With the new ‘Arena’ update for Sea of Thieves on the horizon, I thought it would be a good time to get back in and see how the game is since I last played it at launch. The launch for Sea of Thieves wasn’t terrible, it just felt like it wasn’t a complete game with how little content there was. Now over the months since release, Rare has been updating it with more and more content and it is turning around to be the game I really wanted.
“The Ocean is Vast but Mostly Empty”
The problem with making an open world pirate game is that the ocean is vast but mostly empty. Although it is filled with other players that can engage in PVP; the PVP is still not the strong suit of the game. Ship Battles are cool, but it’s the dirty strat’ of a player hopping off into the water and onto your ship that gets frustrating. Also, the fact that Xbox and PC players are always put into the same server as each other, doesn’t do PVP any favors. With all that being said, the sea felt mostly empty until Rare put in a couple of new PVE scenarios.
First the Kraken, which was in the game at launch, has been revamped to be a little tougher to handle. This eight-legged creature will pop up at any moment, all eight tentacles attack your ship and trying to sink you. The water turns to black ink and slows your ship down to impede your progress. Once you take out around five to six tentacles you have defeated the Kraken and you will be rewarded with some pretty good loot.
Next, Ghost Ships can and will attack you at a moments notice. You can see these skeleton crews sailing around looking for prey or they will pop up out of the ocean. They give you a pleasant surprise when you are trying to turn in some much-valued loot. It’s a great addition to have some PVE ship combat to help some new players get good at it before having to go against four players that know what they are doing. Sink one of these ghostly galleons and you will be rewarded with varying loot.
Lastly is the newest PVE encounter, the Megalodon… well four Megalodons. There are four different kinds of Megs’, each with their own name and chance to run into them. These massive sharks will circle your ship and prod you to attack, but sometimes if you just sail on by they will leave you alone. They will take a lot of supplies to take down and will try to take chunks out of your ship, but once you take one down you will also be rewarded with some nice loot to turn in. All of these, make the sea feel less empty and give everyone a varied experience; especially when you get multiple of them attack you at once.
The Explosive Addition to the Map
Along with the new enemies of the sea, there is a new addition to the map. These scorched seas have active volcanoes that will blow at any moment, which will dictate how you have to approach certain voyages. Along with the threat of having a molten hot rock hurled at your head, you have to worry about the heavy fog that will randomly roll in. This fog makes navigation a nightmare, or it could be a godsend when you have pesky players trying to chase you down. The ‘Ashen” part of the map also makes you some extra coin for your voyages due to the increased difficulty of them. Try fighting a Kraken, a Meg’ and a ghost ship while a volcano is going off right next to you. I’ll tell you it makes for a really interesting experience.
“It’s All About the Personal Experience”
Really, Sea of Thieves is about high-highs and low-lows. When things are going right for you and your crew and everyone is stacking up loot and killing enemies, the game feels like a masterpiece. On the other hand, when you have everything in the book thrown at you, and on top of that players roll up and start trying to sink you instead of helping you, the game feels like the hottest piece of garbage on the market. What I’ve come to find out though, is it’s not about the journey the game wants you to take, it’s about the one you make with your crew. It’s all about the personal experience, and the silly things you can do in this game. Whether it’s sitting on the ‘Ferry of the Damned’ and trolling other pirates as they pass through (yes I’ve Rick Roll’ed them) or creating an alliance with other ships to take down a fortress and get everyone paid; the game has wonderfully great moments.
On the other end, you can still get griefed into oblivion and have people that want nothing more than to ruin your day; which makes the experience horrendous at times. With all that being said, the game is still an experience you should give a go. It’s going to take some learning at first, but once you experience that one time something amazing happens it will sink its hooks in deep. Then you will be on the same rollercoaster ride of emotions I am on when I play it.
Sea of Thieves is available on Xbox One and PC, with the capability to play it on Game Pass.