Picture Courtesy of Seattle Times
Sea of Thieves Gameplay at the XBOX Booth, E3 2017.

Sea of Thieves was one of my highlights from E3 2017, and for many others as well. It was nearly impossible to even get in to play the game. The line was not a long a que, just a short and simple wrap around. The booth was setup right in the middle of the Xbox showcase and everyone was trying to plunder some booty. Seriously, I mean EVERYONE! Due to the short line system and it being right in the middle of the showcase, people couldn’t wait outside of the line even if they wanted to. They had a gentleman standing in front of the line to make sure no one was waiting outside of it and to keep traffic moving. So, like everyone else, I just walked in circles around the Xbox showcase waiting for the line to open back up and hopefully getting a spot in line. The problem was that it was a 30 minute demo and they only let 12 people in at a time. So you really had to be lucky or else you’d be walking in circles for hours. Well, the time came. About 40 people walking in circles, including myself, all flocked to get a spot in line. After a few minutes of everyone pushing and shoving, we were told if  both of your feet were not on the wooden planks that indicated where the line was, you had to go do more circles. Luckily enough, I made it with both feet barely hanging off the planks and being squished like you wouldn’t believe.

A crew playing Sea of Thieves at E3 2017

After waiting 2 hours in line, which really wasn’t that bad, I finally had my stake on the high seas! There was five us as one crew and 3 other crews playing, trying to get a sweet piece of the booty as well. Oh, and there were developers from Rare leading us through our drunken journey. The first five to ten minutes of the demo, we were all getting acquainted with each other and figuring out how the hell we set sail. After some banter and mishaps we finally raised the anchor and dropped the sails. Now that we were on our way, a new problem arose, where the hell are we going? We all looked at our treasure map, went down into the captains quarters and all agreed on our destination over a few beers.

Pirates sailing away from their ship, engulfed by the Kraken.

The controls of the game felt familiar and was super easy to learn. Once we figured out what we were doing, there really was no question of how do I do this or what buttons do I press. It all felt natural and if you really couldn’t figure it out, it eventually showed you what to do in game. Aside from being a great social game to play with strangers or friends, its was also some major eye candy! Artistically, it is visually stunning with bright, rich colors and a captivating atmosphere.

We had some troubles arise such as crashing the ship, bucketing water over that was seeping through the holes, swimming away from sharks as we drunkly walked the plank and re-killing(?) the already dead monsters that arose from the ground trying to hinder us from claiming our reward.

Pirates claiming treasure as they get chased by skeletons.

Unfortunately, we never found our treasure. In fact, we were not even close to the right island! Trying to set sail, conquer any problems along the way and find the treasure was all too much to accomplish in a 30 minute demo. And that is a good thing! There is so much to do in this game aside from just getting booty. This game is an absolute adventure every second. The 30 minutes that I did get to play this game was unlike any game out right now.  If felt refreshing on an up and coming new genre of games. The team here at GDN can’t wait to play this again and redeem ourself of some booty and possibly become the kings of the seas.


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