I recently played Sea of Thieves for the first time, writing about it too. Basically the day that I released that article the new A Pirate’s Life expansion was released. After enjoying my first time in Sea of Thieves I had to play the new content, so I once again brought in my good friend Lewis to venture forth with me.
What’s the message?
This is honestly a pretty crazy collaboration, crazy in scope not in concept. Disney gave Rare the reins to add Pirates of the Caribbean into Sea of Thieves. With the A Pirate’s Life expansion Pirates of the Caribbean finally makes it to the big screen. Finally Pirates of the Caribbean is dropping into the mainstream…
For real though, A Pirate’s Life brings the Davy Jones movies into the game – with altered storylines but following the same themes. The expansion has you going after Davy Jones’ chest, the same as the second movie.
The new expansion is split into a bunch of Tall Tales that can be found at any outpost. Each one leads into an extended bit of dialogue with Tia Dalma and the Tale starting, and you get a nifty little book that you can sift through for maps and the like. It’s a very cool way to navigate the map honestly.
The highs and lows?
The main positives for A Pirate’s Life is the gameplay. It’s really the same as the main game, the gameplay loop in Sea of Thieves is just good. So adding more of that is always good.
Some of the particularly good additions are the variations in enemies. Ghost pirates, eel men, crab boys, and clam heads. All through the Tales you are basically just fighting Barbossa’s crew and Davy Jones’. One of my favourite things here is that Davy Jones’ monster men pop up all over the map, so you could be exploring an unrelated island looking for treasure and they just pop up. It can be pretty surprising when you get tazed from behind.
I don’t think this counts as a spoiler but seeing the kraken a bunch is really cool. You see it out on the sea but now you see the whole thing. Not just the tentacles as they drag your ship down immediately.
Seeing the Black Pearl, not always in its full glory, was really awesome. There were plenty of references to both the ride and the movies which were welcomed. It’s one of those, if you’ve been there or watched the films they really add to the experience.
I’ll have to give some props to the final sequence as well, although I spent most of it below deck because Lewis can’t captain a ship well. I basically had to repair the ship every 5 seconds because of his shoddy steering. That besides, it’s a genuinely cool way to finish the expansion and none shall be disappointed.
A special mention to the voice actor for Jack Sparrow. Until you listen to him alot you genuinely can’t tell it’s not actually Depp.
Now for the issues, of which there were a couple for me.
The first is a pretty big one, it launched pretty buggy. As in game breakingly buggy. On the first day during the second mission – after over an hour of play – we just couldn’t progress. A sort of button is supposed to light up and you can hit it, and when you hit it you are able to progress. It just didn’t light up. We even spent a further hour swimming up and down back to the ship, which was not close, as well as fully restarting the game.
To the team’s credit they have now fixed this issue and a number of other ones in a patch. It did set Lewis and I back by a whole week so it was still definitely a low point.
Other than Jack Sparrow, the rest of the voice actors aren’t great. They mostly aren’t the real ones either, they’re just worse. Davy Jones is just the worst honestly, Bill Nighy he is not.
To follow on from this the dialogue is a bit too slow for me. It takes too long to start up one of the Tales, you have to just wait for them to finish. I think the issue might be that these aren’t cutscenes and I don’t think there is any skipping. Instead you are still in full control and can just run around.
What does it all mean?
Overall, despite the teething issues and elongated dialogue, A Pirate’s Life was great fun. It added in a bunch of new items, enemies, all culminating into a pretty dope pirate fight.
Before the update that fixed the game breaking bugs this would have been a hard pass. I in fact did pass on the expansion after wasting all that time. I played Sea of Thieves a bit still in that time but I wouldn’t even attempt the Tale again. Now that it’s fixed and I’ve finished it I can say now that it’s worth a go.
I don’t think the dialogue, acting, or story is all that interesting honestly. That being said, I think that the gameplay is the best part of Sea of Thieves anyway. Sailing the high seas with a crew big or small and getting treasure along the way. A Pirate’s Life let’s you do more of that, with some amazing set pieces, and some simple but engaging puzzles. There’s also a lot of swimming to do, so be warned there.
Truthfully I had an absolute blast playing through the A Pirate’s Life expansion in Sea of Thieves. Going from nice voyages, pillaging, and sea battles, to underwater fortresses and puzzles. All the while having laughs with Ol’ Cap’n Lewis. If you have a small group and just want to have fun I still thoroughly recommend Sea of Thieves. My opinion does not change for the A Pirate’s Life expansion, it just gives you a lot more to see.
I like Monster and there are a lot of holes in my drywall… and I have been gaming pretty religiously for the last 2 decades. I am currently a Backend Developer working on an online fundraising platform.