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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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Sea of Thieves: Unprecedented Demand According to Rare

Sea of Thieves: Unprecedented Demand According to Rare

Sea of Thieves has seen a huge amount of players join its open world pirate adventure since it launched. This has largely been the reason the game has had an extensive amount of technical issues that are frustrating those sailing the oceans. Despite the glitches, developer Rare issued an update from the studio head, Craig Duncan, and executive producer, Joe Neate, stating that the game reached 1 million players across the PC and Xbox One in just 48 hours. The blog post also detailed what the company is doing to address the bugs players are encountering.

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What Comes Next?

“We have seen unprecedented numbers coming into Sea of Thieves and playing Sea of Thieves. The interest has been insane; the amount of people playing has been mind-blowing,” Neate said. (https://bit.ly/2IYTRzV)

Currently, Sea of Thieves is free for subscribers of Xbox Games Pass. Although, Microsoft has yet to share the details on how many people have purchased the game as opposed to the free download their subscription service offers. Another factor to consider is that Xbox Games Pass offers a free trial for the service and many players may have taken advantage of that to try the massively marketed game. Despite those factors, 1 million players in only two days is a huge feat.

Rare Explains…

In the video, Rare explains that at one point after the game came out on March 20th, the player count was rising at a rate of 5,000 people per minute. Even though Rare held multiple stress tests before release, they were not prepared for the massive influx of pirates that were ready to set sail. Now, most of the game’s problems are scale related and the team is reportedly working 24/7 to make sure the issues are resolved.

Sea of Thieves just got a huge new patch that fixed many of the issues with the game’s online infrastructure but many are still experiencing problems that will hopefully be solved soon.

What do you think about Sea of Thieves? Let us know in the comments below or on Twitter and Facebook!

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Getting Booty on Sea of Thieves

Getting Booty on Sea of Thieves

Sea of Thieves if facing mixed reviews. Some say its shallow while others are just happy collecting booty. No matter where gamers stand on the gameplay and amount of content, one thing’s for sure, this game is gorgeous. The Gigamax crew was a part of the closed beta for the game and was waiting patiently for the full game to release. Now that it’s here, let’s take a look inside and see what it has to offer.

Sea of Thieves – YouTube and Streaming Playlist

Beautiful landscapes and an amazing array of audio effects makes it easy to get lost in the Sea of Thieves adventure. Spend hours picking up voyages and completing challenges or simply hopping from island to island looking for unmarked adventures, the game seems straightforward. The thing that will throw crews for a spin is the nearly limitless amount of interesting, funny, and tense situations crewmates will find themselves in while exploring the high seas.

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Excitement can come from navigating the seas with friends. Sailing through storms, dangerous water, finding sunken pirate ships or naval battles with foes. In fighting between crew could land someone in the brig or endlessly exploring the map, there are many ways to enjoy Sea of Thieves. Even playing solo is possible but playing with friends is absolutely the way this game was intended to be played. 

Thank’s for Watching!

Whether you can’t get enough of Sea of Thieves or think it didn’t hold up to the hype, the Sea of Thieves playlist is sure to entertain. It’s expected that Rare will continue adding to this pirate adventure so be sure to check back soon for even more videos. The Gigamax crew is having a blast exploring the world and sinking enemy ships more streams will be on the horizon, too!

Thank you for taking the time to stop by! Please, if you enjoyed the videos, Like, Comment, and Subscribe for more!

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Sea of Thieves on YouTube with Gigamax Games

Sea of Thieves on YouTube with Gigamax Games

Who’s ready to sail the open seas with a party full of pirates? Sea of Thieves is promising all the adventure of a pirates life without the risk of scurvy or a watery grave. The game is releasing in March of 2018 but the Gigamax Games crew was able to get an early start with the closed beta. Having a small preview of the game was exciting and it made the wait for the full release even harder.

Sea of Thieves YouTube Playlist

The gameplay was relatively smooth all the way through which was great to see. Rare had to address some technical issues that interrupted the first few days of the closed beta but extended the beta to compensate. The games’ graphics may be cartoony but they were fantastic. Looking out into the ocean at full sail is a sight to remember. 

