When it comes to platform exclusives, it’s usually an exciting time for a gamer if they are on that specific platform, and both Nintendo and Sony have been providing their players with a variety of exclusives, which have been very well received. In the Microsoft camp, it’s been somewhat of a different story, as they haven’t exactly been plentiful, but when an Exclusive game comes along for Xbox, it’s definitely met with more expectations. However, for “Sea of Thieves”, a game that showed a huge amount of promise doesn’t look like it’s the Pirate paradise we were hoping for.

gamerankings vs sea of thieves

At this very moment, the Xbox One version of”Sea of thieves” only has an 68.20% average grade via Gamerankings.com.

metacritic vs sea of thieves

The Xbox One version of “Sea of thieves” isn’t much better off on Metacritic either (the user score is currently 5.5/10, while the PC-version is even worse of with its user score of 4.6/10).

Right of the bat, being a PlayStation owner. I have to state that I’m yet to play the game. Even so, I have followed “Sea of Thieves” closely for quite a while now as it was one of the few games I considered buying an Xbox for (just don’t tell the wife), it blends a lot of things I like, Pirates, playing with your friends and annoying other people.  However, I think I might hold off that buy button as I’m a bit concerned that the game has been lambasted with negative reviews and feedback, The Xbox One version of “Sea of Thieves” currently sits at a 71/100 score on Metacritic. So what exactly went wrong here?

pantsuit emporium vs sea of thieves

Pantsuit_Emporium (a Reddit user and “Sea of thieves” player) may have some good points, but it feels like it’s a little too late for any of that right now…

Well, many players and reviewers are citing that the game is shallow and doesn’t offer much in the form of content…And that includes everything from facing the same sort of enemies over and over again, lack of customization to repetitive quests. Furthermore, there’re no bounties that can be placed on players or a decent hub space, somewhere like Tortuga would have been great where players could have met, gamble and do other social activities, this should have been an obvious decision, but it appears as if the “Sea of Thieves” development was fueled by a bit too much rum, or not enough depending on your perspective.

tom beddall vs sea of thieves

Tom Beddall (a former “Sea of thieves” and Rare artist) knew over one year ago that there would be one hell of a shit storm once “Sea of thieves” would launch on the market. You see, according to Beddall. His former “Sea of thieves” co-workers voiced their concerns that “Sea of thieves” was insanely repetitive and shallow, and these concerns is said to have started long before SOT hit the market. In other words, RARE knew about these problems, but went on with the full release anyways…

Hell, even a former artist (Tom Beddall) of “Sea of Thieves” stated the following via Reddit (Beddall did so on the 21st of March):

“Tom Beddall” sounded off in the comments section stating “I worked on this game for over 2 years. A lot of internal people voiced their concerns that the game was insanely repetitive and shallow. This was about a year ago before I left. I guess nothing has changed. I’ve been waiting a year for this day and the shit storm that would hit once everyone realised they had been sold half a game. I’m gonna sit back with a few beers and watch the story unfold”.

Beddall then goes deeper into the matter by stating how he felt criticisms were ignored and that the game never really ended up being what it was supposed to be, it makes for an interesting read and gives some insight to a troubled development, especially on how long it took to design the ship, Beddall stated: “The main pirate ship was constantly being worked on the whole time I was there. That’s two years for one asset.” Which for one asset is pretty darn insane, I wonder how this compares to the development of the ships in “Assassin Creed Black Flag”?

sea of thieves is a blast with friends

“Sea of Thieves” is without a doubt a blast to play with friends, but is there enough to do in the game? (not by the looks of it…).

Of course, many players are complaining that review scores or final opinions are being given way too early, and the game doesn’t open up until much, much later. Now I don’t think this is some sort of conspiracy in attacking Xbox exclusives, there’s clearly something not right here, “Sea of Thieves” is obviously lacking particular social mechanics that are a staple in shared world games. “Destiny” has the Tower, “The Division” had your home base, even “Plants Vs Zombies Garden Warfare 2” has a huge hub for players to interact in.

Even so, what I can’t understand is, how? Is it really that bad? If you hop onto Youtube right now, there are hundreds of videos of people having an absolute blast with their friends, firing each other out of cannons, attacking other ships and role-playing as a pirate in general, there’s even a video of four guys singing a Shanti.

sea of thieves looks great on xbox one x

Visually, “Sea of Thieves” looks bloody good. Especially on the Xbox One X. So that’s at least something positive to be said about the game.

My point would be that there is certainly something here that keeps players up to the early hours. Rare nailed that feeling at being at sea, it looks utterly compelling. However, it appears it may be due to the early access beta tests, because it appears as if the final product hasn’t really changed. You see, players are noticing that upon the game’s retail release, there’s not much that’s different.

So right now, “Sea of Thieves” is in a rather sticky position. Especially since the game should have been Xbox’s new flagship franchise, and I still have some hope that it still can be all that and more, but this can only be achieved with solid content updates and expansions. More and more games are being treated as a live service, with the success of games like Fortnite that receives constant updates and additions, this is what “Sea of Thieves” needs to remain relevant, to keep players playing.

sea of thieves the multiplayer aspect

The multiplayer aspect is the main draw. So if RARE wants to support “Sea of Thieves” properly, then this game will grow to a must buy with no doubt.

I mean, sure,  “Sea of Thieves” nails the social aspect of playing with your mates and probably does it better than many other games. This has been seen with games like “Driveclub”, “Gran Turismo”, “Division”, “Destiny” and “No Man’s Sky” (NMS had a lot of problems on release though) proving that overtime some games can be improved upon in various ways. Simply put, “Sea of Thieves” might need several months to become more alluring for those still unconvinced.

So the bottom line is that Microsoft and RARE have a license to print money with this game, there’s so much they could still do, but for larger things like a large social space and different ships (let’s face it if it took a year to do one ship I doubt we’ll see more) it’s probably too little too late.  In other words, it all depends on how much the Xbox Division what to support this game. Nevertheless, I genuinely had hope for “Sea of Thieves” to be a huge success but as it stands as of now. I don’t think I’ll be buying an Xbox One anytime soon.

And with that said, what’s your take on this matter? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section down below!

Robin Ek – Editor and co-writer.

Reddit (archived link: http://archive.is/49V9l)
Tom Beddall  (a former ” Sea of Thieves” artist)
Sea of Thieves is a disguised early access (Crowbcat)
The official Sea of thieves forum
Comicbook.com (“Former Sea of Thieves Artist Calls it Shallow, Repetitive, and Half a Game”)

This is a personal opinion of the writer, and it doesn’t necessarily represent the other writers (nor The Gaming Ground´s) opinions.

tgg author avatar Sharn Daniels uk
Sharn Daniels
The Gaming Ground
Twitter: @SharnOfTheDEAD

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