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Five of the Best Games Set at Sea

Sea of Thieves

Rare didn’t just dip its toe into the online multiplayer genre, but dove right in. Sea of Thieves is by far the most ambitious title that Rare has ever created, and allows players to live out their childhood pirating dreams. Four pirates take control of their own ship, and take different roles, including: steering, watching out for enemies, and getting drunk – arguably the most important role of all.

Sadly Sea of Thieves doesn’t include enough varied gameplay to avoid the sharks in the water. Naval combat is ridiculously fun, and digging up chests is very rewarding, but there’s just not the variety of gameplay to keep players returning to Sea of Thieves. Despite this, Sea of Thieves is the best chance many of us will get to be a pirate, and that good enough for me.

Super Mario Sunshine

For Mario’s debut on the Gamecube, Nintendo added to the open world formula by giving him a water powered jetpack/water-pistol thingy. The F.L.U.D.D (Flash Liquidizer Ultra Dousing Device – best name for a water pistol ever) is every kids’ dream weapon of choice in a water fight. But Super Mario Sunshine didn’t just include a water-shooting Mario, it also included a mesmerising environment by the sea.

The tropical resort of Isle Delfino, which happens to be shaped like a dolphin, introduced two new races, the Piantas and Nokis. These colourful creatures inhabited over 10 different settings in Super Mario Sunshine, with the most memorable being the Delfino Plaza (also used as Peach’s race track in Mario Kart: Double Dash). The colourful setting perfectly related to the style of the game, and brought the ocean to a Mario game like never before.

Wave Race 64

Released in 1996, Wave Race 64 brought jet skis to the racing genre and showed how cool they can be. Jet skis added a new dimension to racing; they handled differently to cars and required much more precision. And with the addition of Stunt Mode, Wave Race 64 rode the wave of momentum towards success.

But perhaps most remarkable about this game though, are the beautiful visuals created for the N64 system. The races included some scenic routes around stunning settings – some of which could distract you from the actual race. And that water… just amazing. The ocean has always been challenging for game developers to re-create, but Wave Race 64 did it brilliantly. You could get lost in those relaxing waves, and many of us did when heading to the water in Wave Race 64.

Assassin’s Creed: Black Flag

Top 10 open world games of all time

Ubisoft looked to create a completely unique setting for Assassin’s Creed: Black Flag, and did that by letting the waves of the sea wash away previous mistakes (looking at you Assassin’s Creed 3). Black Flag introduced Edward Kenway, pirate and assassin: maybe the greatest combination of jobs ever.

It used the vastness of the sea to design a thrilling naval combat system which was highly addictive. Initiating a fight, destroying their vessel, then boarding and killing the enemies is a pattern of gameplay that just never gets old. No game has ever made combat in water as exciting as Assassin’s Creed: Black Flag, and perhaps none will ever do so again.

The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker

“Hoy small fry! I see you’ve made it to number one – would you like me to add that to your chart?”

When Nintendo showed off the the battle between Link and Ganondorf at Space World 2000 everyone was so excited: the battle looked incredible. But one person wasn’t excited. One important person. The person. Eiji Aonuma. He just didn’t think the demo felt right, and got the development team to go back to the drawing board. And thank the Hylian Goddesses he did: The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker was born.

Wind Waker allowed the player to sail around what was once Hyrule (before the flood) and discover all that the open world had to offer. Wind Waker brilliantly made islands and attractions visible from a distance, and encouraged exploration. Finding a new island and adding it to the map (with the help of the friendly Fishman) made the adventure so much more real.

From first setting off from Outset Isle, to defeating Ganondorf in one of the most tense boss fights in the Zelda franchise, Wind Waker created a brilliant journey where you got to become the true Hero of Hyrule. Without the vast sea-based journey, Aonuma’s vision would have never come to be, and this fantastic game would have been sadly lost at sea.

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