While the end of October is typically reserved for Halloween festivities, gamers worldwide have more to celebrate. Today begins the 10th Paris Games Week, an event attended by many a games publisher, including Iceberg Interactive. And of the dozen of games they previewed, one in particular stood out; the publisher closed out its showcase with a first look at Get Up Games’ pirate-themed battle royale, Blazing Sails.
The reveal trailer shows off traversal by land and sea, hinting at a giant playground for players to scour for skulls and treasure. A few quick glimpses at Blazing Sails‘ combat and interface imply more versatility than in its contemporaries. Players can be seen with up to five weapons and gadgets on their hotbar — plenty more than Sea of Thieves‘ two, for example. Its naval combat is also a pirate game staple, but never before has it been done in a battle royale.
But combat isn’t all that Blazing Sails has going for it. Part of the battle royale experience is in the looting, doubly so for a pirate battle royale. The thrill of sailing island to island in search of (lethal) booty is a definite step up from the mindless room-to-room building clearing of most games in the genre. Players will know how refreshing the game truly is when they get their hands on it in early 2020.
The new age of pirates
Blazing Sails‘ greatest threat doesn’t come from combatants embroiled in the battle royale of battle royale games, surprisingly. It’s biggest competition will undoubtedly be Sea of Thieves, which recently saw an update just in time for Halloween. From the art to the gameplay, much of what we can see is reminiscent of Rare’s recent multiplayer action adventure.
In fact, it looks as though Blazing Sails is building upon the barnacle-covered foundation laid by Rare, throwing in battle royale as a twist. There’s also Instinct Games and Grapeshot Games’ Atlas, which lost popularity as quickly as it had it thanks in part to technical hiccups. The same could be said about Sea of Thieves, but the game has since found its second wind.
The sudden resurgence of pirate games is often attributed to the notoriety of Assassin’s Creed: Black Flag and its naval combat. Ubisoft’s Skull & Bones is one such game drawing inspiration from that well. Skull & Bones is slated for launch in March of 2020 — seemingly around the same time as Blazing Sails.
How Blazing Sails will perform in an industry flooded with battle royales and embracing the pirate craze is uncertain. The game shows promise, but nothing it does is novel, save for the combination of two of the industry’s hottest trends.