I've been playing Sea of Thieves on the Xbox One for a few months now during the Alpha and Beta phases and have enjoyed this week being able to finally keep my progressions from session to session, as well as (eventually) seeing the system run the way it's been promised all along. First, it's a damn pretty game; the level of detail is incredible considering the size of the world and the amount of elements within it. Though I know you're here for the comic, I'm guessing that the majority of folks checking this out will have at least heard of the game. I talk so much about the game because the comic seems to have little to nothing in common with the game itself, and I want to be clear about that at the outset. There's a good pirate story here with mostly interesting characters, but it feels constrained by the limits of the game without tying into it directly enough to validate the story missteps that it causes.
We're introduced (quite overtly) to eight pirates with over-the-top personalities that tend to espouse their intentions loudly and without much in the way of subtlety. Don't get me wrong - as a pirate story, it's fairly good, though a bit blunt, but considering the lack of story, characters, or even classes in the game, I don't understand quite how these properties connect at all. The characters also manage to say the title about three hundred times, so it wears on a bit and seems like a comic that's a bit shoehorned into the license to make it fit. The story hiccups I spoke of above tie into the weird convolutions that take place in ensuring that the two crews in the book both have four people in them, which is the standard crew size in the game. The game also lacks any sort of distinct characters that matter (The amount of design that has gone into the individuals on each island is admirable, but you're moving so fast during the game that there's not much reason to stick around for anything other than your missions, equipment, or money and the effort seems a bit wasted.), so the feel is also incredibly different. Now, I'll be the first to defend the differences between the experiences of two different types of media needing to be adjusted to fit their type of media, but this seems more like two separate properties that have to work together but don't do so very well.
As I said, the game is stunning to look at, and the amount of resources active at any time is staggering, so I was hoping that the art style inside this book would at least match the tone of the game, but this is more like a Saturday morning cartoon than a cel-shaded beauty. Again, I'm not bashing the artwork; it's fun, bright, and fits perfectly with the tone of the story that they're telling here, it's just that it doesn't feel like it has anything to do with the game that it shares a title with. The action is fun and PG-13, but it feels right and proper for the title.
If you're looking for a comic that ties into the new game from Rare, then steer away from this island - nothing but skellies and empty barrels here with a storm brewing. If you're looking for a fun, all-ages pirate story that has a diverse and whackadoo cast and will tickle the crossbones of young scallywags, then you're in the right spot and should have fun with it. Me, I'm gonna go fire myself out of a cannon at someone else also firing themselves out of a cannon to perform a midair high five while trying not to smash into the rocks too hard.
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Creative Team: Jeremy Whitley (Writer), Rhoald Marcellius (Artist), Sakti Yuwono (Colors) Jaka Ady (Letterer), Tom Williams (Editor), Andrew Leung (Senior Designer)
Publisher: Titan Comics
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