Sea of Thieves Review

My Sea of Thieves review (basically me disagreeing with all of the internet)

If you pre-ordered Sea of Thieves you could play the weekend before I left for the Ukraine. It was a server stress test if you like. I was a few days away from leaving my home and my loved ones for 5 weeks, so Player 2 and I decided to nest. We ordered our favourite food, pre-ordered the game and spent the weekend playing. This was our quality time and also our final time together before the longest period of time we’d be apart. That weekend was full of hysterically funny adventures that I’d rather not try repeat. I think he did it extremely well in his own piece of writing which you can read here.

And then I left the country.

Sea of Thieves Review

The open beta happened after I’d been in the Ukraine for a few days. I was home sick and adjusting to a strange new country. So Player 2 suggested we play. We spent a good few hours sailing the seas and collecting treasure. A week later the game officially launched and weΒ  set sail again. This time employing one of our best friends to join our crew so we could sail a Galleon. We almost immediately voted to throw him in the brig and then danced around his character giggling. We followed that up by picking up a message in a bottle and following its instructions. This found us on an island with some brutal skeletons and it took us around 30 minutes to lure them to the beach and destroy them with canon balls. We ate a lot of bananas in that fight and were rewarded with glowing skulls that fetched us a pretty penny once sold.

Sea of Thieves Review

Somewhere during this particular voyage we were attacked by a Kraken. For some absurd reason I truly believed I could sail away, so while Player 2 screamed for us to man the cannons I was adamant I could steer. Following a short argument I was promptly grabbed by said Kraken and eaten. I still haven’t heard the end of that one. We eventually got away and celebrated our lumo glowing skull bounty and Kraken survival by heading to the outpost drinking hole where we let our pirate characters get drunk and vomit on each other. Then we danced.

For a brief moment it felt like I was back in my lounge giggling with the people who mean the most to me. It was like being at home and the tinge of home sickness had a brief respite.

A few days ago we pulled my brother into the mix.

Sea of Thieves Review

It was time for my brother to be initiated into the pirate fold. We gave him our usual welcome by tossing him in the brig for a short while before we began our adventure. Unfortunately, my brother is somewhat of a loose cannon. It started with him literally firing himself out of a cannon and continued when he found a wailing chest and brought it back to our ship. It cried, we filled with water and some shouting ensued. After an hour of slogging it and trying to find treasure (while constantly having to stop to fetch my brother who kept jumping off the boat) we were feeling pretty proud of ourselves. 4 lumo green pirate skulls, a bounty discovered in a sinking ship and a good few chests to our name – we headed back to the nearest outpost.

Sea of Thieves Review

At about this time my friend GeeMax messaged me to ask how much money I’d made as a pirate. Thinking I’d done rather well I told him. The response was embarrassing. In far less time Gee had accumulated substantial wealth from pirating other ships and stealing their goodies. Around this time we spotted another ship. As Player 2 and I debated the pros and cons of attacking them for their loot my brother quietly left the ship. Turns out he didn’t feel the need to share his master plan with us which included boarding the other ship while holding gun powder. They shot at him and blew themselves and the ship up. However, one of their party remained and so, he boarded our ship, shot the gun powder we had and blew us all up as well.

We were revived, returned to the outpost and then spent a considerable amount of time swimming around the bottom of the ocean where we found our lost loot. Only the server glitched and we couldn’t pick it up. Much swearing at my brother ensued. An important lesson was learnt here too. Never try compete with GeeMax. You’ll lose.

I love Sea of Thieves

Sea of Thieves Review

Every moment playing this game has resulted in giggles and laughs. It is my connection to home and in my darkest days of loneliness when I really just miss those faces I love – this is the game that I turn to. Its like heading to your favourite bar with friends only we’re on the internet. Every time I’ve played it it has presented a glorious adventure.

But the rest of the internet disagrees.

Sea of Thieves Review

I’ve had to sit on my hands when scrolling through my twitter feed watching the rants. I’ve taken them personally. So let’s address them:

There is no progression system – I know. No one said there would be. In fact, you will never be able to buy a bigger and better ship or bigger and better weapon. You can earn more money and buy cosmetic enhancements. That’s it. The whole point is that when we’re on the sea we’re all equal. We’re all pirates. Want to be a better pirate? Then be a better pirate. You ain’t progressing anywhere. The annoyance of having a complete n00b steal your loot and get away with it based on dumb luck only, kind of makes the game appeal to me.

