Sea of Thieves has been out for just over a year, and while many enjoyed the pirate game, others felt it just didn’t have enough content. Developer Rare is further attempting to address that feedback with the game’s Anniversary Update, comprising a new narrative-driven questline called Tall Tales: Shores of Gold and an entire new PvP mode named The Arena.
The Arena is a competitive mode for five teams of four set in smaller, distinct areas. At the beginning of each 24-minute match, every team receives the same set of treasure maps. You must proceed to one of the X marks in order to retrieve chests, which can then be cashed in for Silver at a number of special ships.
Of course, other teams are competing for the same chests to cash in, so you might find you run in to some resistance on your travels. Killing other players or sinking their ships nets you a small amount of Silver, and respawns are active. Particular to The Arena is a new damage model for ships, which can now have their wheel, masts, and anchor destroyed–though these can be repaired with wood in the same way you would fix a hull.
Tall Tales, meanwhile, is a new questline for people who wanted more direction in Sea of Thieves’ classic adventure mode. It’s set in the game’s usual shared world–which will also gain a new island that Rare says is its biggest island yet–and will see you complete a number of puzzles and riddles in the search for treasure. The mode includes new enemy types, items enchanted with new abilities, and a new faction that will buy fish and meat off you after you utilise new fishing and cooking mechanics. Sea of Thieves’ Anniversary update will be released for free on April 30.
Rare’s pirate game launched in March 2018 and was awarded a 6/10 in our Sea of Thieves review. “There may come a time when Sea of Thieves is able to entice me back, and I imagine that will be with a mix of new mission types and hopefully the promise of rewards that allow for new types of interactions, if not improve my character’s capabilities,” wrote Peter Brown. “For now, it’s a somewhat hollow game that can be fun for a handful of hours when played with friends, and something worth trying out if you happen to be an Xbox Game Pass subscriber. Even though it’s hard to wholeheartedly recommend, I like enough of what I see to hold out hope that things will eventually improve as the game continues to be patched and updated with new content.”