STORIES THAT ENCHANT THE MIND
My throat went dry as I turned the ship…
From shooting yourself into enemy ships to finding buried treasure—is Sea of Thieves worth it? Well, gamers that answer is complicated. At a glance the game looks beautiful with it's vast horizons, opposing seas, frightening storms, and open world seascape filled with islands and secrets, but what is the point of it all?
Usually in open world games like this it is often presented through the story as seen in Blizzard's World of Warcraft, or the competitive atmosphere that Tom Clancy's Division presented before hackers nearly ruined the game. Luckily, it's been addressed from what I hear. A story and/or competitive atmosphere are methods to this, add wickedly cool items and you have tough game to resist, but does Sea of Thieves have what it takes to retain?
You could say that finding treasure, looting enemy ships, and exploring the great sea either on your own or with a group of people is all the game needs, but is that enough to keep you enchanted after 100 hours of gameplay?
One of the biggest issues in games that I have noticed is the game's inability to keep entertaining the player with content or challenges after the gamer honeymoon phase ends. Destiny 2 is an example of a game currently suffering from it's lack of diverse things to do which is a shame.
Will Sea of Thieves still capture you with its breathing ocean after you have plundered the same ship countless times? The game has puzzles, unique creatures to fight like the Kraken, and player interactions which in my opinion is the most important trait the game has to give, but what else does this game have that will keep you coming back, especially if the people playing with you isn't speaking in a mic or stops talking entirely? That's where the complication rises.
After exploring the game in it's beta and meeting a fun crew that made me laugh and feel like a pirate. It hooked me. It honestly did. I was surprised at how immersed I became as crew members shouted in panic to the sight of an enemy ship
"Tentacles! Turn around before they see us. Turn north you F***!"?
"Better were the days when mastery of seas came not from bargains struck with eldritch creatures… but from the sweat of a man's brow and the strength of his back alone. You all know this to be true!"
My throat went dry as I turned the ship. The storm was fierce and the waves were high as my ears took in the whistling wind and creaking ship. My eyes were fixed on the compass as the enemy ship vanished beyond the horizon towards an island, then BAM! The first cannon was shot. They knew where we were the whole time. We had made a grave mistake and confused them with a wreckage from another ship.
The experience you have with a group of people that talk, keyword is talk, is amazing and honestly the primary thing that made this game worth looking into. If the community is great, the game will be too.
Playing this game is fun, and exciting, but only if people talk. It's a giant sandbox after all, one that should be experienced with people for the true magic to form. The treasure is fun, but it's not the primary thing that got me. It was honestly the experience of being a pirate and having a crew. There are many responsibilities on the ship and lots of moving parts. One person steers while the others drop or raise sails, secure the anchor, go on the lookout to make sure no one is trying to sink you, and/or making sure the cannons have their cannonball. Yes, you have to load. Everything has to be loaded up. Your cannons do, your guns, and weapons that fire. It sticks with weapons of that period and with that said . . . I saw no weapon upgrades or enhancement type of ammo. The true skill seems to be determined by how you play and use the arsenal you are given from the start which isn't bad, but it may get boring to those interested in finding weapons or rare items that increase your power in the game.
The ship has a map downstairs and I believe it was the only world map on the ship which meant that the person steering could not see it and would have to depend on others to do so, even the sail gets in the way when you're trying to get more speed.
The game's success will be determined by its community.
Truthfully, navigating these waters is a team effort, and it was something I loved. The fact that you can interact with others and show them your map and parchment was cool. Talking to or yelling at people who may end up becoming friends gave a sense of immersion. This game heavily focuses of multiplayer. I attempted being a lone wolf as well and found it boring after a while. It felt repetitive, and even annoying when I got jumped by bigger ships. I managed to avoid them, but my ship nearly sunk! Being alone or if the people you are with don't talk made the game either lonely or tedious. It's easier to get frustrated, and you're not exploring the full capabilities of the game. You need a good community for this game and communication. Luckily, if a teammate acts up or isn't playing nice you can lock him in the brig in a team vote.
Now the player verses player action is tough. The cannons do a lot of damage, but you need to load them and stock up on cannonballs to insure you can use them which makes getting resources necessary, but even then it can take time to sink a ship in a chase or during a storm. Also, fighting is on equal grounds as mentioned before with the weapons you have. It's focused on your personal skill or experience with the game and the teamwork you build with others.
You see, there is no upgrades to weapons or weapons that can give you the upper hand. This makes the competition on equal grounds which can be a double-sided blade. On one end, it's fun as hell to fight others without enhancements, but on the other it may get repetitive. Not getting to try out new gear or weapons is a shame. I would love to try out a ghostly sword, or a cursed gun from a dead and infamous pirate, or even use a rock to troll people with. The lack of diversity in the weapons and gear may cause more harm, but it's up to you to decide.
Things to know about the combat system:
• There is no aim crossing
• It takes a lot of time to reload . . . anything actually.
• When boarding a ship or if enemies are all around you . . . consider the sword.
• At the moment the melee combat system still has it's flaws as it is under development, but the company seems to be correcting it before official release in March 20, 2018.
• Every weapon type will serve a purpose depending the situation.
• A foresight exist for better aiming, but it slows down your shooting. In truth, it follows pirate movies in regards to shooting without accurately aiming.
The game has potential, and with the added content the creators plan to implement after the beta with the official release it might just be a pirate/open-world/multiplayer game worth looking into. Personally, my concern remains in regards to the replay value of the game when it releases and if it will expand to an even wider range of things to do, but this cannot be confirmed until March 20, 2018.
This review was based on the beta testing of the game. If you play the game, please tell us how you felt about it. We really want to hear more about your experience with it, and if the things covered resonated with you. Every experience in gaming is different from person to person, and you may have discovered or observed something we may have missed. I look forward to sailing the seas with you.
Below is a small list of open world games that may grab your interest!
Ethelwood enjoys her coffee black like the sun, drifting beneath an unbearable white abyss, void of color and life, yet forever present. She loves to listen to the yowling fog, bearing the muffled screams of ancient apparitions while she writes. Life is good, the unnamed are watching . . .