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For Love of the Game: Sea of Thieves Review

For Love of the Game: Sea of Thieves Review

Review by, William Griston – Gigamax Games Contributor 

Rare always managed to excite my imagination, starting with their entries in the Donkey Kong Franchise on the Super Nintendo Entertainment System. Goldeneye, Perfect Dark, and the Highly Underrated(amongst people who haven’t played it, that is) Conker’s Bad Fur Day on the Nintendo 64. When Microsoft acquired Rare from Nintendo in the early 2000s, I was pretty disheartened. I had expected the monolithic Microsoft to utterly destroy the Rare I knew. I am sure many of you have experienced the same palpable dread from time to time when it comes to this hobby.  With Bethesda’s acquisition of id Software, those fears were proven immature with the eventual release of Doom(2016). Easily one of the best shooters I’ve played in the last decade.

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After a faltering start on both the Original Xbox and the Xbox 360, those misgivings were finally assuaged with Sea of Thieves. Sea of Thieves is a return to form for the legendary Rare. the world is brimming with soul, passion, and character. Often criticised for its’ lack of content, the much-maligned Sea of Thieves quickly endeared itself to me. I wasn’t a “day one” player like much of the initial player base, but I did get into the game shortly after it was released(about a week), and was quite enamored with the world that Rare managed to craft.

From The Beginning

Sea of Thieves offers a rather large oceanic sandbox with a plethora of well designed and unique islands to explore by yourself or with a cadre of like-minded scoundrels of the sea.

The game opens up inside a fairly nondescript tavern with a bevy of pirates for you to choose as your avatar, you can lock specific models and generate more if you so choose. After choosing your pirate, you’re greeted with a screen giving you the option of playing on a Galleon(3-4 Player Vessel) or a Sloop(1-2 Player Vessel).

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The names of the various islands and outposts have a pirate-y feel to them(Keel Haul Fort, Shark Fin Camp, Skull Keep, Tri-Rock Isle). The dearth of Ocean to explore is both a blessing and a curse, with a tailwind you can cross the map in short order. With a headwind, you’re in for a slow trek across what seems to be an endless sea pocked with little bits of adventure. The RNG factor of the Wind led my crew and me to name our vessel “The Br(e)aking Wind” because you’re never too old for fart jokes.

The weakest part of the game is definitely the PVE(Player vs Environment) aspect of the game, as you’re limited to four different kinds of radiant quests given to you from one of three factions.

The Gold Hoarders, The Merchant Alliance, and finally The Order of Souls.

I am partial to the Gold Hoarders quest line, which has the stereotypical pirate’s map with an X marks the spot mechanic as well as cryptic poems of the riddle maps which start of with something like “Crescent has riches vast, from forgotten stories in the past.”

Next is the Merchant Alliance Quests, which are in essence timed fetch quests.

Go collect 300 chickens and go to this island before a fixed amount of time has passed. I found these quests to be pretty mundane if we’re being honest.

Finally, we have the Order of Souls quests, which give you a single quest or a series of quests to find and eliminate a crew of skeletons and claim the skull of the Captain.

The faction quests are akin to the quests that you are given in Skyrim, in that they generally target islands in fairly close proximity to each other, and if you pray to RNGesus, your vessel.

Where Sea of Thieves Shines

Where the game truly shines is the PVP(Player Versus Player) aspect, assuming you can find a crew of individuals with the few things required for success in Sea of Thieves: A working mic,  ears, and a couple thumbs. Sarcasm aside, with a properly crewed and run Galleon, you can rule the seas with nary a vessel to challenge your prowess. I have had the most fun trying to hit the other vessels with a Gunpowder Barrel, or simply firing myself over in a Cannon and attempting to wreak as much havoc as I can while my shipmates send a barrage of lead. The cacophony of cannons playing a boisterous dirge for the soon to be doomed ship. Something my crew and I try to do is start off our play with a Skull fort, after which we try not to visit an outpost until someone has to log off, we find that having a belly full of loot makes the PVP that much more exciting.

