Sea of Thieves Explained (Somewhat)

Sea of Thieves Inn-side Story #1

My game of show from E3 was most definitely Sea of Thieves. Despite looking absolutely phenomenal, there wasn’t much in the way of explanation. What is Sea of Thieves? What type of game is Sea of Thieves?

Executive Producer Joe Neate and Design Director Gregg Mayles sat down for their first “Inn-side Story” and gave us lots of details.

Sea of Thieves is a “Memorable Multiplayer Online Game”

Joe Neate coined that phrase, and I love it. Piggybacking off of Joe’s comment about seeing those sails on the horizon, Gregg said they want every interaction with other players to be special. That would indeed be lost by having 30-100 ships on the screen like a regatta.

“Live the pirate life”

“Be the part you want to be”

“The freedom to do what you like”

“Island hopping, sailing where you want, following a map, or doing what you like”

“Willthere be a Kraken? of course…”

“Can I go on quests? Seek treasure? All of those things you expect”

That all sounds perfect. Although they didn’t come right out and give us a perfectly clear expectation of gameplay, we at least know that they intend for this to be at least a moderately open-world pirate adventure where we can explore and “do whatever we want” all while knowing that other players are in the world too… and they’re free to act as pirates.

Sea of Thieves sounds more and more like the game I want to play.

Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End Review

Uncharted 4

Uncharted 4 brings to an end one of my (now) favorite gaming series. Just two months ago I picked up the Nathan Drake Collection and fell completely in love with the first three games. Something about the adventure of pirates, treasure, and glory captured my heart and I was hooked. While the first three games were very much about the adventure, Uncharted 4 takes quite a spin focusing more on a mature (meaning grown up and serious) narrative.

Nathan and Elena are a little older now. Several years have passed since the events in Uncharted 3. They’re trying to retire and live normal lives. The game begins with the two in their home where Naughy Dog immediately showcases their story-telling finesse. Uncharted 4 definitely shows the effect The Last of Us had on Naughty Dog. You can feel the tension of two people living a life that neither are happy with. It was only a matter of time before Nathan sucked them back into an adventure — one that may be their last.


Uncharted 4 has superb graphics. You can see the dust in the air, the rocks sliding down a hill, etc., etc. It’s gorgeous. It’s 60fps on console. The engine is one of the best I’ve experienced. Underwater scenes are gorgeous. The world feels legitimate.

Uncharted 4 Graphics

General Gameplay

Gameplay is cinematic to say the least. Even the most intense combat scenarios where you’re under fire from all sides and making ridiculous decisions that no game developer should have been able to foresee end up feeling choreographed into the perfect scene. The parkour is crazier than ever with the introduction of sliding and grappling hooks that make Drake give Spider-man a run for his money. Traversing terrain still feels a little ridiculous for any human to accomplish, but the controls are such that you feel like you’re controlling Nathan’s arms and reaching for ledges.

Shooting mechanics vary game to game in this series. I tried using the assisted aim and while I’m a sucker for auto-aim on consoles, but version nearly got me killed. I quickly disabled it and found the standard gunplay very comfortable and I was making head shots without any form of assist.

Elena in Uncharted 4

The Campaign

Uncharted 4 returns to the idea of pirates. This time, Nathan is going after the pirate Captain Henry Avery’s long-lost treasure. From Monaco to the Scottish Highlands to Madagascar, there’s plenty of diversity in scenery.

The campaign itself has its ups and downs. While combat and various scenes are choreographed perfectly (the car chase in Monaco comes to mind), the game runs into several moments of rinse and repeat. Every time you find your way deeper into the adventure, suddenly the bad guys are already well established ahead of you and you have to take them all out again.

Stealth plays a larger role in this one. I almost felt like I was playing Assassin’s Creed during a few points. I like that a lot more than guns blazing all the time. Puzzle solving is also back better than it was in some of the previous games. I do wish there were even more puzzles, though.

Uncharted 4’s biggest issue is its second act. The pacing is so boring. People critique the third act, but I felt like that was Uncharted 4 getting back to its roots and rounding out that story they’ve been trying to tell over 4 games now. No spoilers will be given here, but the third act contains dialog necessary for building the emotional connection to what the characters are going through. Yes, the third act was a little slow, but I liked what it represented for the characters involved.

A  Thief’s End

The ending is perfect. I don’t want to spoil anything for those of you still playing through, or who one day will fix their mistake by not having played these games.  After the game seems to end, stick around. Play through until Game Over on the Crash Bandcioot scene. This ending was very fulfilling. I eat this stuff up. Both my wife and I thought that it was a very fitting end. There’s a reason people are calling this, “The greatest story ever played.”

