Editor's Rating

Sea of Thieves is a fantastic foundation for a game and I believe the post-launch content can transform it into a truly amazing game but until then there is very little to do but is still quite enjoyable.

9
Graphics
7.5
Gamplay
5
Progression

You may have heard of a small game called Sea of Thieves (SoT). If not allow me to introduce you to it.

Sea of Thieves is an open world pirate adventure game. You’re able to sail the open seas with friends or brave the adventure alone. The world is full of surprises and dangers…or at least that’s the dream developer Rare tries to sell you.

In reality Sea of Thieves only partially delivers such on that experience.

I don’t want you to think that I dislike Sea of Thieves, in truth I’m in love with the idea of it. The game has an potential because it is truly unique but Rare hasn’t fully seized that potential. Sure, I love playing with friends, its fantastic fun to sail around hunting for treasure and sinking other players but that’s about all there is. After a while, you realise the entire game is just a gameplay loop. Sail to an island, get the treasure, turn it in for a bit of gold. Rinse and repeat.

Don’t get me wrong I love sailing in the open water because the game is so beautiful. Being able to look at a blue sea and the open sky is fantastic. It’s mesmerising. I also love blasting other players with cannons and cutting down hordes of skeletons while me and my friends escape with our treasure and then using that to buy new cool skins for our weapons and ships. Maybe even buy a fancy hat or a peg leg for extra style points and bragging rights. Sadly that’s about all of the progression there is. There is no ‘levelling up’. You use your money to buy cosmetics and that’s it. Which makes sense from a balancing perspective but it really sucks the life out of the game. I don’t really feel rewarded for getting new gear because it doesn’t really do anything for me. Not to mention the artificial grind Rare have created by making every item in the game ridiculously expensive. Do you want a new ship sail? That’ll cost you seventy thousand gold coins minimum. Same for a new Hull. Maybe a nice weapon skin will cost you a bit less? Nah, that’s still a good ten thousand plus coins on the low end. It’s so unfulfilling.

The end goal for the game is to achieve the rank of Pirate Legend which is achieved by reaching the highest level with all of the merchant factions. These factions include the Gold Hoarders; a group of pirates who hunt for treasure chests and other rare golden items. The Merchant Alliance; a group of traders who scavenge for animals and rare items such as teas and spices. And last but not least the Order of Souls who are a collective of bounty hunters who track down high levelled enemies and players are rewarded for assassinating them. However ranking all of these factions to the max level of fifty will take you a very…very long time. You should get your grinding boots ready because there’s a long road ahead.

Sadly the status of Pirate Legend is a bit of a letdown. Personally, I haven’t achieved this coveted rank but the information is now available on the internet after the first player reached the rank. For all the grinding and hard work, you are rewarded with a new sea shanty which can be used to unlock the cool new legendary hideout which is only accessible by pirate legends. Other than that you’ll receive a new outfit, title and access to the infamous legendary voyages…which are just a combination of all the other voyages you’ve been doing for the past however many weeks of playing…great…but eh, maybe the cool legendary chest at the end of it will be super rewarding? Nah, that’s just a measly 5 thousand gold if you’re lucky.

The player outrage did lead Rare Studios to respond with a new roadmap to support the game post-launch. The idea is that in Spring there will be a new large update to add new AI enemies into the game with other stuff to do. Following that, Summer and Fall should also see a handful of large updates to the game. All of which by the way will be free of charge. There are plans to introduce weekly events into Sea of Thieves to keep players occupied in the meantime.

I commend Rare for really listening to their community. They have already listened to player’s disdain about the introduction of a ‘Death Tax’ in the game. Which would have made players spend their hard earned gold to respawn after dying in the game. Luckily Rare realised how ridiculously stupid this idea was and quickly apologised for even thinking of the idea. The whole fun of Sea of Thieves is being able to explore and have fun. Punishing players for messing around and dying is so silly and I’m very pleased they decided to really listen and watch what people are thinking and feeling about the game.

Overall I’ll say this. Sea of Thieves is a phenomenal foundation of a game. There is plenty of potential here and there is content coming down the line and it should expand on what we already have in a fairly big way. However, if you want to get into Sea of Thieves right now I’d recommend playing it on Xbox Games Pass instead of paying the full price for a game that doesn’t really justify that purchase at the moment. If Rare Studios can keep their promise of supporting Sea of Thieves and turn it into the gem that it really is then I truly believe that they may have unearthed a niche marketplace treasure.