It is a lot of the same thing and gets boring fast – I sort of disagree here. It is a lot of the same thing but you can change it up. Take GeeMax, instead of heading out on quests he chooses to rob other players. Not much of the same for him then. Some of the guys I work with on this side of the world prefer to hang out at the outpost and hide away till ships dock to sell their wares. They jump them and steal the loot. Me? I like to do a bit of both. And yes, sometimes running away from snakes and collecting wooden planks gets monotonous. But I’ve always found that as I start feeling like maybe it is too much of the same thing something happens that pulls my focus and gets me excited again.

Sea of Thieves is only fun playing with friends – Yes. Most games are to be honest. But for me, this is the full appeal of the game. It is my time to play with friends. We can take it seriously or get drunk at an outpost. It is just our time.

The game is glorious to look at, the motion of the boat on the sea is something spectacular and for the most part I thoroughly enjoyed the entire experience. Maybe my current life circumstances have crafted a game experience that others don’t share. Maybe on my return to South Africa the game won’t bring the same joy to me that it does now. I don’t know. But right now, Sea of Thieves fills my heart with joy every time I fire it up. It has been worth every penny it cost (also, thanks Player 2, who purchased it for me as a gift). I love it and it makes me sad that others don’t feel the same way.

44 Comments

  • Reply Mathew Clarke March 27, 2018 at 08:49

    This has to be my game of the year, its so much fun and i loooooooove the fact that i can make my own story and do what ever i feel like and not have to worry about saves or progress, its just me my crew and the seven seas.

  • Reply Paul John Kleinsmidt March 27, 2018 at 10:25

    loved this piece, you should play with your brother more often

    • Reply Sam Wright March 27, 2018 at 11:27

      Hahaha for sure! We’re looping in his girlfriend for even more fun. YES please!

  • Reply karl long March 27, 2018 at 10:27

    ive really enjoyed my time with it on gamepass had some friendly fun and solo awesomeness its a beautiful game with hope from the future a really great review πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘

    • Reply Sam Wright March 27, 2018 at 11:28

      Thanks man. Was surprised by some of the hate it was getting TBH. More surprised by the love the review is getting. Means I’m not the only one!

  • Reply Stephen Smith March 27, 2018 at 10:34

    Hi yep good to see a great positive review of this excellent game, always seems like negativity gets all the attention, hope more people see the review.

    • Reply Sam Wright March 27, 2018 at 11:30

      I feel like a lot of the media hated it but the public love it. Go figure!

  • Reply VnCo_CS1977 (@Clint1977) March 27, 2018 at 11:45

    I’ve had serious FOMO for this, with all the folks sharing their looting stories on twitter and how they leave their fellow pirates behind. I’ve been training to steel loot in so many different games including the current IT game Fortnite. I’ve never done this with a boat. I want to be that old spice man and literally mean it when i say, I’M ON A BOAT… Also, Release the Kraken will not only be me refering to my headset now.

    • Reply Sam Wright April 3, 2018 at 11:35

      Clint, it is your lucky day. Cause you’re going to get to loot! Drop me an email editor(at)techgirl(dot)co(dot)za cause you’ve got yourself a code!

  • Reply Jean du Plessis March 27, 2018 at 11:50

    I would also like to get Digitally Befuddled (Inebriated) at an outpost, Pre-Kraken Faceoff with my Swashbuckling Mateys… sitting on the Real Life bleachers, sucks, I may just go outside to walk on a plank and pretent my lawn is a squal of sorts…

    • Reply Sam Wright April 3, 2018 at 11:36

      Hahaha you make jokes but legit, you’ll start speaking like a pirate!

  • Reply Janik Hinrichs March 27, 2018 at 12:02

    I played the Game in the Beta and i loved it. It was so much Fun to play with some friends this game. If someone had told me that I would play a pirate game with friends and look for treasures, I would have said he was crazy. But 70€ are to much for me actually and sinc i only have my PC, the Game Pass is nothing for me. Maybe Later..

    I wish I could play with my friends again, search for treasures and discover the innovations. I’d love to meet the Kraken too.

