So, one of the more unexpected and interesting announcements of E3 this year was definitely that Rare’s seafaring multi-player adventure Sea of Thieves was getting a crossover with a Disney property, but one that made perfect sense. Jack Sparrow and various characters from the Pirates of The Caribbean franchise would join you and your pirate friends on a set of quests set in the Sea of Thieves world, but with a Pirates of the Caribbean flair.
It was certainly just the hook to get me to try not just Sea of Thieves but also Microsoft’s Gamepass Ultimate, which I had intended on getting as soon as I scored an Xbox Series X but I haven’t done so as of yet. But worst-case scenario I can try a ton of games for 3 months for $1 and if I like it I can keep subbed to the service.
I was surprised how little I knew about Sea of Thieves when I started playing honestly. Like I’ve seen footage of the game, but I had no idea it was in first-person, and maybe that should’ve been the indicator that this just wasn’t a game for me. Or that while you do earn loot and rewards, it’s all largely cosmetic. Like I knew you didn’t really gain experience and have improved stats, but a better gun or sword? Nah they are pretty much all the same.
It’s not that I don’t like first-person games, I play plenty of those. But most of those games play to the strengths of the first-person perspective, and I feel like Sea of Thieves really doesn’t. For one, there is a lot, and I mean a lot of trying to jump across cliffs, platforms etc. and that’s always a tricky thing to handle well in first-person and Sea of Thieves is just bad at it making the whole process frustrating.
The setup for Disney fans is pretty perfect through the first mission though. There are lots of callbacks to the ride more than the movies; and for a little while, it does feel like you are doing a walk-through of the ride in a very cool presentation. The presentation is honestly what kept me going as long as I did, it’s pretty top-notch in that regard.
But marring that presentation is just the way the game plays. I admit I played solo which I know is not the preferred way to play Sea of Thieves, but I at least wanted to get through the tutorial and a mission or two solo and hey if I liked what I played, I could try and get a group together as I do have friends that play this game.
But none of the problems I have with the game would have been solved by more people. I don’t like that there’s virtually nothing in the way of waypoints to guide you. Don’t tell me where everything is sure, but at least give me an indicator of where the next story point is. The whole control scheme is just clumsy, the item limits seem incredibly arbitrary, and finally, both sword combat and ship combat are just not fun and this is exemplified quite a bit by the final portion of the first story mission of A Pirate’s Life where you fight The Flying Dutchman and various supernatural sea monster crew members and it just takes forever with little indication of how much if any progress you are making. I almost quit several times during this segment because I was just bored and it wasn’t fun to do any of this stuff and if somebody was with me we’d just be bored together.
This is not to dissuade anyone from trying the Pirates of The Caribbean content for themselves honestly. If you have an Xbox, you have GamePass (and if you don’t what is wrong with you). And if you are already playing Sea of Thieves this is just a bonus and that’s the beauty of Gamepass, at most you are out whatever amount of time you give the game. But personally, this just ticked a lot of boxes to make it an unpleasant enough experience for me that I probably won’t finish the content, maybe I’ll give it one more go at a future date and if my feelings change, hey I’ll write about that.
That’s all for now, I don’t think I’ll have anything else this weekend but probably early next week so see ya real soon!