Sea Of Thieves could be Xbox’s greatest game in the year
Sea Of Thieves captures the magic, romance and adventure of the pirate life and packages it up in one of the most intuitive multiplayer experiences I can remember.
The concepts are simple in the beta, relying on keen orienteering skills to send you off across the ocean to find treasure chests to sell for gold, which in turn bolsters your personal coffers, but the simplicity is a lovely relief in practice.
A two-man ship is slightly bigger, but you have another player with you to cooperate with, which is especially vital when you’re navigating one of the game's treacherous but exhilarating storms.
As well as your immediate crew, the game populates your world with up to four other ships with up to four pirate players each, all of whom will be going about their business, exploring, plundering and completing voyages of their own.
The personality that’s packed into every facet of the stylised world is brilliant, from the absurdly lifelike water effects to the sheer level of colour in every new island and passing sunrise.
It’s full of genius little surprises like this which, while not huge in gameplay terms, go a hell of a long way to fulfilling the vision of a Disneyland-esque pirate world. Being an Xbox One X exclusive, it also delivers some stunning HDR effects to accentuate the vivid palette of an already colourful game.