Our Sea of Thieves Beta Impressions

sea of thieves

Ahoy me Mateys! Xbox fans rejoice! Sea of Thieves hits the shelves on March 20th and if the open beta is anything to go by, there is a lot to look forward to. At the time of this preview it comes with a £41.99 price tag from Argos.

Sea of Thieves is a new game that allows you to set sail on the shark infested seas to plunder treasure or transport goods to different destinations across the map. During this you’ll come across other pirates who may decide, whilst following their own missions to leave you to it… or they may decide to attack your boat, hoping to destroy both you and your ship and collect any booty you may have on board. It’s family friendly, it’s multiplayer and it’s very fun. Continue reading for a more detailed preview of what the game has to offer…

Back in 2002 Microsoft purchased UK game developer Rare – who back in the golden age of gaming developed games like Banjo-Kazooie, Donkey Kong Country and one of my personal favourites – Golden Eye 007. It’s fair to say that since their purchase Rare haven’t really developed a blockbuster game for Microsoft but they will be hoping that Sea of Thieves will be the turning of the tide.

Sea of Thieves Character Selection

Sea of Thieves is all geared towards customisation. They want every pirate to look different and the more gold you plunder, the more options become available for you. When you start up Sea of Thieves for the first time you’ll get a choice out of a wide selection of salty sea dogs to choose from. They are all randomly generated, and you can randomise as many times as you want until you find the new pirate you. An important note here is that there is no advantage of disadvantage based on your character size and shape.

There are two ship options to choose from. The 3-4 player Galleon or 1-2-man Sloop. Sea of Thieves is very much a multiplayer game – if you want to set sail on your own you can do so via the smaller sloops, but the real fun comes when you are part of a larger crew. Microsoft has enabled ‘Cross Play’(also a ‘Play Anywhere’ title) so you can play with anyone on PC and/or Xbox One.

Treasure Hunting

We started the game at an outpost and here you can find the three trading companies – The Gold Hoarders, Merchant Alliance and the Order of Souls. These happy chaps dish out voyages (for a price of course) and so to begin with, we tried our hand at a treasure hunting voyage from the Gold Hoarders. Before we set off we stocked up on supplies found in barrels littered around the outpost – certainly didn’t want to run out of cannon balls or wooden blanks mid-battle - then we sauntered off to the captain’s cabin to vote on a voyage. We threw our knives down onto the voyage of choice, and the voyage began. We were given a map to follow – the first order of business being to find the island on our world map, located on the mid deck of our ship. Co-operation is key, as the helmsman has no way of knowing the direction to go in unless you let him/her know. Time to go! We raised the anchor, set course and dropped the sails, angling them to the wind to gain speed.

Sea of Thieves Treasure Hunting

A lot has been said about the water graphics in this game, and it truly is a spectacle. With the ship flying along at full speed and bucking the waves, sea spray from the crest of the waves, one can actually feel mildly sea-sick it is that convincing. But what a thrill it is!

The island was quite close and it didn’t take us too long to get there. We trimmed the sales to slow down and find a good anchorage point. At this point there was a boom – and as we scrambled in panic we soon realised it was just one of our crew mates, who had just shot himself out of the cannon – express service!

Being a bad cartographer myself, luckily the island was quite small, and it didn’t take us long to find where x marked the spot. We got digging and soon had our very first treasure chest! As we scrambled on board a sail was spotted on the horizon – unsure of their intention we got underway and headed back to the outpost to cash in on our prize!

Despite it only being a beta, we all felt quite protective of our loot! Further quests from the gold hoarders introduce longer voyages, including riddles to crack!

Skeleton Raids

For the brave, you can also check out the Skelton raids. These generally require a minimum of four players and you can find them by looking for a green-eyed skeleton cloud in the sky. Head in that direction and you’ll find an enemy fort where there will be waves upon waves of skeletons that you’ll have to destroy before the Skelton captain comes out. With him dead you’ll be rewarded with lots of treasure to take back – but beware that you’ll often find other players / ships trying to complete the raid at the same time and they may turn on you and try and collect all the treasure for themselves!

skeleton fort

The PvP Element

One element of the game that is the most fun is to try and seek out other ships on their journey. This isn’t always easy – it’s a big map and you need to keep a keen eye out on the horizon… but when you find them there are many options of how to try and take them on and destroy them! One of our favourite tactics involved sneaking on board their ship with a gunpowder barrel and getting it to the bottom deck and then setting it off.

ship battle

 

Final views

A few of us in the TopCashback team spent hours and hours playing the beta and are very excited for the launch. Whilst a lot of content has been held back for release day, including the Kraken, you can’t deny the charm that Rare have captured here, and it is truly shaping up to be one hell of a pirate fantasy!

Posted on 15 Mar 2018  |  Posted in  Gaming
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