For an entire year, the crew’s been hoarding the secrets of Sea of Thieves like any pirate worth his salt would protect his stash of stolen doubloons. At E3 2016, we finally lifted the lid and gave the world a glance at the goods in our brand new Cinematic and Gameplay Trailers! In these, any keen-eyed sea dog can spy a future packed with promise, but if by chance you didn’t catch all the chatter that followed in our wake, we’ve rounded up a sampling of stories for your perusal.

Sea of Thieves: E3 Accolades

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One of the first to cast off was IGN’s Ryan McCaffrey who set sail – and sunk – with a smile on his face. During his hands-on demo, he happily unleashed his inner pirate. “I began yelling things like, ‘Hard to starboard!’ because why not? Sea of Thieves may be […] the pirate game I’ve always wanted to play. Might as well fully embrace the fun I was having.”

Of course, Ryan wasn’t the only scallywag to adopt pirate talk while sloshing grog and scurrying about the ship. After the Metro UK crew found their sea legs, they zeroed in on the heart of Sea of Thieves’ co-operative play as they sailed into battle. They emerged from their first voyage refreshed, stating that “acting like a team, where the goal is something other than aiming at the flashing red bit of an enemy boss, is an excitingly unusual experience in games.”

Many newly formed crews hoisted their tankards to their first foray into Sea of Thieves!

For some, like first-time captain Esat Dedezade of Stuff.tv, the call for adventure and reckless nautical abandon was irresistible. “Having watched the previous group lose to an onslaught of cannon fire, I want to try something a little different. I want to kamikaze-ram our ship directly into our enemies.” Whilst he managed to survive his brush with cannonballs, others were hampered by their grog intake (hello, VG247) or by forgetting to check just how many decks were below (hi, GamesRadar).

But not everyone took to blasting enemy ships with gusto. Instead, there were some like PCWorld’s Hayden Dingman who preferred to resolutely serenade his crew with song throughout his voyage. “I was standing on the prow of our ship, playing my accordion as we sailed headlong into battle. While others unfurled the sails and manned the cannons, I played accordion. As cannonballs flew over my head, I played the accordion. As my fellow pirates patched up holes in the ship, I played accordion.”

Ship combat exploded on open water with cannon fire blasts and broadsiding other crews!

Clearly, no two crews’ experiences were the same and all our adventurous sea dogs set out to live the pirate life they’ve dreamed about. Afterwards, like any buccaneer bravely recounting tales of their time at sea, The Guardian’s Keith Stuart noted players shared stories of their hands-on sessions. It’s exactly the sort of tavern talk that we’re excited to hear!

For those of you wishing to delve deeper into the inspiration behind Sea of Thieves, Gamasutra uncovered a veritable treasure trove of information during their interview with Studio Head Craig Duncan and Lead Designer Mike Chapman. And if you’re keen to speculate where our compass points to next, Windows Central pillaged the potential possibilities from some of our devs. Those with the gumption to go further might find more insights in IGN’s Unlocked podcast or this interview with Xbox On.

Before the sun set on E3 2016, our crew made off with a number of nominations and awards from IGN, Kotaku, Eurogamer and many, many more! We’re compiling a list of accolades to show off, but in the meantime feel free to admire the wall with us…

Our resident undead dev Captain Bones claimed the loot for himself as soon as it arrived from Los Angeles! (Photo credit: Joe Neate)

We’re now busy charting a course for our next port of call, so keep a sharp lookout on Twitter and Facebook for the latest news and updates.