Disney Infinity 3.0: Twilight of the Republic Review

I finished my play-through of Disney Infinity 3.0’s Twilight of the Republic play set last night! As I detailed in my review of Disney Infinity 3.0 as a whole, these play sets are just one “game” within a game, comprising story-driven quests, objectives, collectibles, and challenges.Twilight of the Republic Review


Story and Setting

Twilight of the Republic GeonosisTwilight of the Republic takes place chronologically between the second and third movies smack dab in the middle of the Clone Wars era. The basic story (no spoilers) has you traveling through various planets to identify a new threat to the Republic. This threat will introduce you to familiar locations such as Geonosis and Tatooine, as well as many legendary figures from the entire Star Wars series. While the story is good, there are definitely some liberties taken. As long as you’re not a purist you should be fine. My only true critique is that I wish it was longer.

There are a total of 4 planets you traverse as you advance the story, but only 3 of them count in my opinion. The final planet is pretty much the final boss fight only. Each planet offers about an hour or two of gameplay not including collectibles and challenges. Gameplay on these planets consists mostly of side quests with a few main story quests pushing you through. The side quests are silly and aimed at the younger audience, but the core story will keep you engaged and wanting to progress to see more. I rather enjoyed when the game departed from just combat and presented me with obstacles to try and navigate.

Disney Infinity YodaI played on the second to last difficulty and found the game actually too difficult in many spots. Boss battles had nice mechanics as well as a learning curve. The final boss was actually very challenging and had I not had Anakin, Ahsoka, Yoda, Ezra, and Sabine I would have been in deep trouble. I ended up cycling through them and even had to wait for one to recharge during a phase of the encounter.

TotR Characters

The play set comes with Anakin Skywalker and Ahsoka Tano. Combined with Yoda and Obi-wan (with Darth Maul release later this year) these are the only current characters you’ll be able to play in TotR until you unlock more character tokens — you’ll still need to purchase those characters to use them as well. For the purpose of scoring this review, I am only going to review what is included in the play set. [Read more…]

Disney Infinity 3.0 Overview and Review

Disney Infinity 3.0

I almost don’t even know where to begin with my coverage of Disney Infinity 3.0 because the game itself is so massive in scope that tackling the entire thing at once feels way too daunting for both me to type up and for you to even want to read in one sitting. I decided the best thing to do would be to cover various aspects of the game in different entries, document some of what I write about in casual Let’s Play videos, and go from there.

Today’s post is going to be a little bit of a broad overview. I’m going to attach Episode 1 of my Let’s Play series for you to see some of these things I’m talking about. This will act as my review for the game itself overall. I will review each of the items sold separately for you to be able to make an educated decision on whether or not they are worth the purchase.

What is Disney Infinity 3.0?

Disney Infinity 3.0 is the third game in what what has grown from a simple Skylanders rip off into a juggernaut of a game. As I mentioned before, the scope of DI is huge. There’s a toy box where you can build everything from Disney to Star Wars to Marvel themed worlds, create your own games and script them with in-game tools — yes, you can even make isometric MOBAs in this thing — and decorate a house. There’s even the ability to download other players’ toy boxes.

You can also play through story-driven Play Sets which act as action/adventure games. So far there are three Play Sets released — two for Star Wars and one for Inside Out — which I will review independently. There’s Twilight of the Republic ($34.99) which takes place in the clone wars era, and Rise Against the Empire ($34.99) which spans New Hope through RotJ. I haven’t picked up Inside Out yet, but I’ll probably grab it soon. Oh, if you buy it be sure to get it in the Inside Out Bundle exclusive to Amazon for $65.

Disney Infinity 3.0 Play Sets

Looking for something a little more like Diablo? A dungeon crawler of sorts? Yep, there’s a game for that called Toy Box Takeover ($20). There’s even upcoming Toy Box expansion called Toy Box Speedway which is a Mario Kart-esque racer. I have no idea when that comes out. I will also review these independently since they are each sold separately. [Read more…]

Assassin’s Creed Rogue Review: A Must Play

Assassin's Creed Rogue Story

This post will contain spoilers for Assassin’s Creed Rogue, Unity, III, etc.

Assassins’ Creed Rogue launched the exact same day as Assassin’s Creed Unity, received absolutely no press, and launched on “last-gen” consoles. Rogue’s fate was sealed before it even launched, and for whatever reason fell by the wayside as a game I had not even heard of — even as a major fan of the franchise — until just a few months ago. I’m glad I played because Rogue is easily one of the best in the entire series.

A Return to Great Storytelling

You’ll recall from my Unity review that I felt like Ubisoft abandoned the fantastic (and horrifically complex) story they’ve been telling for so many years. Rogue doesn’t suffer from these issues. In fact, Rogue not only bridges entire series into a complete package that actually makes sense — it actually brings clarity to Unity’s story!

You play as Shay Patrick Cormac, a novice to the Assassin order. After the Assassins keep making terrible decisions regarding the pieces of Eden and implementing an end justifies the means approach, Shay decides he has had enough and tries to put a stop to the needless bloodshed. He goes against the Assassins and ends up unknowingly joining the Templars as he seeks to help the British colonies defend themselves against the French. Ultimately he realizes he has more in common with the Templars, joins their ranks, and becomes instrumental in obliterating the Assassin Order in the colonies. [Read more…]