Is Sea of Thieves Worth $60?

The question on everyone’s mind regarding Sea of Thieves is whether or not the game is worth $60.  At least people are talking about the game.  Sea of Thieves is a unique gaming experience that creates problems for reviewers and regular gamer alike, no one knows how to play or discuss this type of game.  Reviews all seem to focus on the same thing, and even though countless streamers are having a great time with the game – message boards are all filled with hate and distaste for a game that seemingly doesn’t have a lot of content.  Ultimately, we must evaluate the value of a dollar and compare that to what is being offered within Rare’s new pirate adventure.

Because movies and video games are cut from the same cloth, I like to compare their worth as a way to examine value.  The average American movie theatre charges $10 for a movie, my local theatre charges $9.25 for an evening showing and a little bit more for a 3D film.  For the sake of argument we can assume $10 for about 2 hours of entertainment.  Two hours being the average length of a full length feature film.  My girlfriend likes to say anything over two hours is too long.  I would argue that most people feel like going to the movies is a worthwhile experience and that $10 for 2 hours of entertainment is a valuable investment.

Video games also offer hours of entertainment in exchange for money.  However, video games become difficult to judge because they do not have a set running time.  Each player has the ability to enjoy a game for a different amount of time based on their unique experience.  However using our formula for films, a $60 video game should last about 12 hours in order for the game to be considered valuable.  I will play Sea of Thieves for much more than 12 hours.

Last night, Chase, Brian, and I played some Sea of Thieves.  We were also joined by one of Brian’s childhood friends, although he choose not to use a microphone.  We played for a little less than two hours, and finished two quests, unsuccessfully chased a sloop, and did numerous hard anchor turns.  The issue that most people are having with Sea of Thieves is the lack of any structured story mode.  Even Destiny, which was filled with repeatable missions that arguably got stale eventually had a story mode that lasted approximately 12 hours.  Sea of Thieves gives you a ship and a nudge in the right direction and expects you to figure out how best to enjoy yourself.

Communication is key in this game.  The players that you experience the game with because the characters in the game.  There are no Cayde-6’s to tell funny jokes or explain the game world.  Personally, I unofficially became a sort of flight attendant spotting out anything and everything in the world and pointing out rocks on the port side and sea shores off the starboard deck.  Chase became the silent type, staring peacefully off the side of the boat at the beautiful scenery, only responding long enough to drop the anchor or adjust the sail length.  Brian commanded the helm of the ship and for some reason was often found away from the steering wheel!  It is still a point of contention whether the sails or the wheel were the reason we ran aground so many times.

Chase made the comment that the world felt empty and there weren’t any other ships around.  As soon as he said that I pulled out my spyglass and spotting two or three ships on the horizon.  One of them my have been a deceiving group of rocks.   Brian’s friend had been ringing the bell throughout our entire first 45 minutes, we later found out he was signaling other ships on the horizon.

In the future we will likely complete quests much more quickly as we learn how to man the sails and move with the wind.  So far we have only explored a small chunk of this great ocean with much more to see.  Sea of Thieves is a new type of experience.  It is a cooperative experience centered on communication and comradery.  Fortnite is the polar opposite type of game, centered on competition and survival.  Both games can be enjoyable while being different.  There are so few truly cooperative sandbox experiences in video gaming that people who want to enjoy Sea of Thieves might now know how.

The object of Sea of Thieves is to sail around with your friends.  The game gives your countless reasons to sail around, exploring, completing quests, or hunting other ships.  But to truly enjoy Sea of Thieves, you don’t need a reason to sail around.  Jump on a ship, pick a direction, and go.  The game is built in a way that will create emergent experiences that will be truly unique each time you play.  Just make sure you are playing with some unique characters.  Is Sea of Thieves worth $60?  If I can sail around enjoying time chatting and roleplaying as a pirate with my friends for 12 hours, then Sea of Thieves is worth every penny.

Have you played Sea of Thieves yet?  If so what do you think?

Jake “prettyboyplaid” Fredericks

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