Sea of Thieves (opens in new tab)' massive anniversary update promises a lot of diversions for salty sea dogs, including fishing, harpooning and the new Arena PvP mode, but perhaps most tantalising is the introduction of new story-driven quests. These Tall Tales will send crews on tricky treasure hunts with new enemies and devious puzzles, the first of which, Shores of Gold, has been shown off in a new trailer. Watch it above.
Rare's piratical romp has already evolved into a fun co-op adventure, but the anniversary update looks like an even more significant leap forward. Samuel took it for a sail a couple of weeks ago and said it "finally makes the game reach its full potential. (opens in new tab)" He dabbled in the Arena and played the first of Shores of Gold's nine chapters. Rare reckons it will take players up to 15 hours to finish them all.
Expect puzzles, traps and boss encounters as you and your pals try to get your hands on the booty. There's a bit of magic, too, and you'll need to use enchanted items, like special spyglasses and lanterns, to solve Shores of Gold's mysteries.
Sea of Thieves has claimed many hours with its treasure hunts, bounties and surprise attacks from sea monsters, but I've been itching for a more cohesive adventure. The mercenary voyages, which send pirates on a string of quests, were a good start, but there's nothing linking the objectives together. Rare did dabble in more story-driven quests with things like the Hungering Deep, but they've been tests for Tall Tales, apparently, which sounds like it will be a lot more involved.
This is what I've been waiting for, then, and I'm especially excited about Samuel's comparison with GTA's heists. Everyone on your crew will have something to do, hopefully even the guy who keeps falling off the ship while playing the hurdy-gurdy. His name is Fraser and he's sorry.
Shores of Gold, Arena, fishing and everything else will set sail on April 30.