Jonathan Birkenstamm reviews Sea of Thieves. Come on in, the waters, uh…shallow?
“YO HO, YO HO, a pirate’s life for me. We pillage and plunder, we rifle and loot. Drink up me ‘earties, YO HO.” When I think of Sea of Thieves, that song from the Disney ride “Pirates of the Carribean” starts playing in my head. So naturally, I was super excited for Sea of Thieves made by the guys who did GoldenEye for the N64, Rare Ltd. But things started to come crashing down only after a few hours of play.
Sea of Thieves is considered an MMO-Lite but it feels more like the Lite part than anything else. There is no progression other than a reputation system. The gold you gain can only be used for cosmetic items, which doesn’t really matter much since the game is played in the First-Person view. There are only two types of ships to sail, one meant for one to two players and another for more than three players. Yes, you can customize your ships a bit, but even those are lacking. Creating your character is lacking as well, it is a random choice between a bunch of avatars and you get no choice in adjusting anything like your looks, height, weight, etc. The combat is dumbed down to the simplest way to fight. You get a choice of the following weapons a sword, pistol, blunderbuss, sniper-rifle and that is it. You can’t get better versions of these either, as everyone is on the same playing field. Yeah, you can get better-looking items and weapons but looks don’t do anything to your gameplay.
The most fun I had in the game was sailing and exploring the seas. Sailing the ship is interesting but really hates solo-players. Everything on the ship requires someone else so you can sail effectively. If you Sail your self, it just means running all over the ship and always adjusting your course. It is fun, but gets annoying after time and makes you wish you were playing with friends. That seems to be the theme of Sea of Thieves, if you play alone it’s going to get boring fast. The game wants and almost forces you to play with friends or other people.
Sea of Thieves Voyages is just as lacking as the rest of the game. You have three companies to choose from, one to hunt for treasure, another to fight skeletons, and the third is delivering items. When you pick a Voyage you will then have to travel to an island and either kill skeletons to collect an item, find buried treasure, or capture some animals. Rinse and repeat till you gain enough reputation to unlock higher level (really just different) Voyages. I could only take so much of the same catch two chicken and deliver them to point X, before getting bored.
And it seems like many others are getting bored pretty quickly as well. At some point, I kept running into groups of people who just troll you for fun because they are bored. Since there is no consequence for death. You die, you respawn thirty seconds later and there is your ship nice and brand new. You have all the items that you started with. The only thing that may happen is other players may steal your loot. But the loot can only be turned in for gold, which can only be used for cosmetics so it doesn’t really matter. Thus no-one sees any negative to death, so they run around and kill you over and over again because if they die themselves they suffer no penalty. And so you just get people who troll all the time because they are bored out of their mind.
Sea of Thieves is as big as an ocean but as shallow as a puddle. So many opportunities were missed because Microsoft wanted to make Sea of Thieves accessible to everyone. Microsoft and Rare keep saying more content is coming, but I don’t think this game will last that long. Maybe they should have waited to put in said content before releasing the game. At this point, I don’t see how Sea of Thieves is going to last ten years let alone ten months.
I really wanted to like this game, but it just isn’t worth it at this point. The fun fades away to quickly and thus I just can’t recommend this game. For now avoid Sea of Thieves, at least for a year. Maybe then it will have the content it so desperately needs if it is still around by then.
Final Verdict: AVOID (or wait if you’re really tempted)