Sea of Thieves is an action adventure game set on the high seas in which players must set sail across a beautifully rendered ocean. The play of light on water is perfectly captured, and just sailing around looking at the ocean is a good way to kill some time while waiting for your buddies to join in.
About the Game
Players can play as pirates or as regular sailors from a first-person point of view. When playing as the latter, you are provided with a ship, some companions if you are playing multi-player or co-op, and minimal instructions along the lines of: ‘Sail to an island and bring back something valuable.’ Playing as a pirate is, as you might imagine, lawless and potentially more fun! Track other ships and attack them for their gold and other loot, seizing and taking it to port to cash in for yourself.
Playing the game as a sailor, the premise is simple: accept a mission and sail off to an island, using the on-board map to guide you. Once on the island, dig up treasure, fight skeletons or solve a riddle – for all of which you are rewarded should you win. Then return – with your loot if possible – to the home port, and accept another mission to go off all over again.
For an extra special treat, look out for ship wrecks, which you can go into and retrieve crates of sugar and tea to trade in. There are also sea creatures to overcome, like kraken and megalodons – including a super-rare megalodon called the ‘shrouded ghost’ who must be lured from the deeps with gold. In short, by you throwing your previous treasure overboard.
The loot you successfully bring to port can then be sold for gold, which is then used to make (largely cosmetic) improves to your ship’s hull and sails and to your weapons (more about which below) You can cut out the middle man by raiding skeleton forts or attacking other ships and seizing their gold directly.
Skeleton forts are advertised to every player in the game – a skull-shaped cloud floats above the fortress, attracting the attention of everyone: regular sailors and pirates alike, so be prepared for a bit of a free-for-all when it all kicks off!
The game has a fun cartoonish style and emphatic physics engine that allows players to survive the most unlikely stunts – like being shot out of a cannon, for example! Try your limits and see what stunts you can make your character perform.
Four Ways with Weapons
Players are given four weapons right at the beginning of the game, and these are not upgradeable, putting the emphasis on the fun, rather than the combat scenarios. You are also given a small amount of ammunition, after which you will need to find ammo boxes in order to reload – all but the cutlass!
The four weapons are a blunderbuss, a flintlock pistol, a sniper rifle (sneaky for pirates!) and a cutlass.
Ways to play
Players must learn to steer the ship, navigating to the right spot, hoist and lower the sails and shoot the cannons when necessary. There are, loosely, three ways to play:
- Solo Play
This method of play can be rather quiet as the game is designed for multiple players. The solo player will have to manage sails, anchor, navigation, defence and attack all alone. In the other modes, part of the beauty of the game is allowing other players to make random decisions: as this adds excitement. Without that human uncertainty, the game can feel a little flat although you do have complete control if that is what you like. Solo play offers a smaller ship, a one- or two-sail sloop: as one person can’t operate the bigger three-sail ships.
- Cooperative Play
Work with your buddies as a team in this mode: and you have to use that teamwork! The player steering can’t see the map, so the navigator must let them know which way to go, and do so in enough time to avoid islands, rocks and other ships full of players anxious to attack you!
- Multiple Play
Get paired with strangers and end up loving them or hating them! You can be a pirate ship and attack other ships instead of going on missions, but do be careful of ‘griefing’ (the in-game equivalent of trolling, harassing other players in an unfair manner) rather than keeping it fun and light-hearted, for example, by hovering near trading ports to ambush players by not giving them a sporting chance of keeping their own loot.
Oh, and – mind out for the sharks. The schools of fish do not react to players or ships, but sharks? Sharks will eat you every chance they get!