I knew almost nothing about Sea of Thieves upon diving in, so I really didn’t know what to expect outside of some pirate ship battles at sea. When I first booted up the Xbox One beta, I was thrown onto a ship with 3 other players with no instructions. Upon talking to the other players I learned the controls and what I could do on the ship. Just as I was getting used to everything, another ship with other players began to attack us. A Lot of running around, fumbling with the controls and much screaming into the microphones (mostly from my teammates) we managed to down the attacking ship. It was then we hit an island, and promptly sank near what seemed like a small village.
I broke off from my other teammates (who went silent at this point) and I explored the small town on the island. No one lived there except the same woman who was chopping fish in 3 different huts. After some wandering, I left the game and started again. This time I played with another team, and we just sailed around, chatting about what this game can be, if done right. We all expressed concern about how cryptic the beta was and were trying to teach each other how to do certain things on the ship, like raising the sails and changing clothes below decks. Didn’t really do much of anything, and after a few of the team left the game, I followed shortly after.
A while later, I played on my own with my own ship and weapons. I familiarized myself with the controls again, and sailed to different islands and basically searched for anything interesting. After playing for a short while, and meeting no other players I logged off.
A few other plays had me joining teams and I did manage to get into a few more pirate battles at sea. I will say that shooting cannons at another ship, and being able to board and plunder the opposing ship was great fun, sometimes. However, there didn’t seem to be much else to do in this beta. If I wasn’t sailing aimlessly, I was wandering around on land with nothing and no one to interact with. I’m sure since this is an very early look at the game not much is ready, but as it stands now, it might not attract a wide audience.
In conclusion, I am not saying that Sea of Thieves is bad, not at all. In fact this has the potential to be a Game of the Year contender, if it’s done right. There is loads of room for potential and if filled to brim with content, might be a smash it. Personally, from what I saw, this game did not impress too well. The controls are a bit strange, and the open world presentation is somewhat confusing, but I can see where they are going with it. I am reminded of early Minecraft betas as I explored the world either on foot or by sea, but the sheer lack of anything to accomplish really makes me wonder if the final product will deliver anything but a gimmick that gets tiresome after one play.
I am going to watch this one closely. As I said, the potential is there for a great game, and I hope Rare will deliver the goods when Sea of Thieves releases to the public for the Xbox One and PC.