‘Sea of Thieves’ First Impressions Promise A Swashbuckling Good Time
I was finally able to sink my teeth into the closed Beta test for the upcoming Sea of Thieves. I had so many thoughts and expectations as soon as we were dropped into the game. It is worth noting that I was playing the game with one of my buddies. We were dropped into an outpost island with only one NPC that we could talk to on the island. We took off running on the island to try and figure out what the hell it is we had to do, as there was no direction given at the beginning.
We immediately found the musical instruments in our inventory and began to play. I played the Concertina (which was like an accordion) and Mike played the Hurdy-Gurdy. The most amazing thing happened, the songs played in sync when we were close to each other. Talk about immersion, we ran around playing sea shanties for a good five minutes before continuing on our journey. It was shortly after this that we found out how to fill our tankards with grog. After two full tankards my character was drunk and by drunk I mean absolutely trashed. This was the most accurate representation of being drunk in a video game I have seen yet. You character moves on their own and will resist your inputs, luckily though, you can still play shanties, but they sound distorted. Eventually your character will spew (which you can aim at other people) and eventually sober up. God forbid we try to pilot the ship whilst drunk.
There was not ship in sight so we did the next sensible thing, jump in the water. We found a mermaid at sea which a blue torch that ended up teleporting us to the ship. Here is when it gets really good. Operating a ship is as complex as you would think it would be in this game. It is worth noting that at the beginning of the game you choose to group up with four or two people, or go it alone (the less people you have, the harder it is to navigate at sea). Admittedly we missed the intro mission on the first island, so we set off into the world. The ship has a lot to do on it. There are cannons shipmates can operate to defend against attackers. There is a map on the mid-level that updates in real time as you are sailing. When it comes to sailing you have to raise the anchor, lower the sails, set the sail length/angle and steer the ship. It isn’t all smooth sailing either, you can run into realtime storms that will alter how your ship operates. If you aren’t on the wheel while the storm is raging, the wheel can get taken by the wind and set your course askew. Sailing is one of my absolute favorite things just because of the water itself. Sea of Thieves has the best looking water in a video game I have ever seen.
Upon arriving at our first island, we looked around and eventually found a treasure chest. We figured out we needed to sell this treasure chest at an outpost. Selling the chest got us a hefty amount of gold and the ability to purchase new voyages. The voyages give you access to maps and eventually, treasure. We took to our first voyage with excitement in our eyes. The map you get gives you the island you need to sail to and the X’s that hold the treasure. You then need to cross reference your treasure map with your ship map and find the island. Once you find it and set your coordinates, you are ready to set sail. A small detail, but a major addition was the ability to not only look at the treasure map in your hands but YOU CAN SHOW IT TO THE OTHER PLAYERS. There is no hand holding while finding treasure either, there are simply X’s and you have to use the lay of the land to locate the chests.
As we were bringing a couple chests back to the ship, we noticed a ship in the distance. It was then we realized we were not alone. Either this other crew was on the same voyage, or they just so happen to find us. We boarded our ship and were immediately fired upon with no restraint. I was killed in the crossfire and was sent to the Ferry of the Damned, a crazy looking ship for the dead to pass over. I was able to respawn after a little bit of time back onto our boat. The enemy ended up sinking our boat but we didn’t give up here. We swam to their ship and boarded them and began our assault. Equipped with a sword, a flintlock pistol and a long range rifle, we took their ship over. Driven by adrenaline we raised their anchor, lowered their sail and jumped off the ship, letting it sail into the skyline. We lost our treasure but were able to get back to our boat via that aforementioned mermaid from before.
Sea of Thieves offers sheer excitement and nothing less. Whether it is getting drunk and playing music, or fighting off enemy pirates there is tons to do in this game. I am excited to jump back in soon and play more before the beta ends on the 29th! By the way, you can shoot yourself out of a cannon. Enough said. Check out a couple of clips I took as well, yes I fire myself from a cannon in one.
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Preview statement: The code was supplied by the developer for access to the beta.