Sea of Thieves has grown from the mixed reactions it received at launch back in 2018 to one of the most popular multiplayer first party games from Microsoft Studios and Rare. Following the additional content announced at E3 2021, they are adding another feather to that pirate cap by bringing in popular characters, and the setting of, Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean.
What does the inclusion of Captain Jack Sparrow and the scurvy dogs of his world bring to the Sea of Thieves game? Read on to find out more about Sea of Thieves: A Pirate’s Life update!
This is the day you will always remember as the day you first saw gameplay from Sea of Thieves: A Pirate's Life, the epic, all-new adventure coming to @SeaOfThieves as part of the free Season Three update on June 22! pic.twitter.com/pPOK72QKR4
— Xbox (@Xbox) June 17, 2021
Dead Man’s Chest
Sea of Thieves offers a slightly different experience than the usual MMO. Whereas the common designs, features, and mechanics of the MMOs are more stat heavy and experience grinding as in the case of World of Warcraft and the like, Rare’s Sea of Thieves focuses more on giving players the opportunity for telling the kind of stories they want within the pirate genre, while also incorporating teamwork elements from games like Call of Duty and player-driven world development as in EVE Online.
Players in Sea of Thieves can sail for exploration and treasure hunting, or they can fight other crews and loot their booty. Joining one of the Trading Companies provides access to more adventure hooks and quests. The rules are relatively open-ended beyond the goal of gathering gold and building up reputations. Players can join open crews or build their own crew, and opt to create Player Alliances for crews to work together, instead of against each other.
Aside from the open world mechanics, Sea of Thieves also features the Tall Tales campaign system. Here, the players can run through a number of storylines that expand the lore of the game world itself to complete each Tall Tales campaign, accomplishing quests and receiving the associated rewards, usually in the form of ,8000 gold, reputation, and special cosmetic items. Every new season of Sea of Thieves adds more Tall Tales.
On Stranger Tides
With the E3 2021 Microsoft Xbox presentation, Rare laid out the details of the Sea of Thieves: A Pirate's Life collaboration between them and the Walt Disney Company. According to the development team at the official Sea of Thieves website:
We've worked closely with the Walt Disney Games team throughout this whole process, crafting an original story which brings out the best elements of both Sea of Thieves and their beloved Pirates of the Caribbean franchise. To see iconic characters like Jack Sparrow and his crew represented in Sea of Thieves' unique art style, interacting with our own pirate universe – it's been such an amazing experience to bring this whole thing to life and we can't wait for you to dive in.
Along with the announcement, a sneak peek trailer was released for Sea of Thieves: A Pirate’s Life which shows a sample of the gameplay and the Pirates of the Caribbean elements that will be making their way to the game.
As for the in-game rationale for the crossover, it appears Captain Jack Sparrow stumbled upon (or rather stole) a great pirate treasure: a golden key that opens to other worlds. But, as with any situation Sparrow finds himself in, the good Captain bites off more than he can chew, thus becoming entwined in the affairs of the pirates in Sea of Thieves.
Captain Jack Sparrow is not the only one making the journey. It appears Davy Jones is also along for the ride. However, the tentacle-faced captain of the Flying Dutchman appears to have lost much of his power over the land of the dead (or his so-called Locker) in making the transition between the two worlds. Naturally, Davy Jones is not at all happy with this and blames Sparrow for it.
Dead Men Tell More Tales
The Pirates of the Caribbean theme will be the main attraction of Sea of Thieves’ Season Three. Sea of Thieves: A Pirate’s Life will include five new Tall Tales developed by Rare. In them, player pirates will be working together with Jack Sparrow to accomplish the quests. The captain of the Black Pearl is going to be joining the crew itself in these adventures and will be hanging out on the player crews’ ships, providing colorful repartee, as well as other interactions such as taking selfies.
New locations will include the Sea of the Damned and the Sunken Kingdom. The former has threats of the undead variety, while the other lets pirates venture under the sea (which has special plants that create bubbles of oxygen). Along these new areas, there will also be new creatures and enemies to fight such as pirate skeletons, evil mermaids, and crustacean crawlers. The crustacean crawlers are particularly nasty, as they can board players’ ships. What Pirates of the Caribbean theme would be complete without including the fearsome Kraken?
But not all of the locations are going to be unwelcoming. The Sailor’s Grave will have a tavern, gambling den, and other friendlier locations. Plus, one of the ships docked there should please fans of the Pirates of the Caribbean lore.
An interesting point is that the Pirates of the Caribbean Tall Tales locations will be new to the game and not on the Sea of Thieves general world map. This is an important point, as the standard world map are PVP areas, which means players can normally mess with other crews in their attempts at completing the quest requirements.
That will not be the case with the Pirates of the Caribbean content, however. Thus, players can work on each instance free from the worries of being ambushed. The developers wanted to make sure that solo players will have an equal opportunity to accomplish the Pirates of the Caribbean content by avoiding possible harassment.
Yo-ho-ho, Ye Mateys!
Completing the Pirates of the Caribbean Sea of Thieves: A Pirate's Life Tall Tales will unlock cosmetics that are inspired from the films. So yes, you can now get costume pieces to make your pirate look like Captain Jack Sparrow in all his disheveled glory. But not everything is just for looking good. The Trident of Dark Tides weapon can be acquired which deals powerful ranged attacks for the player pirate that wields one.
On that note, the development team tried to make the experience as close to the source material as possible. Captain Jack Sparrow himself was modeled after one of Johnny Depp’s stunt doubles from the films. Moreover, the voice work is done by actor Jared Butler, who played Jack Sparrow in the Kingdom Hearts games from Disney and Square Enix’s past collaborations.
The Pirates of Caribbean connection will go beyond the film version too. Music and locations will also reference the original theme park ride at Disneyland. Even the reward for completing the Season Three Tall Tales is a sea shanty that evokes the tunes from the Pirates of the Caribbean ride. Rare has also implied there will be further surprises to be found in the game for sharp-eyed fans of the source material.
Sea of Thieves: A Pirate’s Life sails away on June 22, 2021. The Pirates of the Caribbean content will be free to all Sea of Thieves players on Microsoft Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, and Windows PC through Steam and the Xbox Game Pass subscription.