An Ocean Filled With Danger

Combat was fun and each island held their own surprises. The ocean was filled with danger but it only made the Gigamax crew want to sail into the blue abyss and see what trouble they’d come across. Sea of Thieves has a very interesting progression and questing system which will take some time to figure out but it promises exciting adventures await on the horizon. 

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No one said being a pirate captain would be easy. Sailing the ship requires a player to hoist the anchor, release the sails, steer the ship and navigate all on their own. Having a crew of friends on board will absolutely make navigating the high seas much easier. Plus, the ships sink on a dime so having a bunch of friends along for the ride could help with fending off shark attacks.

Sea of Thieves is high on the list of games to play for the Gigamax Games crew. Be sure to follow Gigamax on YouTube or check back on this playlist page soon for more videos.

Have you had a chance to play Sea of Thieves? Let us know what you think about the pirate adventure in the comments below!

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Sea of Thieves Closed Beta Begins

Sea of Thieves Closed Beta Begins

Today (1/24/18) marks the start of Microsoft’s closed beta for the upcoming pirate simulator, Sea of Thieves. Eligible players for the trial can download the game now so the minute it’s available, they can start playing.

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Much like the technical alpha held back in December, the closed beta is restricted to those that entered the Sea of Thieves Insider Program before December 1st or have pre-ordered the title. Xbox One players that already bought the game digitally can find the beta waiting in the ‘My Games and Apps’ section while those who pre-ordered on PC will find it waiting in their library. If you reserved a physical copy at your local retailer, you will need the redeem the code for the Black Dog cosmetic pack on the Microsoft or Xbox store before installing the beta. Xbox One owners should expect a file size of 7.45 GB. If you’d like to read more about the installation process, check out their official website.

When You Can Play

The Sea of Thieves closed beta will begin at 4 AM PT / 7 AM ET / 12 PM GMT on January 24 and runs until 12 AM PT / 3 AM ET / 8 AM GMT on January 29. While the developer, Rare, hasn’t specified what exactly players can expect from the beta, they did say it would not be a portion of the full game. Rare did assure that it would offer a taste of the pirate life.

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Sea of Thieves is set to release for both Xbox One and PC on March 20th and will be one of the few games to offer cross-play between the two platforms. It will also be the first game on the Xbox One’s Games Pass program that is available on the service the same day it comes out.

Gigamax Games will be taking part in the closed beta so please don’t forget to check on Youtube or below for an inside look into what Sea of Thieves has to offer!

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Most Anticipated Video Games of 2018

Most Anticipated Video Games of 2018

The time is almost here when a new year brings in a host of new adventures to experience. In this list, we take a look at the most anticipated video games of 2018 and when they will be available to play. Unfortunately, not all these dates are set in stone but check back as time goes on for more information as it becomes available.

What games do you think should be added to the list? Let us know in the comments below or on Twitter and Facebook.

God of War (PS4) – “Early 2018”

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With a groundbreaking series to live up to, this latest look into God of War seems to be the right step for the developers. Experiencing the world as an older and wiser Kratos, the trailers seemed to show a different side of this epic warrior. The world hasn’t had a new God of War since July 14th, 2015 and even that was just a remaster. Gamers are itching to get another chance to play as this powerful god. With no official release, gamers are keeping a close eye on any announcement surrounding this new release.

Days Gone (PS4) – “Early 2018”

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Any fan of the survival horror genre will be excited to hear SIE Bend Studio is expected to release Days Gone this upcoming year. The release trailer showed off in 2017 (find it below) immediately left people asking what happened to this decimated world. The main character, a former biker outlaw seems to embrace the terrible situation he finds himself in, ready to shoot and slaughter anything that gets in his way. The impressive gameplay available as of now ranks Days Gone high on the most anticipated video games of 2018.

Anthem (PS4, Xbox One, PC) – Fall 2018

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EA had a rough year in 2017. From a loot box controversy and the fallout that followed, it looks as though they want to make up for their blunder with the release of Anthem in 2018. Dubbed a shared-world action-RPG, the gameplay released is visually stunning. The world looks immense and dangers could lurk around every corner. Flying through the world in what resembles an Iron Man suit, players explore the impressive primeval landscape. The graphics and gameplay look absolutely exquisite but depending on how they handle the game post-launch will most likely determine its succus. 

