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Microsoft’s anticipated pirate game, Sea of Thieves, finally embarked on its maiden voyage last week, and it’s one of the year’s most important releases for Xbox One and PC. Not only is it the first new title from famed developer Rare in quite some time, it’s the first game to launch simultaneously on Xbox Game Pass as part of Microsoft’s new initiative to bring its first-party releases day and date to the service.Sea of Thieves is also one of the most ambitious games of the year so far. It casts players in the role of an aspiring pirate and lets them live out the full pirate experience, sailing across the wide-open sea, working together with friends to locate hidden treasure, and even raiding other players’ ships and pilfering their haul.In GameSpot’s Sea of Thieves review, critic Peter Brown said “sailing across the open ocean in a creaky vessel can make you fall in love with its impressive presentation” but criticized the game for its shallow gameplay and lack of variety.Now that other critics have also had a chance to delve into the live game, final reviews for Sea of Thieves have begun appearing online. We’ve collected a sample of them below to give you an idea of what critics have to say about Rare’s ambitious pirate game. For a broader look at the game’s reception, be sure to visit GameSpot sister site Metacritic.Game: Sea of ThievesDeveloper: RarePlatforms: Xbox One, PCRelease date: March 20Price: $60 / £50GameSpot — 6/10″There may come a time when Sea of Thieves is able to entice me back, and I imagine that will be with a mix of new mission types and hopefully the promise of rewards that allow for new types of interactions, if not improve my character’s capabilities. For now, it’s a somewhat hollow game that can be fun for a handful of hours when played with friends, and something worth trying out if you happen to be an Xbox Game Pass subscriber. Even though it’s hard to wholeheartedly recommend, I like enough of what I see to hold out hope that things will eventually improve as the game continues to be patched and updated with new content.” — Peter Brown [Full review]Polygon — 6.5/10″Sea of Thieves has the foundation of an incredible experience. It is a true pirate game that simulates the experience of piracy perfectly. And yet, after those first few jaw-dropping hours, you’re going to start feeling less like Blackbeard and more like Blackbeard’s accountant.” — Russ Frushtick [Full review]Game Informer — 7/10″Sea of Thieves’ highs are high. Hearing the clank of your shovel against a chest as you dig feels great, and physically carrying it to the goal is emotionally rewarding (even if it isn’t monetarily rewarding). Exploring the ocean while playing music together with co-op partners on your boat is silly and fun, and watching the sun rise from the bow of your ship as you carry your spoils home is a novel experience. The core mechanics of an innovative co-op journey can be found here, but the carrot being held out in front your ship is unfortunately small and unappetizing.” — Kyle Hilliard [Full review]US Gamer — 3/5″I’d just like it to be a more consistent experience and one with more chances to show off player personality. I’m not done with the game, but I’m not completely rushing back to it each night either. There’s the niggling feeling that there should be more here. More islands, more factions, more customization. Maybe in a few years, there will be. Rainbow Six Siege is king of the castle two years after a disappointing launch. Sea of Thieves is also a service game and Rare wants to add to it for years to come; I hope the studio gets that chance.” — Mike Williams [Full review]GamesRadar+ — 3.5/5″[J]okes about giant faces aside, even when you throw in the Skeleton Forts, which act like MMO raids symbolised by skull clouds in the sky, all Sea of Thieves has bar fetch quests is its stories. I’ve still only seen one Kraken in the many, many hours I’ve sunk into Sea of Thieves, and there are plenty of odd design choices that make the missions a little irksome–from issues with chicken coops to bugs preventing entire islands from loading. That’s not to say that the stories you create aren’t brilliantly hilarious, but stories can only last you so long before the thinness of the actual content is exposed. Rare has plans to expand the map and add more content to the game as the months go on, but in its current shape, Sea of Thieves doesn’t have the (sea)legs for longevity or a sustained player base.” — Sam Loveridge [Full review]EGM Now — 6/10″On a superficial level, the world of Sea of Thieves promises hours of open-ended multiplayer adventures with its expansive horizons and sunken treasures. But, after a couple of hours, it felt like those promises were empty–literally. Sea of Thieves has potential, and it can be fun depending on who else is in your crew, but as far as what the game offers in is current state, there is just too little to do and too much repetition in what there is to do. I wanted to like Sea of Thieves, because sailing its vistas is an experience unlike any I’ve had in a video game, but once I got to where I was going, it too often felt like I’d gone nowhere at all.” — Michael Goroff [Full review]

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