A pi­rate’s life turns out to be a mix­ture of up­roar­i­ous fun and joy-suck­ing bore­dom in this Xbox-ex­clu­sive mul­ti­player romp

Stuff Middle East - - Tested Games -

he idea be­hind Sea of Thieves is so bril­liant that it’s hard to be­lieve no one thought of it be­fore. You and up to three of your mates play as pi­rates in a giant on­line world, sail­ing the high seas, plun­der­ing trea­sure and bol­ster­ing your rep­u­ta­tions to leg­endary sta­tus. Who wouldn’t want to play that game?

It’s a lu­di­crously cool con­cept… un­til you re­alise you’ve al­ready seen ev­ery­thing Sea of Thieves has to of­fer. This is a plan that’s in need of flesh­ing out.

Even so, it’s a game that does a hell of a lot right – and cru­cially, it does this stuff dif­fer­ently to pretty much ev­ery on­line mul­ti­player game go­ing right now. Un­like Fort­nite or PUBG, the fo­cus here is on lark­ing about with mates rather than blast­ing your way to the top of a leader­board. The best mo­ments in­volve div­ing con­tests off the crow’s nest, and who can chuck the most grog-in­duced vomit at a crew­mate.

As im­pres­sive as th­ese sto­ries are, they’d lose a lit­tle of their lus­tre were they set on a shabby ex­panse of ocean. But one glance at the lilt­ing waves and glis­ten­ing sky is enough to win you over. The car­toon­ish re­sults re­ally are a de­light, es­pe­cially play­ing in 4K with HDR on the Xbox One X.

Right now, Sea of Thieves has two ma­jor is­sues. Firstly, it’s only re­ally fun in a group of friends. And se­condly, it fea­tures an ex­tremely one-di­men­sional grind of solv­ing rid­dles and dig­ging up trea­sure, which you’ll tire of sooner or later. Yes, you can spend your gold on cos­metic up­grades to im­prove your pi­rate sta­tus, and Skele­ton Forts do prove a de­cent chal­lenge, but none of this is enough to make you want to stick with the game in the long run.

While it’s fair to say all mas­sive mul­ti­player on­line games are some­thing of a work in progress at launch, the lack of con­tent here is still a downer. There’s ev­ery chance Sea of Thieves will one day turn out to be the game you’d want it to be. But right now, it’s a fair way from de­liv­er­ing on its tan­ta­lis­ing prom­ise.

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