The more we’ve seen of Sea of Thieves, the clearer it’s become that the simple act of playing it will be fun. Its mix of gentle action and almost hardcore seafaring (seriously, you try manning a galleon with three people who don’t know how sails work) is immediately engaging and, more importantly, hilarious.
But what bookends that moment-to-moment play has remained resolutely mysterious since the game’s announcement – how does Sea of Thieves begin, what’s the story, and what are we working towards? After visiting Rare and talking to several of the game’s developers and producers, finally we have some answers.
Let’s begin at the beginning. Sea of Thieves will open with you choosing your pirate. “Choosing” is a deliberate choice of words – this isn’t character customisation. Rare’s made a purposeful decision not to include slider-filled menus. Instead, you begin in a tavern, with eight procedurally-generated pirates to inspect. They’re created based on twenty different parameters – everything from age, to body shape, to overall ‘wonkiness’ (essentially, how asymmetrical they are) – leading to a “practically infinite” number of variations. If you don’t like the 8 you’re shown, you can regenerate another 8 as many times as you like until you find a favourite.