At the Xbox Showcase, dedicated to the hands-on preview of all Redmond’s giant games, we managed to get a Crackdown 3 and a Forza Motorsport 7 to stop at Sea of Thieves , the “pirate simulator” The new Xbox One IP.
The title was able, in Cologne last year, to immerse ourselves in an engaging context, but it laid the foundation for entertainment on the player’s desire to create the setting and the relationships between different players.
It was a great base, but it would have to give it a living ecosystem of activity that could somehow gratify playing.
Not just self-management, but much more, which unfortunately has not yet been seen. Now, however, between a brief presentation during the conference and its full version during the test at the Showcase, we were able to have a much more complete picture of what Sea of Thieves is and what it would be like.
For a handful of experience?
Once created the connected gaming world by combining the pirate dreams of players, it was necessary to provide them with elements that would allow him to move, explore, and act: in a few words to play. A mission, or a goal, is all that the player wants to have, but within such a free and dreamlike ecosystem it was difficult to harness this in a quest for a classic mold.
Bringing the player from A to B by defeating a large number of players for a plethora of experience and two gold medals is very different from finding a real reason to carry it naturally to this task.
For this reason we are given a treasure to look for, but not according to the classic canons of the current design of the targets. Just as we saw in the last Zelda, Breath of the Wild, starting with a simple text clue, we will be led to look for the resolution of this, which will lead us to the next post and thus to the find in the treasure. By the way, any kind of control, on the map and parchments available, will be totally manual, just like navigation, which will be driven by the compass and not by a particular HUD indicator.
Exploration and combat, here’s the world that gets richer
This will be coupled in parallel with all that we had seen in the previous build, or an exploration without limits, affecting the islands and the coast, it sinks in the wreckage of the seabed and slips into the tunnels of the narrow caves.
Among other things, just in this last location in the trailer, and instead offshore in our test, we gathered to witness what is the combat system of the Sea of Thieves . A simplified system, which is not fielding other elements, if not life and ammunition, facing clashes with firearms, or just life, juggling, sword in continuous stunts and lunges.
Of course, far from thinking that this is comparable to an action much more complex, because even the fight, first of all, you have to adapt to an experience with certain times and rhythms that define every moment of life as a pirate: fighting naval, exploration, convivial situations and ground combat.
In particular, the situation of collision, very good at mixing what is happening on the deck of the ship, and what happens below deck, amid constant refills of the guns. Not to mention that it requires much more coordination than previously seen if it had to do with the naval alone.