Sea of Thieves' Dark Relics update finally sticks harpoon guns on rowboats

Sea of Thieves' August update, Dark Relics, introduces new voyages for you to complete and chests for you to hunt down, but forget all of that, because the most important new addition is harpoon guns on rowboats. 

Harpoon guns are, next to maybe fishing, the best thing Rare has added to its increasingly entertaining piratical romp. They usually miss and there's no animation for when they hook something, like another pirate, so it looks a bit early access. I love it. During my last voyage, I tried to hook a pal but instead hit the explosive barrel he was rowing back to our ship. He didn't make it. 

I'm excited about what this means for boarding ships. Launching out of a cannon is risky and swimming is too slow. Rowboats normally are, too, but with a harpoon to latch onto their quarry? That should change things. The logical conclusion is a personal harpoon gun. 

The Dark Relics voyages aren't floating my boat quite as much. Skeletons have stolen some relics, so you need to hunt them down across three voyages and get them back. Like last month's Black Powder Stash voyages, they sounds like very slight twists on regular missions. Also, skeleton bounties are still a bit rubbish, so I'm not eager for more. 

Ritual skulls and a new kind of chest have also been flung into the mix. The Order of Souls will pay you well for any of these special skulls that skeletons drop, while the new chests will be easily visible when near, possibly inspiring a fight. 

I'm hungry for doubloons, so I'll probably end up doing the voyages anyway, especially since there are new cosmetics available. The elaborate Tall Tales campaigns have spoiled me a bit, however, so I just can't get excited about the basic quests now. Harpooning, though, is still a thrill. 

The Dark Relics update is live now. 

Fraser Brown
Online Editor

Fraser is the UK online editor and has actually met The Internet in person. With over a decade of experience, he's been around the block a few times, serving as a freelancer, news editor and prolific reviewer. Strategy games have been a 30-year-long obsession, from tiny RTSs to sprawling political sims, and he never turns down the chance to rave about Total War or Crusader Kings. He's also been known to set up shop in the latest MMO and likes to wind down with an endlessly deep, systemic RPG. These days, when he's not editing, he can usually be found writing features that are 1,000 words too long or talking about his dog.