We like to bring you the latest from the indie scene, focussing on the small guys and not just giving the limelight to the big hitters out there. But every now and again, one of the bigger names gets something uniquely right, so much so, that you can’t explain it. For me, personally, it’s Sea of Thieves – if you would allow me to explain why.
I haven’t played much recently, my controllers have sat to one side for longer than they normally would and for longer than I’d normally like them to. What with starting a new job and planning a wedding, my evenings haven’t been as relaxed as they have been in the recent past. But Sea of Thieves has been the one game that has kept me coming back for more and, on some occasions, for a few hours at a time. A few hours these days is a significant thing.
Off You Go!
For many, this would probably not seem like a big deal or something out of the unordinary, but I’m not normally one for online gaming, opting for the classic solo experience, or one to play games that don’t really have a ‘point’ or endgame either. When I’m gaming, I like them to have a reason for doing something, making me want to play or justifying what I’m doing pushing me towards the end goal. But Sea of Thieves doesn’t have that. It’s very much a case of ‘here’s the world – off you go’ and allows you to make your own memories and experiences.
What I also like as well is that everything you can collect and buy (using in-game currency) is all cosmetic. There’s no imbalance of power or a shift in dynamic when you level up and, to date, you won’t be on the back foot should you jump in at a later date. This, to me, is gaming done right and fair. No over-powering and no dividing the community and, what’s more, the content that is coming for it is going to be both regular and free. That’s something that can’t be said for most games out there that are hungry for the contents of the wallets of loyal fans.
Don’t get me wrong, Sea of Thieves isn’t without its criticisms as it isn’t the perfect game. The voyages on offer at present can get a little repetitive and until the bigger chunks of content arrive, it is limited in variety. The hungering deep has just arrived though, whereby you can summon a Megalodon which requires the completion of a series of preceding quests before you can do so. Plus there’s still more to come in weekly updates and larger content drops in the Cursed Sails in July and Forsaken Shores in September.
That aside, my enjoyment for the game has not come from the content, more the enjoyment of just playing the game and being able to enjoy it. It’s not a game where it makes you rage or be tempted to throw the controller through the window and has quickly become that title where I send a message to friends asking if they’re going online. When they do, we have a great time exploring and just sailing, chatting whilst we do and playing a shanty or two en route.
The occasional tense moment where you find someone else in your world and don’t know if they will be friendly or hostile also makes you doubt whether or not you should have cashed your booty in sooner. It scratches an itch and allows me to unwind and catch up with some friends, whilst meeting up with some new people should we decide to voyage with them.
It’s hard to pinpoint what the ‘it’ is when a game does it for you and it’s completely subjective, but is there a game that you enjoy playing and keep coming back for more?