    • Reply Sam Wright April 3, 2018 at 11:37

      The Kraken is the highlight – no doubt.

  • Reply Joshua Kobrin March 27, 2018 at 12:05

    Wow. The way you described it is great. Made the game look really fun. I am a small streamer wanting to stream big. Hopefully getting a code before it comes out may help boost my viewersπŸ˜‚

    • Reply Sam Wright April 3, 2018 at 11:37

      Friend it is out now so you can play! Woohoo!

  • Reply KyleKY March 27, 2018 at 12:10

    I’m really keen to play this game! I have a bunch of friends playing on Xbox but I don’t have one so the fact that the game is play anywhere is amazing!!! I’m a big one piece fan (anime/manga about pirates) so this game is right up my alley.

    Hoping I can snag a key!

    Great write up- seen too many people just saying this game is No Man’s Sky-esque though I disagree. Also best water graphics in a game EVEr.

  • Reply Beetle001 March 27, 2018 at 12:28

    I’d love to play sea of thieves so I can spend some quality time with my boy GeeMax and helping him become the most extra pirate to sail the seven seas. Pick Me. Pick me.

  • Reply Stix March 27, 2018 at 12:41

    I’m unemployed and currently I’m making a living by scrapping with others about scraps. Basically I’m living a pirates life already. Having Sea of Thieves to play would help met escape from IRL pirate life for a few minutes a day.

  • Reply Frosty_ZA March 27, 2018 at 12:45

    Played the Beta and really enjoyed it, even playing with 3 random teammates was great fun and it definitely offers a different multiplayer experience I haven’t seen yet, also the water effects and movement of the water is amazing. Looking forward to see what Rare will add to this game.

  • Reply Sven Paulsen March 27, 2018 at 12:52

    Hey Sam!

    I played both the Alpha and Beta but didn’t end up grabbing the game for launch mostly because I don’t really have any friends to play it with, they, much like me didn’t really like the hefty local price tag on the game. That said, the game is awesome if you have some good people to set sail with.

    I’d like to give the full game a try because I am hopeful for its future. I think because of all the input being sent Rare’s way they will eventually make this the game everyone wants it to be.

    Great article and thanks for the opportunity to win something pretty awesome.
    Regards,
    Sven

  • Reply Sean Nicol March 27, 2018 at 13:26

    I like this game because you don’t need to have a giant golden arrow telling you what to do, I think this is also the general complaint with it. Look at most games nowadays, they require UI that constantly highlights objectives and enemies, or a progression system that’s gives them something to brag about, lets be honest, that’s all it’s for – not to have something to aim for.

    Whole point on being online in sandbox game is that the game itself lays in the interactions with other people combined with creative ingenuity – hence the name, Sandbox – you don’t put a child in a sandbox and then proceed to tell them at what point to use what toy and that the more you visit said sandbox you’ll get better toys to more successfully destroy the imaginary creations of other children that use the same sandbox.

    The game is literally as good as the players intentions – so top class for having a game that finally relies on me to think about how to have fun again!

    Epic review as well!!!

    • Reply Sam Wright April 3, 2018 at 11:42

      Sean, your love for this game has convinced me that you need more pirate time. So guess what? You’re getting a code. Email me editor(at)techgirl(dot)co(dot)za and I’ll hook you up!

  • Reply Shushiebushie March 27, 2018 at 13:35

    I just want to stream it with my friends πŸ™ the game is awesome to drink some rum while pirating away! I played all the betas and it’s sad that I’m to broke to buy it…. I’d love me a copy of sea of thieves! Also great read! Really enjoyed it. Keep it up Sam!

  • Reply Emmanuel March 27, 2018 at 13:37

    So far all of my friends are playing this game and they can’t stop talking about it while I’m sitting high and dry…no pirates life for me. At least had a chance in the beta and loved how everyone had to work together to get the ship sailing

  • Reply Leana Blom March 27, 2018 at 13:44

    I haven’t seen too much about the game yet, but it really seems like the type of game I’ll love. No progression system also mean that I’ll be on a much more even footing with better players, definitely a bonus for a perpetual n00b! I agree with you and firmly believe that games are best when played with friends. It’s not only more fun but allows us to spend more time ‘together’ than we would have otherwise. Really looking forward to playing the game.

