Sea of Thieves

It’s a misconception that Sea of Thieves lacks depth (it’s actually quite deep). The game lacks breadth, but thats actually genius on Rare’s part.

SOT E3 2016 Desktop 3 1920x1080 1024x576 - It's a misconception that Sea of Thieves lacks depth (it's actually quite deep). The game lacks breadth, but thats actually genius on Rare's part.
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After seeing some footage of Skull and Bones and what looked like some pretty shallow naval combat covered with a heavy layer of varnish, I've come to the realization that Sea of Thieves is actually a deep game.

Let's contrast the combat of Skull and Bones with Sea of Thieves for a second. In Skull and Bones it looks like you probably control the ship like one would contol a tank in a war game: you press a button or trigger to accelerate, stear and aim with the analog sticks, and shoot enemies until their health bar depletes. That seems so shallow and lifeless compared to the combat in Sea of Thieves where you must frantically try to adjust sails, repair your hull, and get the right angle for the perfect shot on your enemy all at the same time.

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Despite its lack of bells and whistles, Sea of Thieves really nailed something: the core mechanic of being a pirate. When I play Sea of Thieves I feel like a pirate. A lot of people take that feeling for granted, but capturing that feeling is no easy task. It's the result of hundreds of hours of playtesting and iterating until that perfect balance is achieved. It's subtle and the end result is invisible, but it gives the game depth. It gives the game its soul. Few games have so maticulously captured their essence–their very reason for existing–as well as Sea of Thieves has. Simply put, the game is elegant.

I think their development methodology is actually quite ingenious too: perfect the core experience, release the game with great mechanics albeit a void of content, fill the void with exactly what the fans ask for and grow the game organically with your audience over time. This methodology works so well because who knows better what bells and whistles are wanted than the gamers themselves?

I envision this game growing into a true masterpiece over time.


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