Monster Hunter: World (PS4, Xbox One, PC) – January 26th

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The Gigamax crew are all huge fans of the Monster Hunter franchise. From the very first time they picked up the PlayStation controller and slain their first monster, they were hooked. Bringing the Monster Hunter experience back to console and those as powerful as the ones we have today is a reason to celebrate. The Monster Hunter: World Beta left people on the edge of their seats just waiting for a chance to play the full game. This is surely set up to be unlike any Monster Hunter that has come before it.

Sea of Thieves (Xbox One, PC) – March 20th

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Recently, Gigamax was invited to the Alpha test for Sea of Thieves. Unfortunately, the NDA blocks any gameplay from being shared but the concept is what got people excited. Who hasn’t at one time wanted to bring their friends on a pirate adventure? Sea of Thieves finally gives gamers this opportunity. Take to the high seas in this open-world adventure, completing quests and collecting booty. The progression system ensures everyone and anyone can experience this adventure together, no matter how long anyone has been playing, too.

We Happy Few (PC, PS4, Xbox One) – April 13th

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This game has been in early access for a while now and Compulsion Games was making some impressive progress. It seemed as though any time gamers picked it back up, something was being added or improved. Finally, the time has come and on April 13th, 2018 people will have the chance to experience the full game in all of its glory. The story seemed fascinating and that was surely just the beginning. Be sure to check the gameplay below to see what’s in store in We Happy Few.

Red Dead Redemption 2 (PS4, Xbox One) – Spring 2018

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People absolutely lost their minds when the official announcement of Red Dead Redemption 2 came out. One of the most popular games in its day, it’s hard to find someone who didn’t like the first game. Now with Red Dead Redemption 2 expected to drop in Spring of 2018, gamers are anxiously waiting for that official release date. There are very few western games out there and Red Dead did it right. Be sure to check back as more information surfaces surrounding one of the most anticipated video games of 2018.

The Last of Us Part II (PS4) – 2018? (Revised) 

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The Last of Us was an absolutely mind-blowing adventure all the way through. The thrilling yet heartwarming story of a jaded adventure stuck in a world falling apart at the seams meeting up with an unlikely companion left its mark on the gaming community. People just didn’t want it to end and Naughty Dog ensured that the adventure didn’t have to. With more and more reports coming in about The Last of Us Part II is only around halfway completed, it’s looking as though it might miss their 2018 release. Be sure to keep checking back for more information as more details become available. 

 

Don’t forget, let us know what you would put on this list! Add your most anticipated games of 2018 in the comments below or on Twitter and Facebook!

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How Sea of Thieves Progression System Works

How Sea of Thieves Progression System Works

Have you ever had dreams of sailing the open oceans with a couple of friends and going on an old school pirate adventure? Sea of Thieves is a new indie game that to lets you do just that. While this game can be played solo the developers are encouraging friends to play co-op. One of the biggest issues surrounding multiplayer experiences is friends who’ve spent a different amount of time with the game oftentimes have trouble playing together. Rare wants to rectify this issue with a progression system that works differently for Sea of Thieves.

Friends That Game Together, Stay Together

The ultimate goal of the game is to become a pirate legend, which can be accomplished by increasing reputation with each of the game’s factions. These trading companies offer quests, better known as voyages, for players to complete and earn a variety of awards. Some of these awards are gold, reputation gains, cosmetics, titles, and ranks.

You won’t earn items that put you on an uneven playing field though. This is to avoid a situation that would make it challenging to play with a friend that hasn’t put in the same amount of hours. Every voyage can be shared with any player so that they can be accomplished with a group. A team of players can also implement a democratic voting system so that everyone has a say in what they do next, this definitely comes in handy when playing with random matchmaking partners. Rare also pointed out that you can complete tasks on your own, but you still appear in a shared world with other players.

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Sea of Thieves release date was finally revealed for both Xbox One and the PC. After a considerable amount of delays, the game will finally hit the virtual stores on March 20th, 2018. The game also offers cross-play so friends can share their experiences between the two platforms. Gigamax was recently invited to the game’s technical alpha so be sure to check back for some gameplay in the near future!

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