I’ve summarized my perspective on this subject in one tweet where I stated: “Sea of Thieves looks like a game made by people who fantasized about being pirates. Skull and Bones looks like a game made by corporate.“
And I completely believe that but I just wanna take a moment to say we have 2 pirate games in the works. Like, potentially good ones. Not some bullshit like Risen. It’s something that’s long overdue and I can’t wait!
My love for rare!
But I’ll just get to the nitty gritty: Sea of Thieves looks like the game I want to play and I say that confidently as I am a huge admirer of Rare! A lot probably recognize them from games Banj- Kazooie, Conker’s Bad Fur Day but I came to know them for the Viva Piñata franchise. I loved those games as a kid and I still do now because all the piñata animals were just so adorable and there’s just something endearing about Rare’s stylistic graphics that makes it so relaxing to play some of their games.
What makes Sea of Thieves better?
Based on what we’ve all seen so far, Sea of Thieves is meant to capture this tell-tale adventure of pirates! Which is what I feel gamers have dreamt of since they were kids. I mean, if you have any amount of imagination you must’ve daydreamed about being a pirate! Ultimately, I think Sea of Thieves is an attempt to capture that feeling and I couldn’t think of any gaming company that could bring such a fantasy to life better than Rare.
Like, this may come as a surprise but rare is doing this thing where you can sign up and potentially get in to play the game for yourself, right now! And one of the most mind-blowing things is their love for the community. An example is whenever something REALLY cool happens in the game they like to make something of it. Like, apparently someone was testing fall damage and this player kept jumping off the same cliff and must’ve died dozens of times. So, Rare decides to make a skeleton kind of buried in the ground where he fell and it has that players’ gamertag carved into the skull! That means he is part of the game, he’s inside the game! That’s the coolest thing ever! And he’s not the only one, rare has set out to incorporate community members into their game whenever they see something like this happen. And honestly, that’s a form of true love between the fanbase and the developers.
How does Sea of Thieves compare to Skull & Bones?
Let’s start from the bottom: names are arguably not that important but it’s still a creative aspect that can be appreciated. “Sea of Thieves” is a straight- forward but effective name because it’s about the player stealing from the sea. The game is constant thievery and that’s what makes it so cool. Also, it sounds pretty catchy.
“Skull & Bones” just feels like the developers sat in a table thinking on this for like.. 15 minutes and just thought “how about Skull & Bones? Just to make it clear that this is a pirate game.” It’s just the generic skull & bones pirate symbol put into words.
Skull & Bones also seems to just care about getting that high- action, guns to air and constant fighting. I get that it’s cool for some games, but why does all the games need to feel like we’re taking part in a world war? I fear that elements like this will make Skull & Bones just feel like a lot of other games with a pirate skin on it. Maybe a few cool mechanics added to it like ship customization, which is a must. Maybe fishing, I am almost positive that’ll be a thing in the game. But from the sounds of having these “game modes” like it’s some sort of Call of Duty or Star Wars Battlefront makes me think it’s not gonna be an open- world adventure like Sea of Thieves! I’m not interested in playing “capture-the-flag” or anything like that, I just wanna have an open-world adventure where I can hang out with my imaginary friends and simulate the life of a pirate.
I also hope both games get into character customization because that’s cool, y’know? Just allow me to customize all sorts of things.
Skull & Bones also just doesn’t look like it has style, like most game nowadays. Of course, that isn’t any fault to it. Rare has always had a timeless style in the way they aesthetically make games that only they can do. It’s almost unfair to compare the style to Sea of Thieves.
What’s incredible about Sea of Thieves, right now, is how rich it already feels. The reason is because it just has so many ‘little things’ that make the game look like it’s starting to breathe. It’s not even filled with any animals and it barely has any towns besides sharks and a few small villages. But seeing the players go through these caverns filled with skeletons and markings on stone really makes it look like an actual world!
To wrap this up, I just don’t think Ubisoft aren’t going to put in the same level of passion that rare always does whenever they make a game they actually wanna make. And to be honest, Ubisoft hasn’t made a very good game since maybe AC4: Black Flag which is funny, because everyone who played that game loved it because of the pirate aspect of it and pleaded Ubisoft to make a pirate game. Ubisoft really is just listening to it’s audience and that’s cool! But I don’t think they really care about making a “good” game but just make something they are used to making in a timely matter and let’s be honest, will probably have micro- transactions because that’s a ‘thing’ nowadays…