Sea of Thieves Review

On the first night of Sea of Thieves release, I wrote a lengthy piece on my impressions of the game. That piece was based on two-hours of play time. This Sea of Thieves review is based on a hell of a lot more.

And you know what? I still think Sea of Thieves is great.

Sure, it has its problems, but the core experience is so good, and the future is so bright, I can overlook the current shortcomings.

Sea of Thieves Review

By now, you should know what Sea of Thieves is all about. If you don’t, let me give you the run down. 

You, and some friends ideally, set sail in a massive, open world to explore, sail, dig treasure and fight skeletons. Sailing is Sea of Thieves best trick and it’s the one thing you’ll spend most of your time doing.

When playing alone, sailing is a juggle. A stressful, plate spinning experience that feels like it’ll never end. Playing with a full crew though, now that’s what I’m talking about.

Sailing your ship with friends, each taking turns to lower or raise the sails, to steer and to climb the crows nest, well the feeling can’t be beaten. It’s true co-op bliss when everyone works together toward a common goal.

Even if you have a couple of ratbags on your crew, you can get the job done. And if they get too disruptive you can simply chuck them in the brig.

It’s a good thing the sailing in Sea of Thieves is so damn good. The majority of your time in the game will be spent that way.

Closing the Loop

Sailing the Sea of Thieves is how you complete quests. There are three factions in the game who each give quests. While they’re all slightly different, they are all essentially fetch-quests. 

Collect treasure chests, fight skeletons or transport goods. These are the three things you’ll be doing over and over.

It’s a shame the gameplay loop is so small, because yes, it does get tiresome. There are only so many times you can fight skeletons with the dodgy combat before you need a rest.

But that’s ok. Sea of Thieves isn’t a game you need to play for hours and hours on end. I’ve had the best times with it when playing for an hour or so, then taking a break.

The colourful world, wonderful sailing mechanics and my friends were all still waiting for me when I got back. And I was refreshed and ready for more.

Attack the Fort

Skeleton Forts are another activity that can be completed in Sea of Thieves at the moment, but they’re my least favourite. 

I really don’t like the combat in Sea of Thieves and so doing it over and over against waves of skeletons isn’t my idea of a good time. It does offer a different type of gameplay and a break from sailing, but your enjoyment will depend on how much you like the combat.

What’s really missing from Sea of Thieves is any real sense of reward or incentive. Completing quests awards gold and reputation. Gold can be used to purchase cosmetic items, weapons and the like, but the cost is astronomical. Worse still, most of the gear looks the same, so there’s no real reason to collect it.

As far as reputation goes, once you level up all three factions to Level 50, you achieve the rank of Pirate Legend, though at this stage it doesn’t seem like it makes much of a difference anyway.

It’s Still Good, It’s Still Good

Like I said, Sea of Thieves has its problems. I don’t care though. Every time I load up a game, jump in and start running amok as a pirate, I can’t wipe the smile off my face.

There’s not enough to do at the moment, but what you can do is a great taste of what’s to come. Provided Microsoft and Rare continue to add meaningful, interesting and worthwhile content.

Stick with Sea of Thieves, it’s got potential coming out the wazoo and is going to grow into one of the best games of this generation. 

Mark my words with an ‘X.’

Sea of Thieves was reviewed on Xbox One using a digital copy provided by Microsoft.

PowerUp! Reviews

Game Title: Sea of Thieves

  • 10/10
    Limitless Potential - 10/10
  • 5/10
    A little empty for now - 5/10
  • 9/10
    An incredible world - 9/10


Sea of Thieves is a game that is only going to get better. While it may be a little empty now, the mechanics, the world and the experiences you can already have are incredible.

Rare has created a truly interesting world and filled it with some of the most impressive gameplay and co-op mechanics we’eve ever seen. It’s a bit of a shame that the gameplay loop grows stale so quickly, but in this open-world sandbox, you can create your own stories and your own fun.

Sea of Thieves is something that players will need to stick with and come back to. Over time, I suspect it’s going to be one of the most played and best-loved Xbox One titles.

Related articles

Leo Stevenson
Leo Stevenson
I've been playing games for the past 27 years and have been writing for almost as long. Combining two passions in the way I'm able is a true privilege. PowerUp! is a labour of love and one I am so excited to share.

Share article