E3 2017 - Play Session Highlights
A flood of footage from press and creators becoming pirate legends at E3!
In case you missed it last week, we posted a pretty comprehensive E3 press recap over on the Rare site that encompassed (ship pun, you're welcome) everything from trailer reactions to awards by way of interviews and hands-on previews. Now, to complement that – and because you seemingly never tire of new Sea of Thieves gameplay footage – we're focusing on some of the video coverage highlights from E3!
Xbox Showcase and E3 show floor sessions tended to run to 20-30 minutes apiece, with Game Informer getting in a solid 27 minutes and posting the full session. That's a good amount of time to get a feel for the game's atmosphere and unobstructed gameplay mechanics. This video alone shows off sailing, bailing, almost running aground on islands (hence the bailing), map tracking and treasure hunting.
Justin and Griffin at Polygon and YouTube's DanQ8000 took a similar approach, the former including some very enthusiastic displays of map-showing while the latter spent a respectful amount of time positioned on the prow with cutlass in hand, watching the waves roll by.
Of course, one thing missing from these videos is the in-game voice chat to give context to what's happening. If that's something you'd like to hear, check out Angry Joe's play session as he got to stream directly from the show floor with Mike, Andy and Shelley from the Sea of Thieves design team. You can see and hear how his initiation unfolded from moment to moment – including some ship-scraping night navigation, experimentation with human cannonballing and encounters with enemies both bony and briny. All this after kicking into gear with a truly unnecessary amount of drinking and vomiting. "Sick on the face! What an ice-breaker."
Some other channels took their play session footage, jumped back in and added narration in post-production. This means you can enjoy, for example, Mike and Andy of Outside Xbox reinventing maritime law and trying to explain away some interesting strategic decisions. "I didn't crash the ship! I was just drinking on the prow when it crashed. I was just dangerously negligent."
BaronVonLetsPlay also got to step away from the Xbox Showcase with his own footage to narrate and post, and like Angry Joe, began proceedings with something of a grog marathon before setting sail. If you want a prolonged insight into just how this game looks and feels while you're out on the open ocean, this is a good place to find it, and Baron himself seemed pretty sold on Sea of Thieves' artistic appeal: "Look at that. Look at those buildings. Look at just everything."
Meanwhile, Jahova approached it from an angle of wanting to let his gameplay session unfold without VO, so after a quick intro he did just that. And for once it didn't commence with in-game drinking, but judging by the confessional intro, this may have been well compensated for in real life. Now that's method pirating. Jahova's voyage began with a warm cinematic sunset and ended with a harmonically challenged pirate jam, after nearly coming to a premature watery end thanks to a Chest of Sorrow.
IGN presented their play session footage a couple of weeks after the show, allowing everyone to check out their own treasure hunt compressed into 15 minutes. This followed on nicely from the video impressions filmed during E3 where several IGN editors were interrogated on their experiences as part of a crew of four salty dogs – "I'm already smiling just at you mentioning the game" is always a good sign.
Easy Allies were also happy with their hands-on time at E3, which thankfully appeared to live up to their excitement ("All signs point to yes") expressed during the Xbox Briefing as the Sea of Thieves Gameplay Walkthrough played out. Inclusion of a captain's cabin earned us a lot of brownie points, and there appeared to be some danger of death by intense joy at the discovery of a balcony.
We'll leave it there for E3 2017, but hopefully all this has given you a better idea of the moment-to-moment gameplay in Sea of Thieves – and also a demonstration of how no two experiences will ever be quite the same. Going by the evidence above, excessive grog consumption is the only constant.
In the weeks ahead you'll want to keep tabs on Sea of Thieves' YouTube channel for plenty of insights into the features introduced to the game at E3 2017. If you couldn't catch up with us in person at E3, maybe later this year we'll cross paths at a show near you!