When I look to the horizon of MMOs, it may be devoid of AAA titles of the past, but there is still quite a bit to anticipate (and I’ll go more into my watch list later this week). However, there’s one title that may-or-may-not-be a pure MMO (but if it isn’t, it’s sure wearing its underpants) with some serious muscle and talent behind it that has me more and more excited with each new week, and that is Sea of Thieves.
So why am I starting to get pretty hyped for this title? How is it wooing me over to the buccaneer lifestyle? Here’s six quick reasons:
1. Dat artwork
Both the concept art and in-game visuals are wonderfully lush and colorful, taking a stylized look at the high seas and low lives of pirates. We’ve seen several pirate MMOs and games to date, to be sure, and it’s the ones that go this stylized route that end up being a lot more appealing than, say, Pirates of the Burning Sea. The way I figure it is that our cultural fascination with pirates is already fantasized, so why not have the visuals to match? It’s not like we’re going for historical accuracy anyway.
The more I see of it, the more Sea of Thieves convinces me that this is a world that invites people to gawk at and explore it. I liked how one of the recent dev videos solely looked at the game’s water visuals and how important those were for a seafaring game.
2. High production values
Rare is no indie startup; I loved it back in the 80s with RC Pro-Am, and the 90s with Goldeneye, Battletoads, and Donkey Kong Country. It’s lineup in the 2000s and 2010s hasn’t been anything to write home about, but it’s been solid and kept the company working. This is a great project that obviously has the dev team enthused and the studio throwing a lot of money and effort behind. That means a lot when you’re anticipating a game.
3. Fun factor
Pirates may be cliché, but it’s still a good field ripe for plunder (sorry). I like how the attitude of this game seems to be how we used to play-imagine pirates as a kid, or how people still today get a little bit silly with Talk Like a Pirate Day. Pirates bring out the childlike spirit in us, whether we’re fighting as or against them. Blowing up ships, walking the plank, finding buried treasure, fighting with sabers, thwarting hand-eating crocodiles — it’s all part of a day in the life of a swashbuckler.
4. More than just combat
Another one of the early dev diaries focused on player music, interestingly enough. It might seem like an inconsequential feature, especially since so much of the game has yet to be revealed, but I thought that the reason the devs wanted to put that out in front was to communicate how Sea of Thieves isn’t merely a combat simulator without a heart. Pirates who can put down a sword and pick up a piccolo or accordion to share a jaunty tune become something a little more than caricatures.
Plus, music is the soul of a game — or at least a gateway to it. Nice to know it won’t be ignored.
5. Great communication
Recently the devs talked about their approach to doling out info from now until release, and what I heard made me quite happy indeed. An emphasis on showing, not merely telling, and a spread of information channels, including podcasts, video diaries, and written articles. It’s not groundbreaking, sure, but I’ve taken to these little 3-5 minute video diary series they’ve done so far spotlighting a different aspect of the game. It’s a great way to get to know what Sea of Thieves is like.
6. The possibilities
To be sure, there’s a lot we don’t know and even more that’s only been outlined in the broadest of strokes. Yet the mind reels at the possibilities for a pirate open world multiplayer game, including owning your own ship, creating your own adventures, and having lots of goofy fun with groups of friends. From the demo videos I saw, I enjoyed how it didn’t look like a same-old dungeon run in an MMO, but a cooperative and sometimes chaotic journey that was fun even when the team was failing. Sea of Thieves could be a great entry into my gaming portfolio, and I’m psyched to think that it could be coming out sometime next year.