Pirates. VR. That seems like a no brainier right? Many things can be improved simply by tossing it in VR, and there has always been an interest in pirates, especially after the success of Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag. Heroes of the Seven Seas allows you to sail a pirate ship around, fighting other ships in ship-to-ship combat while also occasionally partaking in on-rails shooter segments. Does Heroes of the Seven Seas manage to fulfill your pirate fantasy or is it not worth playing?
When I originally described the plot of Heroes of the Seven Seas to my co-writers, I used the line "this is never mentioned again" no less than ten times. That's because there's no real plot here, so much as a series of vague plot points that aren't connected. You play as Jack (whose name you don't learn until literally the final cutscene), a pirate who has a necklace known as the Wheel of Fate. Jack wants to find a treasure in the Sea of Sadness because... I don't know. That's about as coherent as the plot gets. Characters drop in and out with little rhyme or reason, events are totally discarded because they don't really matter, and I couldn't even tell you what on Earth happened during the ending cutscene because it had nothing to do with anything. The loading screens use poorly translated text full of misspelling and nonsensical sentences, and all of the voice acting sounds like random people pulled off of the street. This isn't even going into the part where Jack goes to meet the Cherokee and finds that they're all orcs, which genuinely feels racist.
The gameplay is broken into three main parts: wandering around in towns to advance the story, sailing and fighting other ships, and the rare on-rails shooting segment. Most of your time is spent sailing, and in a way, it reminded me of the aforementioned Assassin's Creed IV. Unfortunately, Heroes of the Seven Sea doesn't feel nearly as good to play. You can fire cannons from each side of your ship by looking in that direction, and later you get a laser to strap to the front of your ship because why not. The cannons don't feel powerful, and Heroes of the Seven Sea lacks the destruction seen in the games it's trying to imitate.
During the sixty minute running time, you'll almost always be sailing from point A to point B. Enemies sort of haphazardly litter the area between the points, but you don't really need to fight them if you're not interested. It's all just very dull. I was nearly falling asleep with my headset on, trying to battle every ship along the way just to fight off the boredom, but that didn't help either. The game tries to add in a few unique scenarios, like a level that you need to complete under a time limit, but none of them actually improve the experience in any way. There's also some really weird segments, like when the boat is eaten by a catfish and then just drifts in a straight line for two minutes without any input from the player before the story just pretends that never happened by warping you to an island. These are equally not fun and seemingly made for the trailer rather than the actual game.
Twice over the course of your experience, you'll suddenly be playing a subpar on-rails shooter. It's really simple, as you just look where you want to shoot. There are very few enemy types, and the second segment serves as the final boss, which is just a bizarre choice. The second segment is also frustrating thanks to a fight that clearly expects you to memorize the enemy's location beforehand and be able to counter attacks that you can only really prepare for through trial and error. It's just another segment that feels poorly made and haphazardly added in.
Between missions, you'll get to wander around various ports by using a teleport jump system. There's very little to actually do in the port, other than talk to more characters sporting terrible voice actors. There's an "upgrade system" where you can upgrade your ship, but all this means is that at some point you can get close to your ship and select between the "good" weapons and the "better" ones. Everything only has "good" or "better", with the exception of the random laser shooting mermaid statue that kills everything in one hit. That just has "best". You don't spend any money or currency of any kind on upgrades, or have to do anything to unlock them. You just get better stuff and can choose to use it if you want.
On top of everything, the graphics look ugly as sin. Reminding me of early PlayStation/Nintendo 64 titles, everything is blocky, completely off, and low quality. It's not even done in the charming way that Mervils: A VR Adventure managed to hit. Here, it just looks like a disaster. I've already mentioned the terrible voice acting twice, but I just have to mention it again because it really is up there as some of the worst I've ever heard in a video game. Thankfully, you don't have to take my word for it, as a prime example can be found in the official trailer.
Featuring some extremely boring gameplay, a story that is totally nonsensical most of the time and genuinely racist at others, and some horrid graphics and voice acting, Heroes of the Seven Seas is about the furthest you can possibly get from a high-quality pirate VR product. While I admit my hopes weren't very high going in, I genuinely was shocked by how bad the game really is. There's absolutely no joy to be found here, besides maybe if you invite some friends over to make fun of how bad everything is. These heroes are zeroes.
Heroes of the Seven Seas is boring to play, has a nonsensical story that borders on racism, ugly graphics, and terrible voice acting. Don't waste your money or time.
- It Could Be Funny to Mock
- Story is Total Nonsense
- Genuinely Racist
- Very Ugly
- Boring Gameplay
- Terrible Voice Acting