Rare announces a new alpha test session for swashbuckling MMO Sea of Thieves, which will feature an expanded world and explosive combat against skeletons.

Though progress has been slower than promised, Sea of Thieves is set to invite another batch of testers soon to check out their 0.1.1 alpha build and the studio, Rare, has released a trailer concerning all the improvements made to Sea of Thieves since the last time players were allowed to check out the pirate game in December. Anyone invited to the new session will have a larger world to explore, more mission types to pick from and will be able to fight their way through armies of skeletons using blunderbusses and cutlasses.

Sea of Thieves was first announced at E3 2015 and straightaway shot to the top of many gamers’ lists of most anticipated games. With a strong focus on working with others to achieve goals, it promised to offer something different to the world of MMOs while also taking full advantage of the swashbuckling pirate setting. Originally set to come out this month, Rare has now changed the release date for Sea of Thieves to sometime this year. Until then, fans will have to make do with the occasional test-session invitation like the one teased in the new trailer.

In the new Sea of Thieves trailer, Rare lifts the veil on a few of the improvements without getting into any detail, as the studio seems to want to keep its aces up its sleeve as long as possible. The game world will be much larger than it was during the first December session and will give players more island to discover which will each offer “new challenges and opportunities.” Examples named are hidden coves that will allow players to dig up loot without too much interference, or even a mini-game involving stealing a chest of gold and then running away with enemies in hot pursuit.

The enemies in Sea of Thieves come both as fellow players as well as NPC skeletons: the latter get a decent showing in the trailer as they delay a group of players trying to get back to their ship with a treasure chest in their possession. The main weapon we see in the new trailer is a gun only in the strictest sense of the word and looks more like some kind of portable cannon that makes short work of the “bags of bones: that seemingly pop up out of the ground.

All in all, the new trailer looks like Sea of Thieves will be a great deal of fun for the lucky few invited to the new test session. No date for it has been set, but Rare is likely limiting access to long-time fans for the moment. Hopefully if the new alpha build works as expected, an official release date for this pirate adventure will be announced.

Sea of Thieves will release later this year on PC and Xbox One.

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