Piracy and video games don’t always go hand in hand. Sure, there have been a few great games that have put players on the high seas, but they’ve been few and far between over the years. That’s why it’s so surprising – and exciting – that Rare has been quietly building up their next big release. Sea of Thieves, an XBox One and PC exclusive title, is one of the major titles being hyped for a 2018 release. The game is still in its technical alpha stages, but we’ve got enough information on the title to offer a short preview.
A Cooperative Adventure
Sea of Thieves is described as a high-seas piracy adventure, but it’s a bit more unique than the back of the box descriptor lets on. This is a truly cooperative piracy game, one that eschews the normal “one guy controls a whole ship” mechanic in favor of allowing (or forcing) a team of players to take on different roles. Getting from point A to point B will require a modicum of skill and cooperation, while actually accomplishing the goals of the game will require a level of teamwork that’s uncommon in most games.
The world is largely open from what’s been seen so far, with quests scattered about liberally. The most exciting thing seems to be the inclusion of a truly shared world – the other pirates you see in the game will be other player crews, and you’ll be free to work with or against them as you see fit.
Reality Not Included
If you’ve seen any of the screenshots for the game, you should know that this isn’t exactly a hardcore piracy simulator. With a cartoony art style and appropriately silly physics, there’s a focus on fun that you don’t always see in this kind of game. You’re looking at something that, combat-wise, feels a little less like Black Flag and a bit more like Looney Toons. Yes, this means you can absolutely load your players into a cannon and shoot them at the other ship. You might even have them survive if you’re lucky enough.
When it’s Ready
We’re still not exactly sure when Sea of Theives is going to be released. It’s been in development for several years, with both Rare and Microsoft taking a very “it’s ready when it’s ready” type of approach to the game. Given the sheer number of awesome games that have been ruined by bad launches in the recent past, though, this isn’t exactly a bad thing. At the moment, Rare is shooting for either a quarter one or two release in 2018 – so it’s probably realistic to see it released in the late summer.
Sea of Theives has a pretty robust alpha/beta program, so it’s definitely recommended that you sign up if you’re interested. What you’ll see now is a little on the rough side, but it’s worth a look. If nothing else, you’ll get a first look at a game that has the potential to be truly amazing.
Check out the trailer here:
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