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    King of Seas review

    You want to be a pirate—you’re only human, after all—and this game has you covered. Defending yourself from the navy, attacking innocent people for loot, sailing around doing nothing more than looking for trouble… all present and correct. You don’t have to be horrible on the high seas, but when it’s made as fun as it is here, it’s pretty darn tempting.

    While there’s a story, it’s not particularly deep, and could be comfortably summed up in a tweet (including spoilers). The important thing is that you go from member of the nautical monarchy to outlaw pirate with amusing speed, and terrorising strangers is more fun than living a life of luxury could ever have been. Exploring (and blowing up) this world in your ship is immensely satisfying, which is just as well; you never set foot on dry land.

    You never really ‘set foot’ anywhere. Ports are little more than a collection of menus for buying, selling and quest-gathering. Outside of these, the boat is essentially your avatar, controlled with a choice of three levels of camera zoom. The two furthest away give the impression of looking down on, and playing with, your own personal pirate playset.

    (Image credit: Team17)

    As well as ships to randomly attack (or be attacked by) there are crates and rafts to pick up, wrecks to loot, fish to catch (eventually), and a trading system that can often be more profitable than piracy. Each port has one item that they produce a lot of, and one that they produce very little of. So for example, one port might pay relatively little for rubies, but you can make a killing by selling them wood. You can become rich by being a capitalist monster should you so wish. 

    There are plenty of sidequests to discover, but they very quickly fall into one of a small number of categories (primarily delivery, escort, or search and destroy). While this is disappointing, I never had time to get annoyed by the repetition, as I largely ignored these quests. King of Seas offers a nautical sandbox that panders to my pirate wishes, allowing me to do what I want at the pace I want to do it, and that was the real treasure all along.

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    As seen on PCgamer

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