It was E3 2015, Microsoft first announced Sea of Thieves and the following year revealed gameplay for this pirate-themed action-adventure cooperative multiplayer game played from a first-person perspective, which is being developed by Rare for PC and Xbox One.
Last year’s E3, Ubisoft first revealed Skull and Bones which is a tactical action game set in an open world environment and played from a third-person perspective. This is the first game being developed by Ubisoft Singapore which they based the game’s concept on the naval battles of Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag. The game is being released on PC, Xbox One and PS4.
I will provide info on both games which are scheduled to come out this year, with Sea of Thieves being released this month on March 20. And Skull and Bones are being slated for 3rd or 4th Quarter later this year. Since Sea of Thieves is being released really soon I will start with that game and what’s being on offer. This is Part One of Two.
Sea of Thieves
With Sea of Thieves upon us, I wanted to dive into the premise of the game and what it has to offer that may tickle your fancy.
For one since it is being made in-house at Microsoft Studios which makes the game a part of Microsoft’s Xbox Play Anywhere cross-buy program, meaning that purchasers of a digital copy can play the game on both platforms. Additionally, the game will also be available to play at no cost to Xbox Game Pass subscribers at the game’s release, as with all forthcoming Microsoft Studios titles.
The game allows a group of players to travel and explore an open world via a pirate ship and assume different roles such as steering, hoisting sails, navigation, firing cannons and other tasks. Players will embark on quests, collect loot and engage in combat with other players. Sea of Thieves is a shared game world, which means groups of players will encounter each other regularly throughout their adventures. The game has a cartoonish art style and an exaggerated physics engine that allow players to perform stunts, like being shot out of ship cannons. There are three main factions or Trade Companies (As they are called in-game) at launch with plans to add more during its life-cycle according to Rare. Voyages are Sea of Thieves version of quests which will have different types of adventures that you will embark on.
The first of these Trade Companies is Gold Hoarders. Their focus is on hunting for treasures that will be marked with X-marks-the-spots on the map and problem-solving challenges interwoven. And you can sell these rare artifacts around the world.
The Order of Souls is the next Trade Company you can join. These secretive group will pay pirates to hunt pirate captains on bounty hunts. Bring their skulls back and you will be rewarded handsomely by the Trade Company.
And lastly is the Merchant Alliance. You’ll be tasked with scouting for supplies (like gunpowder, chickens and pigs) across the seas. The only downside is you have a timer to beat to bring in these supplies on time so keep an eye on your in-game pocket watch.
Me? I’m dishonest, and a dishonest man you can always trust to be dishonest…
The game works best with a group of friends as Rare stated that you can go solo it’ll be a harder experience if you are not careful. Communication is key among you’re playing in groups, the larger galleons are sailed by a crew of four, which are better equipped with multiple cannons and sails but also can take hits better against enemy attacks. Loading up Sea of Thieves by “The Infinite Pirate Generator” as Rare put it. There are eight pre-created pirates of various shapes, sizes, genders and appearances. If nothing works for you then can regenerate another eight characters over and over again until you find the one you like.
There are outpost shops you can spend your gold on heaps of cosmetic items to make you look the pirate you have always dreamed of. There are micro-transactions in the game, according to Rare say it isn’t a loot box system nor it will be any kind of pay-to-win advantages. Rare plans to sell virtual pets, that way you will know what you are paying for.