  • Reply Ben Roux March 27, 2018 at 15:29

    Arggghhh Mateys!Go out and play this beautiful game ye scurvy dogs! πŸ™‚
    In my opinion this is the best looking game this year. Would love to get out on the sea and plunder some booty!

  • Reply Nathan March 27, 2018 at 16:56

    My bday coming up shortly 19 Apr havent gotten a new game in ages and this looks like a lot of fun

  • Reply Pete March 27, 2018 at 18:11

    I was so excited for this game and now im so on the fence. Everyone is saying its limited with nothing to do. i would love to be proved wrong. Your review is making me wonder if I should get this… Thanks sam

  • Reply Ryan E March 27, 2018 at 18:24

    I deserve a copy of the game due to the fact that I initially wanted to write “cd-key” – clearly I’m an old dirty pirate. Hahaha – Help me sail the seas in this digital age. Share the love

  • Reply macadow March 27, 2018 at 19:24

    I really liked the game, the athmosphere and wanna experience it but 60 dollars for this game is too far for my budget. Thanks for the giveaway anyway.

  • Reply maxjany March 27, 2018 at 21:30

    After reading this review I just want to be a pirate now, well more than usual at least. Great read. Definitely need to get my hands on this game.

  • Reply Aghtar March 27, 2018 at 21:48

    I’ve played about 40 hours of it in the betas and stress tests and not one second did I not have fun! It’s a awesome game and i honestly cannot understand why it’s getting all this hate from the media. Would really love to win.

  • Reply Donovan March 27, 2018 at 23:11

    Sea of Thieves looks like a lot of fun! Should get myself a copy and start stacking up on rum… obviously πŸ™‚

  • Reply Xpgamer (@Xpgamer11) March 28, 2018 at 01:46

    Seems a really fun game especially with friends. Completing quests, setting sail for new adventures or just for the sake of admiring the beauty of the game itself, what more can you ask for!

  • Reply Michael Oosthuizen March 28, 2018 at 04:28

    This is theeeeeeee ultimate game to play with a full crew of friends! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Reply Pete March 28, 2018 at 07:21

    Hey Sam looks like you might be on to something. :p

    The top-selling games for the week up to 24 March in the UK are as follows, but note that this does not count digital copies:

    1.Sea of Thieves
    2.A Way Out
    3.Ni No Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom

    Ps think this also might be the game it will get my wife to game with me πŸ˜‰

  • Reply Clarke Baldwin March 28, 2018 at 14:53

    Sea of Thieves is a fantastic adventure. Tried it on the Game Pass and it really scratched the itch for open world exploration across all types of player.

    If you want to chill and relax, you can, if you want to PvP, you can, if you want to troll, you can do it too, but you are going to get hit back hard if you aren’t really good at it.

    I really love the potential this game has and am really excited to see how it grows and expands. The short time I had with it was superb, and hope to give the game a real run soon, once I can afford it.

  • Reply Robi March 28, 2018 at 14:56

    I’m always looking for a fun game that my Player 2 and I can enjoy together. Sea of Thieves looks like something that’s different enough to be fun and silly enough to keep us entetained. Plus the internet’s outcry makes me want to play it even more. Ha!

    • Reply Sam Wright April 3, 2018 at 11:41

      Internet outcry always encourages me to love what they hate. And you get to as well. Cause you’re a winner. Drop me an email editor(at)techgirl(dot)co(dot)za and I’ll send you a code πŸ™‚

  • Reply Aiden March 28, 2018 at 17:43

    This game looks so awesome and so nice to see a new exclusive from the amazing Xbox team πŸ™‚

    • Reply Sean Nicol March 29, 2018 at 07:43

      You can play on PC too with the ‘Play Anywhere’ feature, was so much fun to play!

  • Reply Frances Lombard March 28, 2018 at 22:26

    Everyone at the far cry launch seemed to only to be able to speak about how awesome this game is… the internet is simply wrong

    • Reply Sam Wright April 3, 2018 at 11:40

      More like gaming journos it seems. General public love it!

  • Reply Saul March 29, 2018 at 19:55

    i had fun with the beta with my friends that i use to play ages ago on 360,it brings me back and i want to enjoy time with them again on sea of thieves! πŸ™‚

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