Rare’s usage of Unreal Engine 4 is unlike anything I’ve seen, to bend an engine to your liking is impressive especially for an engine that’s mostly used in shooters and other games. The graphics of Sea of Thieves is absolutely beautiful, the gorgeous lighting streaks across the sky and the waves on the water looks natural, how light and dark blue the ocean is at times, it’s the best looking water I’ve seen since probably BioShock’s leaky bucket of Rapture. The impressive graphics and technical aspects works with how the game looks, Rare has managed to create a lighthearted environment that’s mostly thought of as Kiddie but it’s far from that: Sure it’s meant for Kiddies but it’s meant to be enjoyed for all people of different ages, the graphics of Sea of Thieves look like a story book that you read when you were a child.
In my first four hours with the game, I found a treasure chest and captured some chickens for a local trader. Running around trying to capture some chickens is unexpected fun and with two of your friends it’s amusing trying to capture a red chicken to sell for money; the treasure chest portion was kind of cool too, we had to fight our way to get it and slashing skeletons was kind of fun. There’s an inescapable sense of adventure that you get when you’re with your friends exploring the high ocean and discovering an island on accident and defeating a captain.
The game mechanics works well with a foundation that’s overly simple but there are some things in there that are hidden and that’s what annoys me. Some mechanics are hidden much deeper to be discovered through gameplay and exploration but the problem is that the game doesn’t tell you these mechanics and you’re left wondering on how to play the game. For example, I had no clue that I was supposed to lift the anchor to actually drive the ship or use the anchor to park the ship outside of an island or dropping the anchor mid drive will result in a 90 degree handbrake turn in order to fight another pirate ship. It doesn’t tell you much or anything at all so you’re left clueless at the beginning and four hours in, I’m still clueless on how to play the game except for some mechanics like the 90 degree handbrake turn or always having to lift the anchor before setting sail across the vast ocean, the game doesn’t tell you much at all and that’s what annoys me the most.
The biggest concern that I have with Sea of Thieves is how much repetition and how much content is in the game to warrant a two month play-through or a three month play-through without falling to the fate that claimed The Division. The problem with the Division is that it failed to hold your attention you reach the endgame and that the content wasn’t there anymore. once you got there the game felt dull and felt lifeless because you just completed everything there was to do within The Division. I hope Rare took a look at that and hasn’t made the same mistake as Ubisoft did in 2016.
Another main concern is that the game is somewhat dull without having several friends by your side. When I played solo, the game didn’t take on the same form as it did when I was with my friends and having fun. When you play solo, the game becomes dull and doesn’t become much fun and that’s a problem: What happens if you want to play the game but your friends aren’t on and you want to play solo, you become easily bored with the world and quests because you don’t have the interactivity that the game actually requires. Yes, teamwork is essential in Sea of Thieves and that’s why it’s much better being played with several of your friends; I wonder if playing with friends actually progressing through the game until endgame? How much of the experience is lost upon if you go about it solo?
I really hope I can dig this game. I like it alot, it reminds me alot of that early time that I spent with The Division. Everything is there except some crucial things that hampered and held back the Division, I hope nothing hampers and holds Sea of Thieves back. Sea of Thieves is quite an impressive, friendly, and all around enjoyable game. Stay tuned when I come back with some treasure and discover the secrets and how to finally get a grasp on this game.