Don’t you feel like all the recent pop culture fervour of the last decade has been strongly zombie-related? The fact that The Walking Dead is in its eighth season tells you all you need to know, but there was also World War Z and all sorts of zombie-related video games.
Sure, we’ve had Pirates of the Caribbean but, where’s all the great pirate stuff?
I’ll tell you where! It’s stuffed in Sea of Thieves.
Sea of Thieves is a online multiplayer game that’s probably best described as a Pirate Life simulator. The first time I played it, I hated it.
Quick story time for Today I Discovered:
The very first time I stepped into Sea of Thieves I had no idea what I was doing, I didn’t really understand what the game was asking me to do and I looked at it as a huge gamble by English game developer Rare – one that I didn’t believe was going to pay off. I told the Executive Producer as much, after bumping into him at one of Australia’s big gaming conventions.
This game is trash.
To his credit, he didn’t just write me off as a blubbering nobody – as he should have – but he offered to explain to me that, hey, perhaps a demo in the middle of a busy convention wasn’t exactly the right way to try this game and that I should maybe rethink it.
I wanted to hate this game. I wanted Rare to go back to their hilarious brand of expertly crafted 3D platformers like back in the heyday of the 90s. Banjo-Kazooie, Conker’s Bad Fur Day… Games that shaped my childhood. Where have they all gone?
But after speaking with the EP, I decided I’d at least give it another go. Somewhere along the way, it clicked.
When you start off in Sea of Thieves, you can either decide to travel solo or with a crew of up to three other members. Bigger crews have access to a bigger ship. The core gameplay loop is about taking ‘voyages’ with your crew, where you get to hunt down enemies and treasure or ferry goods from island to island. The game is populated by other pirate crews – some are antagonistic, some are pacifists, but all of them are real people, playing the game somewhere else in the world.
Playing with your own crew is a hilarious and rewarding adventure. You’re unbound by any true end goal, besides the idea that you want to build up your war chest until you can become a Pirate Legend. Last night, for instance, our small crew of three sailed for about thirty minutes, chased by a rival crew. We were sunk multiple times in our three hour play session. We lost treasure and some rewards – but we didn’t care. We sailed onward.
We didn’t even complete a single voyage.
It’s truly a happy accident simulator, a game where you’re given the freedom to play as you desire. It creates stories that you can tell to others over a real-world beer.
But it’s true that on release day, the game has had its fair share of issues. Many players are finding that they can’t log into the game as it gets hit with a huge amount of new players. However, even with that setback, it rocketed to number one for viewers on Twitch yesterday, overtaking the incredibly popular Fortnite. There’s a real buzz about it.
Sadly, that huge influx of players on Day One have consistently crippled its servers,so if you’re looking to get into a game right now, you might be having a hard time.
Those that can though? They’re in for a treat.
It’s well worth playing if you’ve ever been interested in playing pretend, being a pirate or just like creating happy accidents that make you laugh until you cry.
Today I Discovered is a daily dose of facts for Lifehacker readers – the weird, wonderful and sometimes worrying. Most of the time, it’s just mind-blowing. Let us know if you discovered anything that blew your mind in the comments!