While many people were losing their minds over the announcements of a Final Fantasy VII remake and a new entry in the Shenmue series, I was stuck in a state of child-like amazement and awe after the Sea of Thieves reveal for Xbox One; the mysterious and long-awaited new IP from Rare.
Traditionally when new IP are announced at large conferences like E3 we don’t get anything more than a brief CG teaser trailer, and initially, that’s exactly what I expected when the Sea of Thieves footage began to run. The beautiful art style and cinematic first-person camera had me cautiously awaiting the big “logo reveal,” but instead we see a fellow player run past the camera to the right. After several seconds of treading through a tropical jungle, we then encounter a group of fellow players on the beach facing an enormous pirate ship. As soon as I realized this was a gameplay trailer, my hype levels reached critical mass.
Following this dramatic build was an epic montage of sea-fairing shenanigans. The trailer showcased groups of players aboard massive ships braving dangerous and unpredictable oceans. The water physics were unlike anything I had ever seen in a game, especially one of this scale. Even with the vivid and almost “cartoony” art style, I had never seen better looking wave or water effects. This beautiful trailer came to an epic conclusion which captured a confrontation with an enemy ship. I remember having chills during the final 30 seconds of gameplay. Sea of Thieves quickly became my new must-have obsession.
Seeing so much gameplay during a reveal trailer was incredible. My imagination went wild and I began fantasizing about countless scenarios involving a few good friends and I traveling the open seas as a rowdy band of treasure-hungry pirates. There has never been a decent multiplayer game involving pirates, but thankfully it looks like we won’t have to wait much longer to get one. With current-gen consoles approaching their second anniversary, it’s exciting to see developers finally taking full advantage of the new hardware.
It’s perfectly fine to get juiced up about sequels to your favorite franchises. We all have those series that we love unconditionally and the prospect of revisiting those universes is worth getting thrilled about, but nothing is more important to the progression of the medium than new IP. I feel like we all suffer from a certain degree of nostalgia-blindness when it comes to remakes, sequels, or spiritual successors. To say Sony “won” E3 for announcing a remake of a game that is nearly 20 years old is a little insane, especially when we saw amazing new projects like Sea of Thieves and Horizon: Zero Dawn. Like I said before, it’s fine to get excited about a FFVII remake, but that shouldn’t overshadow the other amazing things we saw at E3 this year. Titles like Sea of Thieves renew my faith in AAA game development and prove that there are still studios genuinely trying to innovate.
Miles Dompier is the chief editor and founder of What’s Your Tag?. He is a Seattle native who recently moved to the sweltering heat of Los Angeles to pursue his dream of becoming a composer/voice actor. When he’s not up writing until his eyes bleed, he likes to play a Prince level of instruments and listen to terrible death metal. Follow his shenanigans on Twitter and be sure to join our gaming community; TEAM XBRO.