I want to like Sea Of Thieves so badly that I’ve convinced myself I do like it, even though deep inside I find it quite dull to play. I don’t understand why I find it dull. The premise is superb, it looks great, and I know lots of folks who routinely have the time of their lives being weird, balloon-bodied pirates. I just can’t seem to see what they’re seeing.
Well, that’s not strictly true. The few sessions I have played, with folks here at RPS, have been a right laugh. But without sounding like a bit of a poorly elephant, I mostly put that down to my colleagues being fun people to hang out with, rather than to anything we actually did in the game (although firing myself out of a cannon at a kraken was fairly noteworthy). Even if the fun I’ve had is largely down to company, mind, I’ll still applaud Sea Of Thieves for providing such a pretty, easygoing place to hang out.
As beautiful as it is, however, with its over-the-top character art and gorgeous, skillful rendering of the titular sea itself, I just can’t seem to get excited by any of the pastimes Sea Of Thieves has to offer me. Again, there’s a strange disconnect between theory and practise. I love the idea of running around, operating the various pulleys and flappers on a boat along with my mates, but in practice I find that – ludicrously – I just can’t be arsed.
I love the idea of setting sail for distant islands looking for treasure, but it always boils down to running aimlessly around an island for a few minutes, until someone else says they’ve found the chest and we go back to the ship. Maybe I’ll run into a skeleton, and click at it for a bit until it bursts, but that doesn’t feel like adventure.
As you’re probably working out by now, I’m not very good at Sea Of Thieves. This is true, and it’s probably the main reason I don’t get much out of the game. Admittedly I find the wheel-based inventory system strangely unintuitive (I always end up packing handfuls of worms into my mouth), but that’s nothing that wouldn’t be solved with a bit of practice. And that, matey, is something I’m only going to get by playing more of the game. Time to weigh anchor again, I think.
[Sea Of Thieves is amazing. I have a ship’s cat and regularly go to sea with my brothers. This usually ends with my younger brother setting the ship on fire on purpose. Nate is clearly not trying hard enough. – ed.]