If you have ever had grander ideas and dreams of sailing the seas with a sword and gun, raiding, and searching for buried treasure with a few of your closest mates, then Rare has made all your dreams come true! Sea of Thieves is probably the closest thing there is to being an actual pirate without actually becoming a real pirate. The game mixes both a gorgeous art style and cartoony characters. With that, Sea of Thieves has found the treasure map to my heart.  Everyone’s experiences in the game will be different, but this grand adventure is waiting for you to set sail and it is completely worth it the trip.

Arrg Matey! Let’s Set Sail!

If you were around to play any of the beta/stress tests, you already have your sea legs ready. Sea of Thieves is unapologetic for beginners not understanding what to do. However, like major adventure games before it, you need to do a bit of exploring. Once you have your first map, it is time to sail the open seas, and friend, let me tell you, it is gorgeous. The sea physics and graphics are by far the most stunning I’ve seen to date. While the characters are a bit cartoony, the surroundings in your adventure really are fantastic and it makes for a great juxtaposition. Getting caught in a storm is both terrifying and magnificent to the point where you both have to scream and marvel at it respectively.

The ship handles, mostly, like a real ship would in water as well. You and your shipmates need to be aware of that. The better you work as a team, the more efficient your journey is; that includes how fast you travel and in Pirate battles. Efficiency is the key to most of your treasure gathering as well. There are three types of bounties you can collect as a pirate. They are sort of like guilds. They are what keeps the game going. Sure, you could sail the seas, and mess with other pirates until you’re green in the face (that was a vomit sea sick joke, get it?), but that isn’t going to get you to that Legendary Pirate status.

The Gold Hoarders includes treasure chests and random jewels or trinkets you find along your way. The Order of Souls is a guild that gives you Skeleton marks. They were once proud and fearsome pirates and now they are cold, unfeeling skeletons. Collect their skulls and hand them in for some gold. Finally, there is the Merchant Alliance. This is for the Chaotic Good Pirate in us all. They send you out on goods and services trips, including finding and delivering pigs, chickens, tea, sugar, snakes, and powder kegs. The one thing about the latter, you have a time limit on the order. it is usually a few days ‘in-game’ time so there is plenty of time to find your supply.

Travel, Dig, Get Paid, Repeat.

Many people will say, “This game doesn’t seem that fun, seems kind of repetitive.” To you, I say, tell me an adventure or multiplayer game in the last 10 years that didn’t get repetitive, and I’ll print out this review and eat it. It may have a small issue with that, but sailing with new people or old friends always changes how the game is played. Overall, the adventures are the same, but the islands, the treasure maps, the random sea battles all are different. Unfortunately, all of the awesome moments are quickly tested both by the game itself and other players. I know being repetitive is an argument as old as our grandparents and it does hold its own against this game, but Sea of Thieves has enough randomness to keep your mind off it for some time.

I am sympathetic to this argument though. There is nothing worse than being trapped in a game that makes you do the same thing over and over like it was your destiny. However, Sea of Thieves gives you an almost choose-your-own-adventure style of playing. Rare has a lot of room to add more interesting stuff with equipment, clothes, raids, and quests.

You Are A Pirate!

The game belongs to robbers, who will disrupt well-meaning players, those of you just trying to complete your mission, despite gaining nothing other than gold for killing you and your shipmates and stealing your stuff. The game encourages that. You are a pirate. Make no mistake. So, this is to be expected to a degree, and I’d be totally lying if I said there weren’t moments when my crew and I screwed over someone helpless sap for the sheer delight of asserting my dominance and punishing another player’s naivety. Then, we giggled like idiots about it afterward as we turned in all their treasure that they no doubt worked hard for.

As fun as that may be, however, I got most of my enjoyment by just being that do-gooder. When I outran the mean pirates or took them down after they attacked first, I felt justified. While I haven’t made it yet, obviously the ultimate goal is to become that legendary pirate captain I mentioned. This prestige that comes with some badass looking ship meant to instill awe and fear in your fellow pirates.

A Few Other Treasures

Sea of Thieves also offers other fun surprises. Once in a while, an ominous appearance of a cloud shaped like a skull in the sky with glowing eyes will appear. This is signaling a ‘raid’ consisting of waves of enemies somewhere nearby. You can tackle these well enough with a four-person crew, but you are also free to team up with others as well. This isn’t always the easiest considering that most crews will attack on-site. If you get their help, just be prepared for them to turn on you when it comes time to collect the bounty of treasure that it leaves behind. The raid is fun and the bounty will grant your crew at least 10/15,000 gold. So watch your backs once it is over.

You may also have heard about the massive Kraken that players can run into mid-voyage. The moment it happens it is very exciting. However, once you have encountered the beast, it is probably worth avoiding. The Kraken’s gigantic octopus arms wiggle and attack you out of the inky black water. Unfortunately, if you are thrown into the water, you quickly find out this devastating sea beast is little more than a group of disconnected arms without a body in the middle. While your fight is pretty grueling with it, in the end, all you can do is damage it enough so that it slinks away with no reward, as of yet anyway.

Overall

I have played this game since Alpha, and while they have overcome many issues, there are still some left to work out. I thoroughly enjoy the game. It is a gorgeous adventure game that has fun new gimmicks and is a blast to play. If you get bored easily, this may not be the game for you. If you have no friends, it seems to be a pretty open and promising community and you can really play with anyone. If you love adventure, fun, pirates,  swords, and the sea, this is a must-have in your gaming collection. Rare has a great game on their hands and I do hope they add all kinds of DLC to the game to hold other peoples interest. They already have mine.

 

Sea of Thieves Review
The Good
  • Amazing Artwork
  • Sea and Sailing Physics
  • YOU ARE A PIRATE
The Bad
  • Some Repetitive Motions
  • Disappointing Kraken
  • Can Be Laggy
8.5Overall Score
Reader Rating: (0 Votes)
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About The Author

John D
Chief Operating Officer

I have worked hard to become the COO here at GAW and I love it. I write and stream here and I couldn't be happier. I once had a show that I produced, wrote, and co-hosted called the Wide World of Games. I also co-host a podcast called Party Up! I'm an Action-Adventurer, platformer, RPGer, and FPS kind of gamer. Quick to play any game that has magic, swordplay, and/or stealthy elements. If you can customize a character I'm in it for the long haul. Or just give me your 2D platform and I'm a happy camper. What else do you expect from a gamer with a beard and a bow tie tattoo? Seriously.