July 25, 2021

Xbox One X

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Sea of Thieves is secretly a pen-and-paper RPG

2 min read
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I’ve been playing a lot of Sea of Thieves this week and so far it feels very much like being in an exciting new relationship and not being able to work out why your friends aren’t as happy for you as you thought they would be – a heady combination of being incredibly enthusiastic, with just a slight creeping sensation that you’re making a fool of yourself. I’m not overly bothered, mind you – I’m still having a lovely time – but it did get me thinking about what exactly draws me in so strongly while putting others right off.

The main complaint I’ve heard thus far about Sea of Thieves is that it’s a very simplistic game – it gives you three mission types and sends you out into the wide world to repeat those ad nauseam. It’s a crude description, even if it rings true, but it’s also part of the reason I’m having such a great time. Sea of Thieves doesn’t make any bones about what it is – it presents you with a basic structure, gives you all the tools you’ll need to survive and turns you loose to make your own fun. In essence, it’s a pen and paper role playing game.

Just like a pen and paper game, your time in Sea of Thieves is spent occupying a broadly defined character archetype. The trick is, as any role player knows, that it’s how you carry yourself in that role that makes all the difference – the only catch about Sea of Thieves being that everybody is playing with the same archetype.

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