Bat down the Hatches, Load the Blunderbuss and Ready your Cutlass: Cutthroats are boarding Playstation Home!

To the plank me mateys! Mutiny be aboard this vessel. And when I find ye, you’ll be swimming with the Kraken down to Davey Jones locker! So load up the cannons, strap on your cutlass, powder the flintlocks and fire the blunderbuss! Cutthroats: The Battle for Black Powder Cove has sailed into ye Harbor Studio and life for ye land lovers will never be the same again!
This past Wednesday, Sony finally released their highly anticipated Adventure District which was meant to be a part of Home’s conversion towards a more game integrated service. It was definitely worth the wait. The Adventure District is a lush, tropical paradise filled with temples and statues from an ancient culture, a seaside bar, an incredible view of the ocean, sandy beaches and quite arguably the star of the show, Sony’s new game, Cutthroats: The Battle for Blackpowder Cove.

There are two ways to access the game. You can go to the space directly from your navigator or you can walk up to the cannons at the Adventure District. Walking up to the cannons will allow you to play a cannon target shooting mini game while you are waiting for Cutthroats to download which is quite welcome since it gets you used to the mechanics of the game before you enter the space. Who likes load screens anyway.

When you enter the space, you will find yourself on the docks during a nighttime setting. The lighting in this space is breathtaking and graphically, this is one of Home’s nicer Public Spaces. To the right is an information booth on how to control Cutthroats which also has the scoreboard for the top 20 players. Move further ahead towards the board in front of you and you’ll see massive Pirate Ships locked in epic maritime battles. Cannonballs roar and splash in the water. No one is safe in this vast swimming pool of death!

My first impression of Cutthroats left me realizing how it’s designers have evoked the spirit of Sid Meier’s Pirates! series. This game utilizes teamwork more than any game in Home to date. Each ship has one captain and crewmen to fire the cannons. Captains must carefully navigate the treacherous waters and gain bonus points by ramming other ships and picking up treasure chests. The crewmen must carefully time their shots from the ships cannons. Range, trajectory, angle and speed are all taken into account since you must light the wick and wait for a shot to be fired. The number of cannonballs you can fire from each cannon is also limited so you must be careful and pick your targets wisely.

If you want your ship to perform better, various upgrades can be purchased from the kiosk from within the space. You will also find some cool pirate themed virtual items, costumes and clothing for your sea fairing fantasies. Although Home has had various pirate items in the past, from a costume and virtual item perspective, Cutthroats offers up the most diverse set to date. With everything from cutlasses to flintlocks to Davey Jones Locker, anyone can furnish and theme out the pirate ship of their dreams. Be sure to pick up the Pirate Ship or LeChucks Ghost Ship Personal Spaces to get the best possible themed results.

Overall, I truly appreciate the mechanics in Cutthroats. They give you a real sense of how difficult it must have been to navigate a ship and fire a cannon accurately. The ships also look quite beautiful and certainly evoke the feeling of adventure on the high seas. Being able to use our avatars as crew members personalizes the experience and the cooperative nature of the game adds significantly to the social aspects of Home. When I play games like these, it only confirms my belief that Home is growing as a platform. We have come a long way since 2008 and things just keep getting better. So get on Home, go visit the Adventure District, take in the sights, then go blow up some pirate ships. I highly recommend playing Cutthroats: The Battle for Black Powder Cove.

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