The intertwining of the features of Xbox Game Pass and cross-platform compatibility between Xbox and Windows 10 is an exciting thing to say the least, and we begin to appreciate it with the launch of Sea of Thieves. The development of the game went on for several months, proceeding a bit quietly and without triggering who knows what reactions from the gamer community, yet the Rare title is grinding extraordinary numbers, demonstrating the excellent work done by the famous English studio . Well, after our review of the Xbox One version, here we are also testing the Windows 10 edition of this original, captivating and evocative "pirate simulator".
Sea of Thieves was born as a multiplayer-based experience, to be carried out in cooperative, although the game also allows you to leave alone on the adventure, to face sad sea waves, to moor sadly near some beautiful island and to dig sad in the ground looking for treasures. There, it is not even remotely the case to try to enjoy the experience offered by the Rare title in this way; unless you want to grieve, of course. No, you have to be in company, toast with mugs full of grog, play the accordion hopping in front of a fire, on a splendid evening on the beach, celebrating yet another successful expedition. Between point A and point B, however, there is literally the sea in between.
The start screen allows you to use matchmaking to join a crew of a total of four or two pirates, using in the first case a full-sized galleon, with three masts, strings of cannons and more complex maneuverability; in the second case a sloop equipped with a single mast, smaller and more agile, which can be managed by a couple of people. Whatever the setting of the game, it is clear that everything becomes more fun in the company of friends, even the little things; and it is possible to appreciate the many facets that the developers have introduced in relation to the control of the ship itself, which must be governed with great attention to inertia, distances, the flow of the wind that we will have to intercept by tilting the sails in the right way.
You have to pull up the anchor, check the map and get at the helm to reach your destination, without GPS-style indicators to make the journey easier, with the possibility of encountering not only adverse weather situations, which in combination with the darkness of the night and with the fog they can make us end up against the rocks; but also in other pirate ships, whose crew will have no problem shelling us to take possession of the loot that we are eventually carrying. From delivery missions to skeleton hunting missions, passing through the traditional treasure hunt (complete with scrolls with a nice X in the place to search), Sea of Thieves offers a fairly rich set of things to do, although ultimately it all boils down to more or less the same mechanics.
It is also and above all for this reason that playing alone, or in the company of strangers without a microphone and / or who speak an incomprehensible language, does not do justice to the solid system developed for the occasion, particularly brilliant precisely in the rendering of the sea. and its waves, as well as the evocative landscapes that we will find ourselves admiring during navigation. The rest, including fights, remain somewhat in the shade for the moment, victim of excessive simplifications and a general lack of depth, in the perspective of a project that at this moment is still to be seen as an open construction site and that could surprise us in the coming months with new and exciting contents. Or not.
The PC version
From a technical point of view, Sea of Thieves boasts a large number of elements of absolute importance. In fact, closing an eye on the animations of the characters, devoted to functionality rather than quality, in particular as regards the connection movements, everything that you will be able to observe during your crossings will be pleasant, at times suggestive. The rendering of the sea is probably the best that has ever been seen in a video game, and in spite of the cartoonish style of the title Rare offers flashes of unexpected realism as the waves rise and crash against the hull of the ship, but also and above all when you find yourself crossing a storm, between lightning and incessant rain.
Also in this case all the aspects concerning the characters appear simplistic, just look at your companions while they swim, and this factor actually creates a clear cut between the most successful and the least successful things of this production. However, continuing on the front of the first the realization of the sky, with real polygonal models for the clouds instead of volumetric or two-dimensional solutions, it appears absolutely guessed and works extraordinarily well in conjunction with the lighting system, capable of giving magnificent images in the passage from light to dark. The atmosphere in these scenes is great, particularly at night, when torches and lamps barely illuminate the scenarios or the same gait of a distant galleon on the water. Will it be appropriate to attack him?
Excellent details of the islands, designed in a traditional way and without resorting to procedural solutions, with dense vegetation that reacts to interactions but a rather limited fauna and an aspect that at some point appears monotonous, especially when it comes to small scenarios . That said, how does Sea of Thieves perform on PC? Unfortunately, the game starts from a very serious, inexplicable lack: HDR. This is a feature that on Xbox contributes substantially to enhancing the views, but which for the moment has not been implemented in the Windows 10 edition, perhaps starting from the assumption that most users would have used a standard monitor to play.
The choice remains inexplicable, however, if we consider that supporting the high dynamic range would not have involved any extra work and made those who use the computer in the living room happy, keeping it connected to a TV compatible with this technology. However, various fine graphics adjustments are also missing, replaced by a simplified approach: in addition to setting the resolution, the frame rate limit and the vertical sync, Sea of Thieves only allows you to act on a general preset or on five specific voices, which change the quality of elements such as shadows, polygonal patterns, textures, water and lighting.
It is clearly possible to get by even with these few options in order to scale the experience in the presence of underperforming hardware, but the settings maniacs may not like so much superficiality. The rest, however, is just good news: on the test configuration it is possible to play at 1080p and 60 frames per second or at 2160p and 30 frames per second without ever encountering an uncertainty, while keeping all settings to the maximum. What is surprising, however, is the consistency of the frame rate, which in both cases seems to offer perfect pacing, so much so that during our tests we preferred to give priority to detail and remain anchored to the thirty frames, without experiencing any shooting sensation. even in the most complicated situations. The game natively supports mouse and keyboard controls or the Xbox controller, and its cross-platform nature allows Xbox One users to participate in games in a completely transparent way, without any limit beyond the Windows 10 interface. .
PC System Requirements
- Processor: Intel Core i5 6600K
- Scheda video: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 Jetstream
- Memory: 16 GB of RAM
- Operating system: Windows 10
- Processore: Intel Q9450, AMD Phenom II X6
- Video card: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 650, AMD Radeon 7750
- Memory: 4 GB of RAM
- Hard disk: 19 GB of space required
- Operating system: Windows 10 64-bit
- Processore: Intel Core i3 4170, AMD FX 6300
- Video card: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660, AMD Radeon R9 270
- Memory: 8 GB of RAM
- Hard disk: 19 GB of space required
- Operating system: Windows 10 64-bit
CommentDigital Delivery Windows Store Price 69,99 € Resources4Gaming.com
The PC version of Sea of Thieves actually boasts the same strengths and weaknesses as seen on Xbox. The title Rare proposes a solid, exciting system, capable of giving life to real adventures with surprising implications, giving us memorable glimpses and a sea rendered in an absolutely marvelous way; but at the same time it is the victim of some simplifications and a general lack of depth and content, an element that we hope will be straightened out over the next few weeks. On Windows 10 the game has the huge flaw of not supporting HDR, a key technology to emphasize the quality of the lighting system, thus contributing to the overall atmosphere, and the graphics adjustments are few. However, as far as performance is concerned, nothing can be said about it: it runs very well, without those uncertainties to which many other productions have often accustomed us.
- A great experience with friends
- Navigation and sea rendered beautifully
- Performance solide su PC...
- ... but HDR is missing and options are scarce
- Few content, we hope for updates
- Slippery and inconsistent fights