Pirate’s Plunder

Rare strikes gold in the gaming industry



Cody Bennett, Staff Writer

Pirates first appeared in 1713, having empires that are delivering goods, on their toes as they tried to plunder their ship. In the movie Pirates of the Caribbean, they have the characters sailing the Seven Seas with their crew, having their hopes high to finally scavenge lost gold below the Earth’s crust. Microsoft’s first party developer Rare did just that, an open-world first person MMO (Massive Multiplayer Online game) where your only objectives are to find loot, steal/protect loot and cash in for precious gold.

Rare was first bought out by Microsoft on Sep. 24, 2002, making them one of their first ever first party developers for their company.

Rare has made some of the gaming classics, titles such as, Donkey Kong Country, Banjo-Kazooie and GoldenEye 007. This year marks Rare’s opportunity to make their first game in ages with a pirate MMO, Sea of Thieves.

E3 is a great chance to show off a new creation that developers have been working on for years, Sea of Thieves. The game was announced and put up in the Alpha stages for people to play at E3, shortly after Rare delayed the game until early 2018.

On Mar. 20, 2018, Sea of Thieves was released as a Triple A game and priced at a whopping $60. The game starts up with a short cut-scene with riddles about your quest of being a pirate. It then takes you to a circle of eight different models, all with different features and looks. This is what Rare calls their “pirate wheel generator” where the game pulls eight models out of millions so no other pirate looks the same.

After picking your pirate, the game gives you an option of picking a “Sloop” ship which is a 1-2 player ship or a “Galleon” which is a 3-4 player ship that is significantly bigger. Rare wanted this game to be available to anybody with internet. Even with no friends, you can still have a fun time as the game matches you with random people on the server that have an open spot on their ship.

As the player picks their ship size, the game throws them right in, no tutorial or HUD (Heads Up Display) to tell you what to do, or where to go. Rare wants the player to use their brain, and use teamwork to figure out what to do. They put you straight on one out of eight plus outposts where you can get quests to find buried treasure, fight skeletons of history’s past or pick up materials for another faction.

On the outposts, there the player can find three different factions to level up your reputation and get quests from them for better treasure. One out of the three factions is the Gold Hoarders, where they get a quest from one of the vendors and use different clues to find and dig up buried treasure. In Order of Souls, the player goes out to different locations and fight pirate skeletons and collect their skulls for gold, and finally the Merchant Alliance, they get specific material things in the open world like one gunpowder barrel and return it to them in a small amount of time.

I spent 12 hours on the game in my first three days of playing, I was fully immersed into the world of pirates, sailing the seven seas with my crew and finding buried treasure to turn in for precious gold.

That suddenly stopped as two weeks in, my friends and I stopped playing. “Fetch quest” is the term to describe the game, doing the same thing over and over, but just a different scenario which is what made us quit so early. If Rare added more addicting content, it would totally be worth the entire $60, but right now, on the Xbox Game Pass, the community can get 50+ games for $10/month, which includes Sea of Thieves.

Rare presented a golden age opportunity in Triple A gaming as no microtransactions were on day one, and should they follow, Rare pointed out that they would only be cosmetic instead of “pay to win.” With also going back to a point of old gaming, giving the players no head start or in-depth instructions on what to do, as well as incorporate teamwork for manning the ship. Sea of Thieves has one only major downside, not enough content. If they keep the player base entertained for hours to come, the more likely they are to fully buy Rare’s product, share it and make a profit.