Pirates of the Burning Sea review

I finally managed to play Pirates of the Burning Sea last night, after four days of not being able to touch it since installing it. Well, I only had a few hours to play but I’ve got some first impressions.

There are only three things I like about it.

  1. The costumes.
  2. The music.
  3. The poses.

That’s it. Pretty lame things to like about a game. Haha.

The costumes are pretty and authentic and very customisable, with many choices for mixing and matching, and a huge colour palette to dye your clothes.

I chose a black-and-red theme. Yes, very safe and boring, and probably the choice of colour for 80% of the Pirates population. But you can’t deny it looks good and that’s all that matters.

Meet Sheylara Scarlett, my pirate, captain of her own ship (albeit a lousy newbie ship):

I love how I can wear sexy cleavage-revealing clothes in MMORPGs.

I would have gone for a pink-and-white theme but the pastels in the game are dodgy and they all end up looking a pale dirty yellow, somehow.

The music is fantastic. You feel like you’re in your own Pirates of the Caribbean movie. There’s piratey carnival music when you’re gallivanting about town, and there’s piratey battle music when you’re battling. Cool.

And the poses. By that, I mean the way the avatar stands when it’s stationery. There are like five or so different positions which your character assumes randomly.

Other than all that, the game is more frustrating than fun. For me, at least. (There are certainly no lack of PotBS fans raving about the game.)

Some of the things I don’t like:

  1. The tutorials are stupid and redundant because they don’t teach you shit.
  2. You can’t jump in the game. I’m so used to jumping in MMORPGs that I feel crippled not being able to do it.
  3. There’s no tailoring! I can’t make clothes! (I’m always a tailor in MMORPGs.)
  4. The learning curve is very steep and the poorly-designed tutorials certainly don’t help.
  5. The UI is laggy. Like when you mouseover something, the tooltip takes two seconds to appear. Or when you try to change your ship’s weapon with a right-click, your mouseover doesn’t highlight until 50 years later, by which time your ship has already been sunk by the enemy and your loot plundered and your crew raped.

The game is really very hard to excel in, with lots of strategising if you want to rule the seas.

At this point of time, I have trouble even telling the stern and the bow, or the port and the starboard, apart. I certainly don’t have time to worry about picking the right ship, picking the right weapons, choosing the right side to shoot at and shoot from, taking advantage of the wind direction to out-manoeuvre the enemy, while at the same time making sure your crew doesn’t drink up all the rum before the battle is over.

And I haven’t even started talking about the economy aspect of the game. Building warehouses and factories, harvesting raw materials to produce goods you can sell to other players for a tidy profit, doing it without getting yourself killed because you have to visit enemy ports to get stuff that you need.


This is a game for people who have too much time on their hands.

Not me.

I have like maybe two hours a week. Just enough time to sit in the tavern and listen to the bartender wax lyrical over the new wench in town.

I suppose the game concept is pretty cool. I just don’t have time to get into the thick of things. So I’m just gonna log in when I can, try not to die too much and live off the generosity of my guildmates, assuming I get into a guild (called Society in PotBS) soonish.

In the meantime, I’m a clueless lass pretending to be a captain.

Sheylara Scarlett plays on Antigua.