Sea of Thieves is a game that requires a lot of time. With stocking up a ship to sailing from island to island all while being chased by giant sharks and the occasional run-in with the dreaded Kraken, there is a lot of things that sink into your time, so there’s no such thing as a quick game of Sea of Thieves…until now.
The Arena is a separate mode where players can jump into a Galleon with an X marks the spot map and compete against other crews of four to secure the most amount of delivered chests in a small area of the map with only a handful of islands. It’s sheer chaos. Looking up and seeing so many Galleons so close to each other is terrifyingly exhilarating!
But, before all that happens, there’s another nice feature that really makes the mode sing and that’s the Arena Lobby. The lobby is a tavern where players can not only buy Arena exclusive items but also hang out with one another. There’s a little stage with a microphone (where I’ve maybe gone into game chat and read some bad pirate-themed jokes one too many times, getting some boos and the odd applause here and there) or it can be a place where players can play on their instruments.
There’s a hot tub where players can soak and, of course, a bar where we can all get sloshed. The lobby reminds me of the Citadel in Destiny. It’s a nice touch and beats staring at a traditional lobby screen waiting for everyone to ready up.
But anyway, back to the main event, the Arena really shines with the ship-to-ship combat. Now that helms, masts and capstans break, it adds a whole new dynamic to the game. Seeing ships blast each other out of the water all while sneakily digging up a chest on an island is where the fun is. This mode really makes the naval combat shine but also highlights Sea of Thieves’ weakest feature and that is swordplay. It has always felt very slow and clunky and it shows in this mode where the PVP is the main theme.
The best thing about the Arena is the fact that now there is such a thing as ‘a quick game of Sea of Thieves’. It’s fun, fast-paced and it still manages to capture the heart and soul of the game. One can only look to the future of this title, especially with E3 coming up.