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Ever fancied being a pirate? Sailing the seven seas looting and pillaging as you go? Here’s your chance.
Sea of Thieves, the latest offering from Rare, gives you a ship, an eye patch and a cutlass and lets you do exactly that.
Well, sort of. You’ll need help — pirating on your own isn’t easy.
Sea of Thieves is an open-world adventure designed to be played cooperatively in teams, well crews, of four. You can play solo, but it’s not only pretty tricky, it’s also nowhere near as much fun.
For example, to sail a ship you need to operate the wheel, obviously, but you also need to operate the three sails, the anchor and read the map, which is below decks. Then if you hit a rock or take some cannon fire you need to repair your boat and bail out the water so you don’t sink. Like I said, it’s tricky on your own!
But, playing alongside other crewmates it is brilliant, rewarding, and, just as important, it’s fun! I can’t remember a game I’ve played where I have laughed out loud so often.
Once your crew is assembled — you can play with mates or choose to be part of a random crew — and you’ve sorted out your roles and how the ship operates, it’s time to choose a voyage.
At each of the outposts dotted round the (pretty big) map you can visit an office where you can pick up orders which will lead you on an adventure — simple delivery missions at the start, but progressing to more advanced treasure and bounty hunts.
Although all of the pirates in the game are real people playing alongside you, many of the islands are populated by skeleton crews (made of bones, not low on numbers) and their captains who will attack and hinder you as you travel the world.
There’s also quite a lot of wildlife in and out of the water; birds fly in the sky, pigs, chickens and snakes populate the islands and the sea is swarming with fish and, more hazardously, sharks.
As you complete voyages your reputation as a pirate increases and opens more avenues for adventure — and more opportunities for other pirates to steal your hard-earned booty — so guard it carefully!
Graphically, Sea of Thieves has a cartoony style which suits it perfectly. The sea, however, is stunning — the first time you sail into a storm it will blow you away, graphically and literally.
Sea of Thieves is unlike any game I’ve played before — you can’t upgrade you ships or your guns to be super-powerful, which leaves everyone on an even keel — you play simply for the enjoyment of the experience.
Communication between crewmates is essential to make the most out of the game, and if you get yourself a good crew, you’ll have an absolute ball!
Rare has done a great job creating a game which lets you have fun, but in the end it’s up to you and your crew to make the most of it!
Sea you on the high seas . . .
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Sea of Thieves
For: Xbox One
From: Rare/ Microsoft Studios
Rating: (PG) ★★★★+
- by Simon Kemp