Rare’s Sea of Thieves is a stunning, very fun game. Though, there’s no overlooking that fact that it launched with very little content and depth. This criticism was shared not only by myself, but with countless fans and outlets alike. Back in March, players would jump in the game, pick up one of three differently themed voyages, and sail off – no questions asked. Despite the game’s sizable world map, there just wasn’t much else to do save fighting a Kraken, defeating a Skeleton Fort or battling it out with other Sea of Thieves players.
Now, don’t get me wrong. This concept pleases many, in fact, I hardly put the game down for months myself. I would religiously log in, pick up my bounties and work towards becoming the next Pirate Legend – something that’s achieved by reaching level 50 across all three of the game’s vendors. Though even so, the game eventually began to wear a bit thin for me. The notion of going out to do the same thing over and over, just didn’t keep me as engaged as I thought that it would, not until Rare introduced new, fresh content, that is.
Rare had always planned to support the game for the long run. The game’s first content drop, The Hungering Deep, wasn’t exactly sizable, but it did hit the spot for many. The expansion pulled in a blend of both permanent content and time-limited content, however, it hardly bolstered the game’s content issue. The same can be said about the game’s second expansion, Cursed Sails. Cursed Sails was much deeper than The Hungering Deep, and even pulled in a new ship type, but it still didn’t help with the overall lack of content and diversity.
Now, however, Forsaken Shores is upon us, the game’s third and largest expansion so far. If anything, Sea of Thieves is now in a state that it should have launched in. When we group the core game together with the permanent content that each expansion has introduced, as well as the bi-weekly adventuring drops that Rare frequently implement, it’s hard to argue about diversity now. Comparing Sea of Thieves in its current state, to the state of the game when it arrived in March, only highlights Rare’s commitment to heavily support and alter it.
Back in March, as aforementioned, players had to make do with voyaging, AI combat and player combat. Now, however, the game has a new ship type, two new large AI enemy encounters, heaps of new cosmetics and tools, new gameplay functionalities, plenty more rewards, a new sprawling (dangerous) map extension, and more. Rare’s decision to keep their bi-weekly adventuring content permanently in the game also adds that extra layer of immersion, but that’s not all that’s coming to the beautiful world of Rare’s Sea of Thieves.
Earlier in the year, Rare announced that they had a total of four internal teams that are working on individual content drops, and would cycle around each other as new content is released. For instance, the team that worked on The Hungering Deep immediately began to work on an expansion that would follow on from Forsaken Shores, whereas the team working on Cursed Sails, would presumably work on content to release after that, and so on and so forth. This creates a flow of content that will see the game grow at a constant pace.
Safe to say, Sea of Thieves is only going to get bigger and better. It helps that Rare are so community involved and can adapt and alter content on the fly, in accordance with fan demand. In the coming weeks, Forsaken Shores will introduce Cargo Runs – a new vendor assignment that sees players scrambling to look after and deliver goods in return for rewards. The better the condition of the wares when delivered, determines their ultimate value. That’s not to mention to the newly introduced rowboats and new map mechanics.
As alluded to above, Forsaken Shores brings in a new eastern section of the map. This new map section, known as Devil’s Roar, is easily the most interesting and most engaging piece of the map so far. Devil’s Roar is a hostile environment that’s chock-full of volcanic landmarks, treacherous earthquakes, lava spills, and even geysers. Players taking on voyages in this devastating location need to stay constantly vigilant and alert, making for an experience that’s constantly exciting from the off, and unlike anything else found in-game.
I’m not even scratching the surface as far as content diversity goes here, and I could on and on about how much Sea of Thieves has to offer now and discuss every fine detail that each update and expansion has introduced, but I’d be here all day explaining its diversity. The bottom line here is that Sea of Thieves can now be taken a hell of a lot more seriously than ever before, and things are only looking up as time moves on and Rare continue to throw in new mechanics, new items, new treasures and much, much more; fishing, pets, etc…
It’s a shame we’re not seeing any more new chests or skull types, or more world building, but I have to take my hat off to Rare. They’ve stuck to their guns and delivered on their promises. If you fell off the Sea of Thieves bandwagon recently, I cant stress enough that you consider giving it another go. You’ll likely be left as impressed as I have been. What are your thoughts on the game? Have you been enjoying the life of a pirate since launch? Or perhaps pulled up your sails and vowed never to return? Hit the comments below.