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Sea of Thieves’ storms, skeletons and treasure hunting

Plunderin' while it's thunderin'

Pirates, the most untrustworthy of the Cowboy-Pirate-Zombie triumvirate in charge of the videogame industry, are getting their fill of the E3 booty this year. While Ubisoft revealed Skull and Bones, Microsoft have shown off more of the type of thing you’ll be doing in their online co-op plunder-em-up Sea of Thieves [official site]. You can see a Scottishly narrated (and highly scripted) example of a treasure hunt reaching its stormy conclusion in this trailer below deck.

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Despite the heavily orchestrated nature of all that, it’s a good showcase of the different features. Sharks, underwater wrecks, loot chests, firing yourself from the ship’s cannon. I really like that you can hold up maps and riddle pages for other people to look at them – such a small but fun touch that we've seen before. I am cautiously optimistic that this will be a much better take on co-op piracy than the ship-to-ship combat of Blackwake, which I found more of a clunky novelty than a true swashbuckling adventure.

There are still things it doesn’t show – exactly what do you do with all the treasure you’re looting, for instance? We’re told you trade it in at an outpost – but for what? I would be happy with being able to buy loads of clothes and tattoos from some rum-sodden party port. But you will also be able to customise your pirate ship, say the devs. Giant tattoos for the ship as well? We can live in hope.

It’s coming out “early 2018” and sadly it is for Windows 10 only (and Xbox, obv), leaving us ultra-stubborn non-upgraders out in the cold.

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