You play a bit harder when you have something to lose.

The meat and potatoes of the game is definitely the sailing aspect, and you are going to be doing a lot of it. Steering the vessel is done on the poop deck with the wheel, which will turn one or two full revolutions left or right depending on whether or not you’re on a Sloop or a Galleon

On each side of the ship, there are controls to raise, lower, and rotate the sails. Which controls operate which sail are pretty obvious even to a neophyte. The main key to traversing the seas is catching the wind as much as possible, otherwise, you are in for a long voyage.

Final Thoughts

Graphically, Sea of Thieves has the best looking and most realistic water effects I’ve ever seen in a video game. The character models are cartoony and have that stylised Rare feel to them, as do much of the Islands, vessels, and buildings themselves. Assuming you’re on a PC, even on the lowest graphical settings, you’ll have a gorgeous well-designed game to play.

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If you’re looking for a sandbox pirate game with enough content to keep you going for at least a week or two at a casual pace, and you enjoy PVP interactions, you’ll love Sea of Thieves.

If a set goal with a clear road of advancement is more your speed, I’d give Sea of Thieves a pass.

Regardless, I’ll be continuing my journey.

See you on the Seas, Y’arr. This article was based upon the PC/Microsoft Store version of Sea of Thieves, and may not be applicable to the Xbox One Version in any way shape or form.

Review by: William Griston, games way more than he should, but still not enough.

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Firewatch Developer Campo Santo Acquired by Valve

Firewatch Developer Campo Santo Acquired by Valve

Valve purchased the indie studio Campo Santo, the critically acclaimed developer of the game Firewatch. This news comes from a blog post on Campo Santo’s website, where the studio said it would be continuing work on its current project, In the Valley of the Gods. However, now the small studio has all the power of Valve behind them.

“In Valve we found a group of folks who, to their core, feel the same way about the work that they do (this, you may be surprised to learn, doesn’t happen every day. In us, they found a group with unique experience and valuable, diverse perspectives. It quickly became an obvious match,” explained the blog post.

“We had a series of long conversations with the people at Valve and everyone shared the satisfaction we take in working with people whose talents dwarf our own to make things we never thought possible. Both sides spoke about our values and how, when you get right down to it, we, as human beings, are hard-limited by the time we have left when it comes to making the things we care about and believe in. They asked us if we’d all be interested in coming up to Bellevue and doing that there and we said yes.” https://bit.ly/2F70YDd

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All Eyes on Valve

This move caught the attention of many in the industry due to Valve having recently taken on a reduced presence in game development and production. Instead, the company has been focusing on refining Steam as a video game delivery platform and maintaining DoTA 2. Recently, they expressed interest in returning to game development and publishing, with Gabe Newell saying that his company will start shipping games again soon. The first new game to be released by the developer is the upcoming DoTA card game, Artifact, with more titles coming soon according to Newell.

There’s no telling what could come of their purchase of Campo Santo. Rumors have been circulating that Microsoft showed interest in purchasing Valve but their recent activity would suggest the Gabe Newell might have other plans.

Be sure to keep checking back on GigamaxGames.com for more of the latest gaming news. The crew will be keeping a close eye on Campo Santo and their upcoming project as well as any more breaking Valve news.

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The Darwin Project – Let’s Play Page

The Darwin Project – Let’s Play Page

The Gigamax crew begin their adventure with The Darwin Project thanks to receiving an Alpha key for Steam. Jumping on the brand new Gigamax Gaming PC, Gigs and Mack were ready to see what this new Battle Royale game had to offer. The crew was not disappointed with what they saw.

