E3 2017: Making Friends With Strangers on the Sea of Thieves

Communication is key. That’s the biggest thing to know when sitting down to play Sea of Thieveswhich we had chance to do today at E3 2017. Our group was comprised of complete strangers as we each sat down to take on the persona of a colorful pirate with compass and sword in hand, and a thirst for adventure.

After a brief, friendly introduction, we quickly went about assigning ourselves roles. “Who wants to raise the anchor?” “Anyone want to get the sails ready?” “Which brave soul wants to steer the ship?” I immediately jumped at the chance to take command, grabbed the wheel, and then asked for a heading from whomever wanted to go below deck and consult the map while my other mates worked on setting the sails and raising the anchor.

Sea of Thieves Screenshot

Once I had the heading from the navigator, I brought us about to head east until we spotted the island we believed housed our treasure (this was determined earlier by consulting the riddle quest, acquired at the start of our demo). During our brief voyage, I could see my mates running around the deck, firing canons at passing rocks, and climbing the mast up to the crow’s nest to ring the bell (nothing was spotted; they simply wanted to ring the bell).

As we got closer to the island we dropped anchor to position the ship just offshore. Then we went about using the most efficient method to get ashore: by cannon. One by one we each loaded ourselves in and shot ourselves onto land to follow the next clue from the riddle quest, which was to find a grave site in the southwest corner of the island.

Sea of Thieves Screenshot

We continued to wander around, looking for this site per the clues, and in doing so woke some very unfriendly, armed, undead pirate skeletons (to be fair, that’s the best kind of pirate skeleton). We locked swords, exchanged fire, and prevailed when someone shouted over our headset, “I found it!”

Climbing the hill, we found the gravesite, took our six steps west-by-southwest (per the riddle, once again), took out our shovels and started digging to unearth our goods. Success! The trouble was, this was a drunken chest — whomever carries the chest, their controls will randomly change while walking thus making navigation back to the ship quite difficult (and quite funny). We continued to shout commands to our comrade, helping them find their way back to the ship, while one of our intrepid crewmen got themselves aboard sooner than the rest of us and took the initiative to start raising anchor.

Sea of Thieves Screenshot

Unfortunately, they were too efficient. We were still swimming toward the ship as we saw it start to sail off without us. Frantically, our crewman dropped anchor, and we watched our ship suddenly lurch forward to a complete stop. Once we were all safely aboard, it was time to set sail to our next destination to drop off our treasure, collect our reward, and prepare to set sail on another adventure — but that will have to wait for another time.

It’s easy to see how much fun can be had in Sea of Thieves on Xbox One and Xbox One X, as well as Windows 10. Making friends with complete strangers (and then start working together) — or gathering a group of your best mates — there’s nearly limitless adventure to be had finding treasure and locking swords with hostile (player) pirates. We can’t wait to play more and embark on a series of high seas multiplayer high jinks.

Sea of Thieves Ship Battle

The game is currently in alpha, but the team is actively accepting applications to help provide feedback to the development direction of the game by joining the Sea of Thieves Insider Program. We’ll have more to share on Sea of Thieves in the coming months as it nears its early 2018 release date. In the meantime, be sure to visit their site and stay tuned to Xbox Wire. Also, keep checking back with us this week for even more E3 2017 coverage.