Sea of Thieves PS5

I Was Completely Lost in Sea of Thieves as a PS5 Player

Sea of Thieves has just wrapped up its PS5 closed beta and it went surprisingly smooth. Sure, on Friday we had a few server hiccups and I had two game crashes during my time with it but the port is impressive.

Of course, jumping into Sea of Thieves now means having to catch up with everything the game has added up to this point. I won’t lie, it feels a bit intimidating. The last time I played Sea of Thieves was on the initial launch day back in March of 2018.

I remember the evening quite clearly. I got my brother to play on my gaming PC and I played on my Xbox One X. It was an exciting time for gaming as it showcased the true potential of cross-play. Sadly, the joy in Sea of Thieves was short-lived. After three hours, the game was boring as hell.

Sea of Thieves PlayStation Pre-Order Charts PS5

I took down another player group’s ship, bashed some skeletons around and delivered some treasure chests to the guild. That was pretty much all you could do at the time. So I closed the game and never went back. Until the beta launched on PS5, of course.

But the team at Rare must have done something good to get 30 million players into the game and keep it around for over five years, right? As the game enters its twelfth season, Sea of Thieves has so many intricate mechanics in play. I just wish the game would explain it all a bit better.

Sea of Thieves

It is a similar experience for anyone who would, say jump into World of Warcraft now or perhaps Destiny 2. While these games offer basic tutorials to catch you up on the core gameplay, everything else is left on the wayside to discover yourself.

This works if discovery is a key mechanic of the game but Sea of Thieves relies on knowing what you’re doing and why. The game currently has basic tutorials available for the set Trading Companies. There’s a chest digging-up tutorial where I had to find the island depicted on the map, sail there dig up the box and take it back safely to the merchant.

Sea of Thieves PS5

The Order of Souls tutorial let track down a skeleton captain, bash it and carry its head back to the merchant for rewards. There’s also the Hunter’s Call where I had to catch a chicken and bring it back alive. Each tutorial provided a very basic overview of some mechanics in Sea of Thieves. However, “basic” here is just that – basic.

The game fails to touch on so many other mechanics that should be explained. Be it in a tutorial or maybe just a FAQ. Buying a ship, for example, isn’t touched on at all. Joining a faction doesn’t get any limelight either. Worst of all, the game’s various seasonal content and “left behind” activities are confusing as a result.

Sea of Thieves PS5

For example, there are some strange underwater shrines scattered around the map. For the unknowing, these would look like cool places to explore but the general mechanics behind these areas aren’t explained. I only discovered what to do by horribly failing at the event.

I entered the shrine, it filled with water and a combat arena-like activity started. Enemies spawned around me and I had to kill them either by using a staff which shot bubbles out of it or with my cutlass and gun. After a long battle (it was so long I thought it would never end and I could exit at any time), I unlocked the treasure vault.

There was this statue nearby where I could deposit my treasure. I had no clue how this worked. I deposited the treasure and chose the “return to ship” command. I then loaded up on an island with no treasure around me at all. It was gone. All that work, for nothing.

What happened to it is unclear. Was I meant to take it with me to the shore and not “store” it? I don’t know. The game doesn’t say anything. I had 20 pieces of treasure for completing the fight and after that, it was gone.

Sea of Thieves PS5

The same thing happened with this strange Skull of the Siren Song I found floating in the ocean. I loaded it on board and the game acted like nothing happened. I sailed around with this skull not knowing I was to make haste to a specific spot to sell it for gold.

Sure, I Googled the skull for help but Sea of Thieves shouldn’t rely on new players Googling everything to understand what is happening. There are times when Googling isn’t possible. Perhaps you’re being circled by a giant purple shark with no idea how to kill it. Pulling up your phone in the middle of combat wastes time.

Not to mention the whole Siren Skull event actually put a target on my ship which other players could see. They would then forcefully track me down and take the skull for themselves. It acts like a “flag” in a capture-the-flag scenario. If I didn’t know that, I would have happily sailed around with this skull on board and ultimately get raided. Again, I wish the game had some sort of codex to track these activities and items.

Sea of Thieves PS5

But this issue stems to more than just the ongoing events in Sea of Thieves. Various systems feel overwhelming and complicated. It just means you’ll need to spend a lot of time diving into the basics so you don’t get caught off guard.

Be prepared to Google everything too. The game’s three basic tutorials are the most pointless pieces of content available. Everything else, which matters more, is left in hopes you’re a veteran player who understands what has been happening up to this point.

Regardless of how lost I felt in Sea of Thieves during the beta, I am quite excited to dive into the full game later this month. It may take a few weeks to get to grips with it all but that just comes with a live-service game of this age.

Marco is the owner and founder of GLITCHED. South Africa’s largest gaming and pop culture website. GLITCHED quickly established itself with tech and gaming enthusiasts with on-point opinions, quick coverage of breaking events and unbiased reviews across its website, social platforms, and YouTube channel.

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