The Xbox One exclusive Sea of Thieves from Rare enjoyed a large presence at Microsoft’s E3 press conference for the second year in a row. The pirate blundering segment ended on a downer when a Sea of Thieves release date announcement failed to wash ashore.
Despite the lack of a concrete release date, we did learn of several new Sea of Thieves features introduced during the nearly 10-minute gameplay walkthrough trailer, viewable below in its entirety.
The first and largest involves swimming underwater and into a shipwreck with lungs of steel that even Superman would be jealous of. Underwater exploration looks to play a key role in treasure hunting, or as grounds for survival in case one accidentally jumps off a pirate ship.
Speaking of Superman, you can humorously load yourself into a cannon and blast yourself from a fort into your ship or vice-versa. We’re talking sailing hundreds of feet through the air and not dying on impact.
There doesn’t appear to be any sort of mini-game attached to this comical feat, which is a shame. I could see a crew loading themselves into cannons and simultaneously seeing who can shoot themselves the furthest. Flight stats would also be hilarious to keep track of.
Any time spent in the waters, shallows or otherwise, is an invitation for sharks to attack. There are quite a few sharks lurking around so diving into shipwrecks brings its own unique set of challenges.
Speaking of sea creatures, the new key art and a cave painting all but confirm that a giant octopus boss will pop up at some point during the game.
Also revealed is combat at night during furious storms. The much-improved water and lighting effects versus last year are most evident after the sun sets.
As for the Sea of Thieves release date, Rare has confirmed an early 2018 time frame for when the game will drop. That pushes the game right out of the holiday window and out of the Xbox X launch games lineup.