Sea of Thieves’ The Sunken Curse Event is a Step in the Right Direction

Sea of Thieves didn’t get off to the best of starts during launch. Players had to contend with server and technical issues first and foremost, but once that subsided, an entirely different beast came forward, the lack of content. I’ve made no secret that I absolutely love this game, but even so, I don’t deny that this pirate adventure was lacking in, well, adventures. Since launch however, players have enjoyed not one, not two, not three, but four time limited events. These events have collectively delivered something new to the experience.

First there was The Hungering Deep, the game’s largest content drop to date. This drop introduced a terrifying new threat into the world as well as bringing in new items and cosmetics. This was swiftly followed by the game’s first bi-weekly event, Skeleton Thrones. Here, players were tasked with seeking out large thrones and sitting on them, either alone or with another crew – depending on the size of the throne. Once this event had wrapped up, Rare implemented Gunpowder Skeletons. Yes, you guessed it, skeletons holding TNT.

For this event, players were tasked with killing these new foes in a range of different ways under specific scenarios. The Gunpowder Skeleton event came to a head yesterday, to which Rare then introduced a brand new event that’s now live in the game, The Sunken Curse. After plugging several hours into the game last night I can safely say that this event is a big step in the right direction, and for a number of reasons too. Though, before we deep dive into that, I’ve a couple of things that I’ve been vigorously itching to get off my chest.

Sea of Thieves has been out for a number of months now and we’re all sitting on the cusp of its next new large content drop, Cursed Sails. Now, I’m not here to talk about that drop, I’ll save my opinions on that for when it eventually lands. I want to take a moment to talk about the game’s vendors. The game has a total of four vendors now, Bilge Rats, Gold Hoarders, Order of Souls and the Merchant Alliance. The latter three have been in the game since launch, whereas Bilge Rats were added specifically to support the bi-weekly events.

One thing that stands out for me, however, is how Bilge Rats are practically showing the other three vendors how things should be done. You see, each of the latter three vendors have only offered the same voyages time and time again for several months now, whereas Bilge Rats are constantly changing things up. We’ve seen more diversity and personality from this one vendor in a matter of weeks, than we’ve seen from the latter three vendors combined, in a handful of months. Wouldn’t it be nice to see more structure added? Yes.

I would love to see the game’s main vendors offering unique voyages on a bi-weekly basis, or at least a single multi-tiered legendary voyage that’s full of mystery and depth. It’s food for thought at least. My next gripe sits more inline with the upcoming Cursed Sails. Where’s the dynamics? I mean, take Fortnite for example. Look at how much that game has adapted its map as new content is thrown into the mix. Tears in time, mysterious objects appearing our of nowhere, hell, even objects getting sucked out of the map as players observe. All of that was to simply introduce season 5. Sea of Thieves would do well to follow that line.

Sure, when The Hungering Deep arrived, we saw a drunken Merrick rambling on about a huge threat incoming. He was smashed for days on end and I firmly believe it would have been more fun to see him getting more sober by the day and making more sense as time moved on. That’s minimal however. What I really want to see is Fortnite-leveled innovation when it comes to the game’s world. I want to see changes over time, not just new rocks popping up left, right and center. The game is full of hidden lore, so why not build on that?

Why haven’t we seen skeleton filled shipwrecks in preparation for Cursed Sails? Why haven’t we seen a few washed up broken Brigantines on the shores of some islands? Why are we not seeing the occasional lava-crack at the ocean bed in anticipation of Forsaken Shores? Sea of Thieves massively suits this sort of dynamic story telling, so it’s a huge shame not to see this fully realized. Hopefully Rare throws us a bone and gives us some of these intriguing map changes in the long run, weeks before the arrival of their big content drops.

Anyway, enough of my rambling. Let’s get back to The Sunken Curse. The Sunken Curse is the latest bi-weekly event in the game and challenges players to seek out and destroy hidden mermaid statues at the depths of the ocean. These statues arrive in a total of three designs; Ruby, Emerald and Sapphire. Each of these statues take a set amount of damage to destroy – depending on the color. The kicker, however, is that they will start sucking your health down when you get too close and can even regenerate their own health before long.

Sounds pretty basic right? Well, it is. It’s certainly the easiest event yet, which is a downside. The upside, on the other hand, is that this whole event can be overcome with just two players taking part. I wont deny that I enjoyed Skeleton Thrones and Gunpowder Skeletons, but the aspects of those events that demanded I try to convince other crews to help me out, really pissed me (and many others) off. Try and share a fort with another crew for a handful of currency? Yeah, I cant say that I had a lot of luck with that. If indeed any.

The Sunken Curse is a much more relaxed event that doesn’t demand the presence of another crew. Furthermore, much of what you’re required to complete only feeds into what you would be doing anyway. The mermaid statues are often found near islands and present quite a challenge if you’re not prepared. For instance, the red statues take a considerable amount of damage before breaking, meaning you may need to bring something with a little more “bang” than your sword to get the job done. It’s much easier with another crew, mind.

This is where The Sunken Curse is a step above its predecessor events. Removing the need of another crew and simply making this event easier with another crew, makes for a much more open task. I’ve found better engagement with other crews that I have encountered in passing, in comparison to the hostile encounters that required me to purposely chase after other ships in the previous events. I truly hope this is a notion that Rare sticks with in the long run. Being forced to do something isn’t fun, but having it as an option certainly is.

Again, The Sunken Curse is the easiest of all three events so far and I would have liked to see different effects radiating from each statue-type, but when all is said and done, I’ve had a blast so far, more than I ever had with the previous offerings. The Sunken Curse marks a step in the right direction and Rare would do well to build on choice rather than demand, moving forward. I’ve also enjoyed exploring more of the ocean depths, which in my opinion, isn’t focused on enough. What about you? Have you enjoyed it? Hit the comments below.

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Written by
I've been playing games for as long as I can care to remember. Here at Xbox Tavern, I write news, reviews, previews and more. I'm a long time Final Fantasy fan, I can camp like you've never seen before in most FPS, and if I'm on a racing game, I tend to purposely trade paint. Feel free to add me - Gamertag: Kaloudz

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