Sea of Thieves: Ocean of Opportunity
Avast ye! All hands hoay!!
Sea of Thieves isn’t just an over stylised pirate-loot simulator, it’s a refreshing divergence from the current trends of contemporary video games.
The modern video game medium is a cutthroat environment, where the competition is stacked against anyone trying to make a new video game. Genres are so carefully refined to meet our every expectations and needs, with so many templates for what not to do, which rules to follow and even when you create a game that is incredible and meets every need and expectation, you get overshadowed by games like Candy Crush and Player Unknown’s Battleground.
Sea of Thieves is an innovative niche video game, there are no complex mechanics or movement systems, firing a gun is basic, the premise is very simple, the game is there as a tool and the player is the creator. That is the Beauty of it, Sea of Thieves is a ‘choose your own adventure’ game in a market that is flooded by specificity and well-established franchises, games that tell us what to do, where to go, basically holding our hands the whole way through as a means to be accessible to the masses.
Sea of Thieves is a nod to old-school gaming while incorporating contemporary modern game design creating a unique and beautiful experience.
Other games have tried to revitalize old concepts and failed. What sets this game apart is that Sea of Thieves, isn’t stuck in the past, it identifies the benefits of modern game design and incorporates them into its vision as a means to feel new and modern.
Embarking on a quest in this game isn’t for the sake of progressing with the story, in fact, the quest is a means for the player to tell their own story, to make their own adventure. Sea of thieves is a big sandbox in which the player is given tools to their own fun.
Getting through the game is the game, it is not about the destination, it’s more about the stories forged throughout the journey.
Too much of contemporary video game design relies on guiding the player and limiting their enjoyment. Too much is spent trying to limit the player early in order to give the feeling of progression, the feeling that all that time spent in the game is worth something, while forgetting the reason we play games in the first place.
Is not about progression or wanting to feel like our time is well spent, we play games to have fun.
Sea of thieves is a sandbox open world in which the player is dropped on a map with 99 other players and can choose whether to play solo, duo or with a squad of 4. The player is tasked with manning the ship, loading cannon balls, setting the sails, anchoring the ship, navigating the high seas and even battling your way for loot and booty in the true pirate fashion. A simple quest can take the players across the entire map, where you race around chasing pirates or simply just enjoying the stylised art design the game has to offer.
Sea of thieves marks a turning point for Rare, it is critical that it succeeds.
For the longest time the once incredible developer, responsible for some of the most iconic and influential games to ever come out, has been micromanaged and its creative talents have been put on a short leash- instead of leading the industry with creative game design and innovation, they were tasked with creating Viva Piñata and Kinect Sports.
Rare has had its head above water in recent times (pun intended), being able to make meaningful contributions to the industry with Killer instinct and, now, Sea of Thieves. While the coast is not clear for Rare at the moment, the fact that Microsoft has allowed the developer to just do what they do best is a massive step forward and hopefully, they can continue to build upon that.
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