I didn’t think much of Sea of Thieves when it was unveiled in 2015. When I was in grade school, Rare was a great developer that created some of my most beloved gaming franchises. Those days are long gone, and Microsoft purchased the studio. Not for their development skills, but for Rare’s IPs. Let’s be honest, Rare’s output hasn’t been the greatest, and their games haven’t been stellar hits.
They made Kameo, which I loved; it showed some promise, but never received a sequel. Viva Pinata is loved by the few players who played it, but it didn’t sell well. Rare was then delegated to create Kinect Sports games. Rare Replay received a lot of love, but that game relied the success of old games. A $30 title at the time, it was a collection of polished games from Rare’s past. Then the Kinect was officially given the ax, and Microsoft no longer includes the peripheral with their SKUs.
It seemed that Rare’s days were numbered, but Microsoft still believed in the company. Then 2015 came around and Rare unveiled that they were working on an ambitious game called Sea of Thieves.
I did not care.
I’ll be honest in saying that what they showed wasn’t impressive and looked childish. After playing Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag, I, like most people, wanted a pirate game that was as good or better than Black Flag. Because at the end of the day, Black Flag was still an Assassin’s Creed game with a pirate theme slapped on top. People are ready for the next great pirate game for this generation. So much so that a couple of years ago Ubisoft sent out surveys inquiring people’s interest in that genre. We would eventually hear about Ubisoft’s game in 2017 called Skull and Bones.
We Set Sail Soon
Suddenly the gaming community had two AAA pirate games potentially coming out in 2018. One coming from a first party publisher and exclusive to the Xbox One system, and the other from Ubisoft, which will be available on multiple platforms. However, I had initial criticisms of all the E3 footage I saw in 2017.
Sea of Thieves is a more whimsical take on a pirate adventure with the promise of being the next ‘live service’ game where the world will evolve and grow. Skull and Bones, on the other hand, takes the ship combat mechanics to another level. I feel that Ubisoft missed the mark when developing Skull and Bones. Sure, the ship combat and sailing were great aspects of Black Flag but player’s don’t want ONLY that. Players want to become pirates and engage in ship combat, treasure hunting, adventuring, etc. I could be completely wrong though! For Honor is mostly a PvP game that had a rough start but has managed to create a great game and bring people back. Skull and Bones is an extension of what For Honor has achieved. Creating a great multiplayer game which can be popular for streaming platforms.
PvP focused games no longer appeal to me or it’s more accurate to say that I’m already settled on my multiplayer offerings. Overwatch, Dragon Ball FighterZ, and Halo 5 are already satisfying that craving for multiplayer action. It seems that both Pirate games just weren’t for me and it’s possible that some of you reading this might feel the same. Some are looking to embark on a great adventure and becoming a pirate king. Both games in their own rights have shown great potential for the communities they can build but it relies on having a dedicated group. There’s soo many games out now that it will be difficult to pull my friends away from when considering how popular Overwatch, Fornite, and PUBG are!
Recent builds look promising
But then I started seeing more footage of Sea of Thieves with each closed beta, technical test, stress tests and etc. Now I’m hooked. Sorry for the pun but its honestly the truth.
I think I’m starting to come around on Sea of Thieves and there are two compelling reasons why. The first being that Microsoft revealed that they were adding all new first-party titles to Xbox’s Game Pass subscription. Game Pass is itself a great value and works better than PlayStation Now. Adding all new first-party titles is an amazing advantage that Xbox owners can take advantage of. Sure PlayStation may have the better first party line up but Sea of Thieves is starting to shape up to be a great game.
The second reason is that Sea of Thieves lends itself well to its co-op multiplayer sandbox and it’s a fun game to watch via streaming platforms. Rare has developed a Pirate game with charm and they have added some amazing stuff for players to enjoy. I’m excited to explore Sea of Thieves’ world and all its zanny wackyness. Check out our video series and see for yourself!