The Darwin Project on YouTube | Gigamax Games

A New Take On A Beloved Game Mode 

A much smaller and confined experience when compared to other Battle Royale games like PUBG or Fortnite, The Darwin Project is something completely new. 7 players to a map, the game is focused on survival rather than conflict. Players are tasked with staying alive in the harsh, frozen environment. Building a fire is a necessity and upgrading your weapons is a must. Periodically, a hexagonal section of the map will turn red and become uninhabitable. Players will need to work around this obstacle and take refuge in the rapidly shrinking map.

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There’s no telling when The Darwin Project will be available to the public. The Gigamax crew will be keeping a close eye on this game as the small, Alpha experience lived up to expectations. Even for an Alpha, there were only a few changes we noticed need to be made. The future looks bright for The Darwin Project.

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PUBG Update: New Patch Expected Soon

PUBG Update: New Patch Expected Soon

Bluehole, Playerunknown’s Battleground’s developer, announced that a new update can be expected next week. Previously they stated that the weekly/monthly updates would stop in order to increase the quality of the new content. However, now it seems Bluehole is ready to deliver the quality PUBG update they think their community deserves.

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Gamers can expect the the test servers to be up for at least 2 days early next week (September 10th). People are excited to see what the developer is ready to bring to the game. In a follow up Tweet, the developer included some details about what the patch will include.

Details Revealed

It’s always a relief to see a developer continuously add and improve their games, especially when it’s not even officially released. Bug fixes are key and a new weapon is exciting, however the PUBG update further increases the competitiveness after the last big patch where First-Person servers were created. FPP leaderboards offer another huge draw to the game, focused on competitive players and those looking to make a name for themselves on one of the most popular Steam games out there.

Still Some Waiting To Do

Those looking to play the new desert map Bluehole hinted at will still need to wait. The smaller map is not expected to be released for quite some time but the original map hasn’t stopped the community from enjoying the game. The good news is the foggy weather condition addition may offer a new feel to the map everyone knows so well.

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Playerunknown’s Battleground’s has seen tremendous success, surpassing 10 million copies sold on PC. The popularity of this unique shooter doesn’t look as though it’ll fade anytime soon. With the Xbox One version expected to arrive in the Game Preview program later this year, it’s expected to open up an entirely new market for the developer. Be sure to check back on Gigamax Games for the latest gaming updates and the latest details surrounding PUBG.

Below you can find the Gigamax Games PUBG adventure!

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PLAYERUNKNOWN’S BATTLEGROUNDS Playlist

PLAYERUNKNOWN’S BATTLEGROUNDS YouTube Playlist

It’s finally happened, Mack and Gigs have taken that dive into the wonderful world of PC gaming, better known as the PC master race. To commemorate this joyous the goal now is to see “Winner Winner Chicken Dinner” in PLAYERUNKNOWN’S BATTLEGROUNDS. Gigamax Games takes a look at the First Person servers and more episodes are sure to come soon.

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PUBG is an amazing experience overall, filled with tense moments and a lot of spinning in circles. This homage to Battle Royale is the new hit experience for any PC gamer. The incredibly expansive map is just the first of more to come as PUBG is still in its very first stages of development and release.

Don’t forget to click that subscribe button for more videos of the latest games we promise to have more PC content in the future. This is only the beginning of a giant world of possibilities.

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PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds: Update Hit A Snag

PUBG’s Update Hit A Snag

Bluehole had some upsetting news for fans of PUBG as the highly anticipated Public Test Server update was put on hold. According to the developer, “the test server build is not stable enough to roll out.”(http://bit.ly/2u2wodh). The patch they have lined up is a substantial one, including new weapons, skins, and a car horn. Due to complications with a client crash bug, the July monthly update will now be moved to the 3rd of August.

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See what’s waiting for players in the next big patch and find a preview of just how big PUBG is becoming.

What You Can Expect

Honk Honk!

One of the additions to the patch which made people lose their minds is the addition of a horn. Drivers can now honk their horns which will default to the left mouse button. Tweet after Tweet, people expressed their approval as though this filled a serious void within the battleground.

