Set sail and don’t look back! King of Seas may or may not be the pirate game you’ve been looking for. But, that’s more because any pirate game is worth a try, and they are incredibly different from each other. No band of savages and criminals has been ever been more romanticized, caricaturized, and even made family-friendly more than pirates. King of Seas, developed by 3DClouds and published by Team17 (who also published some of my favorite games) takes the more standard approach. This King of Seas review will take a look at what makes yet another pirate game worth discovering. So, step lively now; it’s time to be the King of all pirates.
King of Seas Review: What Is It?
Luckily, King of Seas is easy to describe; an open-world action-adventure RPG pirate adventure where you explore proceduraly-generated fantasy seas. Whether you follow the quest-oriented main storyline or sail free is up to you – the gameplay stays the same. Fight other pirates, unearth hidden treasure, loot, and plunder your way to become the next Blackbeard.
But behind all of this is still a wacky-fun plot that’s basically a coming-of-age story of an exiled prince/princess. The cartoonish visuals double down on that same feel, too. Light-hearted fun is a running theme in King of Seas, even while committing heinous acts against innocents.
A Seaworthy Vessel
During the 12 or so hours I spent with the game to write this King of Seas review, I found a lot to enjoy. From just free-roaming around the open sea to optimizing my build there was always something I could appreciate.
This brings us to what I think is the game’s strongest point: King of Seas has a ton of replayability. While the buzzwords “proceduraly generated open-world” already hint at a lot of game time, it was really the decision system that takes the cake. In King of Seas, your actions have a significant effect on the world state and how other entities in the game interact with you. It’s an interesting system that makes every run a little different. I can definitely see me coming back a few months later for another weekend-consuming run of King of Seas.
But there is something else about the game; it is just fun! Everything considered, King of Seas was designed with a fun-first philosophy. In the open seas, you can do anything. You can bully low level ships, play the peaceful pirate (you can, but why?), or try to take on ridiculously overlevelled enemies from the get go; the world is your oyster! Everyone enjoys games differently, and in King of Seas you can enjoy the game however you want with little penalties.
Collision Course Ahead!
The reason I see myself revisiting King of Seas and not just extending my current is that I’m frustrated. Even after multiple nights with the game, there are things I just can’t get used to.
Like the controls for example. The game wants you to steer with A and D, control your 3 sails (more like gears) with W and S. Then fire cannons with left and right arrow keys, and control special abilities with numbers 1 through 4. That’s a lot more keys than the simple gameplay warrants (obviously, this King of Seas review is for the PC version with no gamepad). Most games with similar gameplay give you some navigation power with the mouse or less keys to remember.
Other small frustrations include the lack of a minimap; a compass is all you get. Which you get used to once you start memorizing your world. But a long tutorial with little guidance doubles down to make the least enjoyable time of the game the critical starting hour or so.
Despite some ebb tide in the form of questionable mechanics, King of Seas is a thoroughly enjoyable game. A ton of replayability and very free gameplay make this game enjoyable to binge or in bite-sized sessions alike. If you are looking for a no-frills experience that you can enjoy in your very own way, King of Seas is the game for you.
This review is based on the PC version of King of Seas. The key was provided by Team17