Subscribe / Unsubscribe Enewsletters | Login | Register

Pencil Banner

Sea of Thieves is Rare's grog-drinking, accordion-playing pirate silliness simulator

Hayden Dingman | June 22, 2016
Sea of Thieves was our favorite game of E3 2016—at least, what little of the game currently exists.

And SprintyJohn climbs onto the prow and plays accordion.

That’s pretty much how our session went. Eventually the enemy ship caught up with us, which led to us frantically broadsiding the aggressor while also trying to patch holes in our ship—another key feature in the demo. Each hole lets in water. Water makes you sink. Nailing boards across the holes stops the flow of water. Obviously.

Sea of Thieves

We also got a taste of some high-level features, which we might’ve pulled off were it not for the fact our crew was universally dismal at piracy. You can e-brake drift your ship if you let down the anchor, causing it to swing around in an ultra-tight turn and position you to shoot the enemy. Problem being you then have to raise your anchor again, which I imagine is a lot easier to do when your crew is competent.

We just kept drinking grog instead.

Down to Davy Jones’s locker

It’s hilarious. Simply hilarious. My biggest fear with Sea of Thieves though is that it’ll lose what I currently love about it, as it becomes “more of a game.” Right now, it’s so low-stakes as to encourage goofy behavior—playing the accordion as you go into battle, or watching your ship go down while drinking grog in the ocean.

But that might not last. There needs to be more to the game in order to keep people’s attention, and that has me worried. Meeting with Rare, hearing them talk about missions and ship customization and monstrous boss encounters like the Kraken—well, that all sounds rather serious.

Sea of Thieves

Which means Rare’s in for a bit of a balancing act. They need to figure out how to turn Sea of Thieves into a great game, not just a great demo. At the same time, I’d hate for them to lose the sense of “Anything can happen” absurdity on-hand right now.

I’ve seen and heard so many great stories about Sea of Thieves this week. There was the crew of five all standing on an island playing accordion. There was the moment we hid in the bushes, trying to lure in an enemy ship so we could swim aboard. There was the guy who got onto an enemy ship and put down their anchor, leaving them dead in the water. They tried to get him off their ship, but there were no personal-use weapons in the current build so they were helpless to counter his mischief.

Sea of Thieves is chaos and joy. It’s all those absurd moments you hear about in DayZ and Rust and what-have-you, but put into a setting that matches tonally. I rarely let myself get excited about games coming out of E3, and Sea of Thieves still has a long way to go before it’s ready for release, but caveats aside I am totally ready to crew up for this one.

 

Previous Page  1  2 

Sign up for MIS Asia eNewsletters.