have forgotten one very important thing; people… are… bastards. Large crews ignore the quest and focus just on griefing solo/duel manned ships either by hunting them down or just waiting at the outpost for them to try trading in their treasures. This can lead to gamers feeling cheated, bullied and generally put off from playing.
This combined with, what some would describe as, a lack of content and the fairly short and repetitive gameplay loop (get quest, sail, dig/catch/fight skellys, sail back) could lead some to believe the game is a total failure but that is not the case. Graphically the game is a masterpiece with some of the best lightning, day/night cycle and water effects ever seen. Also, when it works as intended, it’s a jovial adventure full of genuinely funny moments. Finding sunken shipwrecks, solving clues to find hidden riches is fun, rewarding and truly captures that sense of discovery you’d want from a high seas adventure.
So my feelings towards Sea of Thieves a week after launch are split. It is most definitely a flawed title and can feel empty, repetitive and cruelly frustrating. On the other hand, is it beautiful and one of the best co-operative experiences I’ve ever had in gaming. I have confidence in Rare to add more content and correct these irritating issues so I will stick with it. However, I would recommend others to maybe wait or just try it through Gamepass.
Played Beta: Yes
My interest in Sea Of Thieves had nothing to do with Rare nor the fact it’s an Xbox Exclusive. In all honesty, platform loyalty doesn’t apply to me because I believe in enjoying content across all mediums as long as I’m happy with the experience.
As for Rare, to me, they had been long forgotten since Microsoft had turned them into the Kinect machine. My interest in Sea Of Thieves came from the game’s aesthetics, designs, and theme. Ever since I was little I had always been an avid fan of pirates, captaining a ship across the unforgiving seas in search of treasure as I crafted my own adventure. In this regard, Sea Of Thieves nails in completely.
The game is more of a pirate simulator than I thought. It captures that essence of what being a pirate truly is and, yes, at times it can be lonely and lack variety but it is a blast to play through. I know with a hefty price of $60, I preordered the physical, people expect tons and tons of content, respectfully so, but for me, it has enough for now. Rare has made it well known that the game will receive support for ten years and someone who doesn’t have a lot of time normally to play, I can leisurely take my time and enjoy the fun. Ultimately that’s what’s important. Graphics, content, frame rate, etc.
Doesn’t matter if you aren’t enjoying yourself and I am having the time of my life. I recommend you give it a chance, whether that’s now or when there is more content because the game has a solid foundation that can only get better over time.
When I first started playing Sea of Thieves solo, I was completely unimpressed. Not only did the game appear shallow despite all the water, but the first few quests I completed were more or less identical.
After a few more hours it’s clear the game is unfinished. It is repetitive. It is boring. But where it shines is in multiplayer. With the right people, it can be great fun, and the game has great potential. It’s just a shame its nothing more than fetch quests for aesthetic rewards.
At best Sea of Thieves is a fun, multiplayer, game pass title. At worst Sea of Thieves is a sign that the Rare we loved is gone, the new company is dedicated to games dedicated to capitalize on the latest craze, whether that’s motion controls or online multiplayer.
There’s a lot to like in Sea of Thieves, but there have also been some things that have divided the community. We truly hope that as things settle in, and with the release of a developer roadmap, the seas will remain sunny, our holds full of booty and the wind will keep our sails full and billowing.