Sea of Thieves: What Else Could the Xbox One Communal Pirate Adventurer Offer?

Sea of Thieves

One of the most praised games playable on the show floor at E3 last month wasn’t a big AAA shooter or one of Sony’s many mature third-person thrillers. It was Rare’s communal pirate adventurer Sea of Thieves for Xbox One. Like most first showings at E3 Rare only offered a glimpse at what the finished game will entail. The missing components could be what make or break the company’s big foray away from Kinect.

The Sea of Thieves trailer and demo tasked groups of players with cooperatively sailing a pirate ship and then pitting that ship against another ship in battle. Open lines of communication were required to make sure the crews were in sync raising the masts, steering, shooting, and even plugging holes.


This type of communal activity has the potential to seamlessly translate from the real world to the digital one. A good modern day example would be bingo where a group of players come together and share in each other’s joy and misery. Playing bingo online carries forth that celebration and in some respects is replacing the old school ways.

So far the Sea of Thieves E3 demo and reactions prove that cooperatively manning a pirate ship with a group of friends is a blast as it likely was in real life. What else might Sea of Thieves offer? Right now that answer isn’t available.

Other activities pirates formerly partook in included hunting for treasure and plundering. Neither of these naturally play into the idea of cooperation among a crew; unless the crew is fighting each other to see who can get the treasure first.

The beauty of Sea of Thieves thus far is being forced to work with friends to solve problems and complete goals. There are opportunities for Rare to create elaborate Indiana Jones-like traps that only a group effort can get around in order to reach a treasure. Rare could also offer puzzles where each crew member is responsible for solving one part.

Some kind of shared loot system would also encourage cooperative play. I could see players taking turns in pirate gambling games where the stakes are even for everyone; win or lose as a crew.

Without a release date it will likely be holiday 2017 at the earliest before Sea of Thieves sails into stores. There’s plenty of time for Rare to turn a sound concept into an expansive experience.

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