Sea of Thieves Review
Sea of Thieves Cover Art
System: Xbox One, PC
Dev: Rare
Pub: Microsoft Studios
Release: March 20, 2018
Players: 1-4 Player
Screen Resolution: 480p-1080p Crude Humor, Use of Alcohol, Violence

Sea of Thieves provides little comfort to the victims of aggressive pirate crews. Flight is usually the only logical action for a one-manned sloop against a fully-crewed galleon. Hours of collecting treasure could be wiped away without any recompense, should you be blown to the Ferry of the Damned. A pirate’s hours sunk to the bottom of the sea is likely to cause more than a few rage quits. The initial package also limits the social options. Only four players can officially join a galleon crew, even though there are enough responsibilities to keep twice as many crew members occupied. There is no couch co-op. There is no clan feature offering the option to build a pirate fleet. There are no specialized servers to cater to specific tastes, such as a roleplaying, pure PvP, or family-friendly gameplay.

Sea of Thieves Screenshot

If the lure for you is simply setting sail and taking in the world, then your senses are in for a treat. Islands are small nuggets in a vast, open ocean, so it helps that these are arguably the most beautiful digital waters ever seen. The cartoonish character designs and simple, yet strikingly well animated, environments add personality and whimsy to your voyage. Though the tone and orchestral makeup of Sea of Thieves’s music score could be easily compared to the Pirates of the Caribbean movies, the compositions are still masterful, and the crescendo and cadence changes with each new wave of skeletons heightens the intensity of your endeavor. The ship creaks in the waves, groans when the anchor is lowered suddenly, and buckles when cannons are fired or cannonballs breach the hull. All the sights and sounds makes it one of the most immersive pirate games ever.

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Sea of Thieves plots a course in the opposite direction of most big budget, predictable affairs. Loot is not about gaining power, and the thrill is in the voyage, not the destination. This may alienate some gamers, but it is a breath of fresh air for those willing to embrace the change. However, Rare will soon find the community clamoring for more content and improved social options to keep players invested and using their freedom to create limitless and fascinating stories.

Sean Engemann
Senior Contributing Writer
Date: 03/21/2018

You’d be hard pressed to find more beautifully rendered waters in a video game, and the cartoonish art style plays well with all the pirate shenanigans. The watery world could use a little more variety, though.
The interface and inventory are simple to use, and the game uses soft skills and physics to provide players the freedom to improvise. Overall though, movement and combat don’t feel as fluid as the ocean.
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
Despite many comparisons to a certain Disney rid- turned-movie series, it is unique. The music score is phenomenal, and the sound effects and use of audio range capture the pirate life perfectly.
Play Value
While the most fun comes from the experience you create with friends, the game is bare-bones in terms of content, with no emphasis on progression apart from gaining reputation. The game also needs loosen the boundaries on crew size and add more social features.
Overall Rating - Great
Not an average. See Rating legend below for a final score breakdown.
Review Rating Legend
0.1 - 1.9 = Avoid 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 3.5 - 3.9 = Good 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair 4.0 - 4.4 = Great 5.0 = The Best

Game Features:

  • A New Type of Multiplayer Game – A game that provides freedom, adventure and excitement – the quintessential pirate experience. Crew up with your friends to explore the world, take on quests or seek out conflict. Complete voyages to earn gold, increase your reputation across the “Sea of Thieves” and work together to become a pirate legend!
  • Set Your Own Pace to Plunder – Designed from the ground up to allow people to play together, regardless of how long they’ve been playing the game. When players progress through “Sea of Thieves,” they earn reputation with trading companies, earn cosmetic rewards and most importantly, they earn the right to take on new quests. What’s special about the progression system is that it allows players to share these quests and take friends on adventures they might not have access to.
  • Mysteries Under the Surface – Set in a fantastical pirate world packed with everything you’d expect from a pirate adventure, such as skeletons, sea monsters, other pirate crews and many other surprises that players will discover as they explore the game’s world.
  • Anyone Can Have Fun – Designed to be welcoming and inclusive, and our mechanics encourage social bonding and cooperation between players. We’ve implemented additional features to encourage more people to try multiplayer. These include a smaller ship that allows players to get a taste of our shared world while playing alone, a non-verbal communications system that allow players to communicate even if they’re not comfortable using voice for whatever reason, and a brig system that lets crews manage troublemakers amongst themselves.

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