SEA OF THIEVES
It’s been over six months since Rare set sail with its fun take on being a buccaneer, so it felt like the right time to rediscover my sea legs and break out some shanties, especially after the addition of a whole new area in the shape of the Forsaken Shores. It’s been a while since I last played so I decide to stick to a single-player sloop so I don’t embarrass myself in a crew setting – only the chickens can judge me.
It takes a few attempts to get back into the rhythm of popping down to navigate where I am on the map compared to where I’m steering. I opt for a few simple treasure map runs to dip my toes into these bright waters and get used to everything again. It’s surprising how fast I find my seafaring confidence – before I know it I’m diligently zipping around my tiny ship attending to cannons and leaks like I’d never been away. The joy of the wind fully being in my sails and the waves playfully bouncing around me reminds me why I loved this game originally.
However, that pleasant relaxation is quickly replaced with wide-eyed horror and disbelief as I venture towards The Devil’s Roar – the brand new volcanic area that’s been added in the Forsaken
Shores expansion. For starters, playing solo here is a mistake – you’ll be getting incredibly well acquainted with the captain of the Ferry of the Damned. After being boiled alive twice before I learn my lesson, I jump ship from my sloop and join some others. We do the smart thing and prep ourselves with extra bananas and a newly added row boat to avoid our skin melting off in the future. Hot stuff While we sail over to hunt for our first chest we see another ship in the distance, though there’s no hint of them wanting to come over for a
“The joy of the wind fully being in my sails reminds me why I loved this game originally”
fight – with so much new content now everyone is focused on their own quests rather than blowing holes in your hull. When we reach our destination we all awkwardly cram ourselves into our tiny raft making for a gloriously ridiculous sight – three burly sailors stuffed in at one end while one poor soul does all of the work at the other.
Surprisingly things are going smoothly: we manage to locate the right spot pretty quickly with minimal squabbling and only a few skeletons to contend with. It’s going so well I worry that maybe this expansion is disappointingly more of the same, but as soon as we get back to our ship all hell breaks loose as a nearby island starts spewing heated rocks and lava at us. At first we marvel at the gorgeous light show as we lower the sails, but awe turns to terror as one of the rocks hits the boat. The sheer heat from the impact burns everyone on board, making health bars drop dangerously low. Everyone panics.
The water gushing in is also super heated and burns all who step into it for too long. Two unfortunate crew succumb straight away while I frantically bail from the edge. I’m not fast enough though, we manage to fix two holes, but as another rock hits us I fall into darkness. When I awake it’s alone at sea, the ship and our treasure gone.
Eventually I just hear cackling in my headset, “Well, that didn’t go as expected.” The laughing continues as we respawn the ship. No rage quitting or fuss, just a solid crew determined to try again. I find myself hooked once more: it’s the camaraderie in chaos that makes Sea Of Thieves so great.