Sea of Thieves Review

Dan Webb

As I sit here wondering how to write this review, I thought I’d actually try something a little new. Pirates are known for shanties galore, so I thought I’d write it as such so not to bore. 1,000 words with rhyme after rhyme, I didn’t think this through it’s going to take so much time.

Sea of Thieves is an open-world pirate action adventure game, one made by Rare so you’d expect it not to be lame. It’s basically just you and your mates on the open seas, limited only by your imagination and what cargo you can seize. Therein almost lies the problem as Sea of Thieves relies too much on its emergent gameplay, and that usually comes down to whether you want to be predator or prey.

Chock full of really cool mechanics from the riddles to find treasure, to ships to sail at your leisure, the core gameplay hooks in Sea of Thieves get it right, but with little to do you might be bored before it turns to night.

The game has a distinct lack of variety and consists of a fetch quest or a hundred, and has the basis for an incredible immersive open-world, if you ever wondered. It doesn’t quite reach those dizzy heights, but can be fun throughout but that’s often dependent on your fights.

Purpose is the word that Sea of Thieves fails to nail: sail here, get that treasure but with no real purpose it can get stale. The game truly suffers from a lack of truly engaging progression, all that sailing for some gold to buy skins is all you can really get out of a session. Catch some animals, kill some skeletons, dig up some treasure, that’s all the game really has to offer and after a while that stops being a pleasure.

That said, Sea of Thieves can create something truly everlasting, the sandbox, the emergent gameplay, the encounters, the blasting. In some respects there’s not really a game out there like it, and some moments that I encountered along the way will stick with me, I admit. The stealing of treasure, the galleon vs. galleon epic sea assault, giving treasure to a lowly pirate, those moments you can’t fault. However, these moments can often depend solely on luck, dependent on who is around and who gives a fuck.

Betraying your crewmates to steal all the treasure is always an option.

The core of Sea of Thieves is solid, there’s not much to complain about there, but everything else that exists in the game is lacking, I swear. The skeleton forts are just way too much of a grind and just not that fun, sometimes the servers can be a little empty in that blistering sun.

The game has too much Sea, not enough Thieves, it can be a lonely affair at times on the high seas. The experience of rolling with a crew to sailing alone, are wildly different, that much is known. Each has their pluses and minuses, the salty sea air can play havoc with the sinuses.

Yes, Sea of Thieves can be a truly fun game, their sailing is second to none, that much they can claim. The sea is a wonder and can drop one’s jaw, but the problem is once that wears off the game becomes a chore. There’s no real longevity, no purpose or real-end goal, you loot, loot, loot and hope you don’t come across a troll. Like I said, there’s some really amazing features dotted throughout the ocean-blue: the Ferry of the Damned, the mermaids, the Kraken, the fact you can spew. There’s chests that cry and chests that make you feel pissed, you can even shoot yourself out a cannon, what a world in which to exist. You can play shanties, get a new spade or put your fellow pirates to the blade.

Rare’s latest open-world action-adventure pits pirates vs. pirates and players vs. players, but unfortunately it struggles from a lack of depth and layers. The emergent gameplay is a hell of a hook, but beneath the surface there’s not a lot to do, even if you really look. Some neat ideas and a completely fresh subject matter, are let down by a lack of content and variety, the important one being the latter. Sea of Thieves lays down a really strong foundation, and sailing the seven seas can be one memorable vacation. If only the game had much more to do, we’d be so much quicker to recommend it to you.


The sea shanties, the music, it’s an absolute pleasure, it adds to the tension while you seek that treasure.

The best water I’ve seen in a game, from the wild storms out at sea to the bay waters that are tame. The cel-shaded art-style adds to its charm, one that will certainly do you no harm.

The core mechanics are great, the shooting can be a bit slow; all the tools you have at your disposal give the game a good flow.

A wonderful open-world with islands galore, but with a lack of mission variety and content, the game can become a bore.

There are some really great ones in this Sea of Thieves treasure chest, but it’s let down by a large portion being a grind fest.

Sea of Thieves has the potential for some great tales, cruising the high seas, following the wind with them sails. Its lack of content and things to do hold it back, but at no point is the game totally whack. Arrr!

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