Is Sea of Thieves worth playing in 2021?
Sea of Thieves was one of those games that truly got us hyped because it was such a refreshing take on cooperative gaming. When we picked up the game in 2018, the visuals absolutely blew us away as it does to this day. However, soon after we set sail for a couple of long sessions, our crew collectively felt that the content was lacking and we parted ways with this beautiful game. However, that changed when we came back in 2021 and in this post we will highlight some reasons that made us stay. PS, for those looking for a short answer, yes Sea of Thieves is worth playing in 2021.
Sea of Thieves endgame
The reason we left in 2018 was the lack of endgame and the monotony of getting there. While you could have achieved pirate legends status back in 2018, it was quite a linear path getting there without a lot of things to do along the way. Looking at that in 2021, the way you achieve pirate legend remains the same, but the picture has gotten way more colour. You can argue that there still isn’t any endgame for Sea of Thieves, but that will depend on what you want out of the game. Sure, you unlock new adventures once you achieve Pirate Legend status, but so what? For us, it creates a sense of freedom in this sandbox pirate masterpiece. There are the obvious rewards such as better voyages and more cosmetics, but more importantly, players no longer have to aggressively only focus on getting the three factions’s reputation maxed out. Players can shift their focus on either of the Athena quests, max out other factions’s reputation, or simply bask in their epic status of being a Pirate Legend.
What do we mean when we say the picture has gotten more colour? Let’s look at those elements that truly brought new life to the game.
New loot in Sea of Thieves
When embarking on an exciting voyage, you will face many new distractions, dangers, and opportunities along the way. All of them will result in some juicy loot. Apart from the PvP being a constant threat and excitement factor, they have added many new options to fill your pockets:
As you peacefully avoid players and mind your own business on your voyage, you never know when a skeleton ship might decide that you have to be stopped at all costs. The crew of the undead controls skeleton ships, and they are damn hard to kill. They come in different variants too, a 1-2 player ship size and the 4 player ship size. Be ready to take on the fight if you do not have the necessary juke skills to flee. Not to worry though, once you have sent them down to Davy Jones’s locker, epic loot awaits!
Random loot in the water
While there have been barrels floating around back in 2018, they now have more and better loot. The barrels have more loot because they have added more items to the game since then so you can expect firebombs, blunder bombs and even cooked fish! Apart from the barrels, you might also find valuable gems and skulls floating around to help level your company reputation.
When you see a green skull cloud, it is a sign that there is a skeleton fort that is active and acts like a meal bell across the map for all players. You can choose to be the first to beat all the skeleton waves on the island or you can bide your time and let someone else do the hard work while you swoop in and sail away with their hard earned loot. It is up to you! Again, turning in this loot aids your quest to become a Pirate Legend.
Let’s talk about cosmetics for a second. You can argue that by simply changing your appearance you don’t gain a lot. Well, we beg to differ. Rocking the complete Admiral or Sea crawler set is nothing short of feeling like the epic pirate you are. Since 2018 Sea of Thieves added lots of things that you can purchase to let your fellow pirates know that you have been around the block and they should think twice before standing toe-to-toe with you. What we love about the vast array of cosmetics is that they are extremely well priced and you can almost always buy one or two epic looking items after a session.
Since we played in 2018, getting your ship to look and feel epic felt out of reach and only viable for content creators. This time around though, they have added so many options to choose from, you really have no excuse to have a cheap looking ship, unless that is the look you are going for. From epic-looking hulls to red smoke when you fire your cannons. Here is how our ship currently looks.
I didn’t think too much of this feature until I actually got myself a lava monkey pet! Apart from being damn cute, the pet brings some life to your ship when you are setting out for long voyages. Your teammates can pick up your pet, actually pet him or if there has been a squabble on deck, throw your monkey into the ocean *sadface*. Your pet walks around freely on the ship and it is a welcome surprise when your pet comes to take a nap next to you while you are at the wheel.
As you level your reputation with the different companies, you unlock both amazing items such as lanterns, tankards and even amazing costumes. So far we are digging the gold hoarder’s costume the most. With so many items to mix and match, you can truly have a unique-looking pirate.
On our voyage to find out if Sea of Thieves is worth playing we had to look at what changed in the game’s combat. Sea of Thieves still provides heart-racing action when engaging with other players in PVP. Melee and player combat stayed relatively similar, the biggest difference here is probably the amazing array of cosmetics to your weapons. The most noticeable combat change is the sea warfare. They have added the element of fire as well as an ammo type called Chainshot.
You can pick up an item called a Firebomb, these can be thrown by hand or loaded into your cannon to set your foes and their ship ablaze. Try doing this at night and see the spectacular visuals of a burning ship.
Chainshots are basically a cannon ball split in half, connected by a chain. When you successfully hit the other player’s mast it will snap, leaving them immobilised until they repair their mast.
Players and community
You might wonder if Sea of Thieves is dead and even if you wanted to play, it will be a barren wasteland with little to no player interaction. Well, you would be wrong. The game’s player base is alive and well, they celebrated 20 million pirates sailing the seas that they have created that means lots of people thinks Sea of Thieves is worth playing. What an achievement! The fact that Sea of Thieves is free to play when you have Xbox Games pass gives it an even longer lifespan.
Quests and voyages
There is a mission type that will suit almost every player’s play style. If you love being in a battle constantly, then you can focus on the Order of Souls. If you love delivering valuable cargo, then be sure to focus on the Merchant Alliance, and if you love digging up treasures and having a great time trying to solve witty riddles, the Gold Hoarders is your best bet. These are only a couple of the types of voyages available in Sea of Thieves. They added a campaign through means of Tall Tales and other company’s for which you can do different quests. Tall Tales are a chain of quests that can be active alongside a voted for voyage. When doing these Tall Tales, you can reach checkpoints and continue with your journey at another time, not forcing you to complete the whole thing in one session.
The future of Sea of Thieves
Sea of thieves is currently in season one and as with most popular games out there, they offer a season pass that keeps giving. Even if you don’t spend money on the season pass, they still give you a lot for free. We are looking forward to what they will introduce with the upcoming seasons. Having a season pass is definitely a sign that they have a longer-term plan with this game.
So is Sea of Thieves worth playing in 2021?
In times where most of us are home, Sea of Thieves is the perfect game to help you reconnect with your friends in adventurous fashion. We were overwhelmed by the game’s development when we came back from 2018 and Sea of Thieves is definitely worth playing 2021. We would even go so far as to say that it is one of the best cooperative games out there because it requires constant communication to reach a goal and provides memorable moments with your friends. Apart from the cooperative experience, it is a cathartic experience, just playing a shanty while watching the ocean roar is enough to get us hooked! We hope this post was helpful in your choice of picking up Sea of Thieves again.