The New Boom Stick

Get ready for a new weapon, the Mark 14 Enhanced Battle Rifle. The Mk14 EBR, chambered in 7.62 will accept all sniper attachments and have a selective fire option, too. This means players can either use it to sweep a room or pick off enemies at a distance. It will be exclusive to crates, so expect this new gun to be falling out of the sky August 3rd.

A New Look

Ready for a makeover? PUBG’s monthly update will include its first new face presets and new hairstyles. These will come at a cost and are expected to be priced at 3,000 in-game currency.

Time To Get Hardcore

First-Person Only servers will be one of the most impressive game changing updates that have come to PUBG. Creating a more hardcore shooter experience, players will have the option to choose between standard and first-person only servers. This means looking around corners or over cover will expose a player instead of them having the ability to just move around the camera.

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This option will cater to the more hardcore crowd but could also be a nice change of pace for casual players. It will be important to keep in mind the lean buttons (defaulted to Q and E) which will greatly increase a players chance of survival.

The Usual

Bluehole will, of course, be sticking to their regular maintenance with the latest patch. A few UI changes, user experience update, and server stability will be included. For a more detailed look at the subtle changes, take a look at Blueholes official announcement.

PUBG Just Keeps On Growing

PUBG just hit a major milestone. Selling over 6 million copies according to Bluehole and the game also reached a new concurrent peak personal record of 481,291. This substantial growth has put PUBG ahead of Fallout 4 in the Steam charts. Indie games continue to surpass all expectations. With games like PUBG making headlines and breaking records, there’s no telling what the future has in store for indie developers and their artwork. 

Be sure to check back at GigamaxGames.com for the latest updates surrounding PC and console gaming and the video’s you want to see! Thank you so much for taking the time to stop by.

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Escape From Tarkov: Closed Beta Available Soon

Escape From Tarkov: Closed Beta Available Soon

If you can’t get enough of gritty, realistic and explosive first-person shooters, Escape from Tarkov might just make your day. Developed by the independent Battlestate Games studio, those interested will soon have a chance to join in on the closed beta. Beginning in July, Battlestate Games will be hosting a closed beta, only available to those that pre-ordered Escape from Tarkov at any point in time. So if this is the first time you’ve heard of it and the gameplay footage below caught your eye, there’s still time to jump at the opportunity.

According to the official Escape from Tarkov website, it’s currently being developed for PC and Mac. When asked about a release on consoles in 2016, Nikita Buyanov – COO and Lead Designer at Battlestate Games had some interesting words to say. “While we are interested in bringing the game to consoles, PC version is going to be uncompromisingly feature-rich, and console versions will be adapted ports, not the other way around.” http://bit.ly/2seZfdi

Play on your own through a story-driven scenario based walkthrough or have friends join in to complete raids on large compounds. The maps are expansive, offering a detailed look at the city of Tarkov. Lore will be located around the city, filling the player in, further explaining the world.

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Unique Mechanics, Combat & Customization

Using their unique HECS system, standing for – Hazardous Environment Combat Simulor, Battlestate Games wants to deliver a hyper-realistic experience through and through. Weapons are unprecedentedly customizable and players need to keep in mind “real-life ballistics and projectile hit physics.”

They will need to manage their character in a way that’s nearly unheard of in a multiplayer fps. Gamers will be able to monitor their character’s health which consists of hydration, energy, blood pressure, blood loss, fractures, contusions, intoxication, exhaustion tremors and more. All need to be maintained and will have a direct impact on the character’s ability to eliminate their enemies.

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More Than Just A Shooter

There is also a great deal of non-combat activities. There will be NPC merchants that will only sell you items once trust is built. A shared economy will react in real-time depending on other players actions and events. You can even become a trader and open up your own store.

It seems like this game has much more to offer than just being another shooter on your hard drive. Escape from Tarkov looks like a welcomed, unique, gritty shooter. If you’re interested in learning more about the game or even want to jump on the closed beta, you can find more on their official website.

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