Sea of Thieves is one of Microsoft’s few anticipated exclusive titles coming next year to Xbox One (and Windows 10 PC). Today developer Rare has provided a four-minute state of the game video, narrated by Rare’s John McMurtrie. Sea of Thieves is scheduled to launch early 2018.

The Alpha Update introduces the new features that have been added to Sea of Thieves. As an online multiplayer game, communication is vital. Not everyone likes voice chat, however. Sea of Thieves provides text chant through a radial menu of pre-programmed phrases, which is also kid-friendly.

The ship’s brig can be used to banish players, though they can still chat. It’s tied to a vote system, and you’ll need unanimous votes to both banish and release them.

Scuttling lets you elect to sink your own ship when the going gets tough. This seems like a bad move, except that you can summon a mermaid who can retrieve your ship at a safer location.

Finally a small ship has been added, as oppose to the large ship. I’m not sure if they’re eventually going to get more inventive names. The small ship requires less crew, and has only two cannons. However it’s much easier to steer and more nimble during ship combat.

Sea of Thieves is currently in Technical Alpha, which it really needs to move out of and into beta if it hopes to release in just a few months. You can sign up for the Insider Programme (requires Xbox Live Account), which provides updates, gives surveys, and grant priority to early alpha/beta access to the game.

Sea of Thieves is rated T for Teen. It’s due in early 2018.

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Eric has been writing for over nine years with bylines at Dicebreaker, Pixelkin, Polygon, PC Gamer, Tabletop Gaming magazine, and more covering movies, TV shows, video games, tabletop games, and tech. He reviews and live streams D&D adventures every week on his YouTube channel. He also makes a mean tuna quesadilla.