MOBAs are a very established genre in the PC gaming scene. We have games like League of Legends, Dota 2 and Smite which is played by millions of players every day and have a well-established community, which is an essential virtue for any MOBA game to succeed. Recently a publisher named Virtual Toys released Pirates: Treasure Hunters, a free to play action MOBA game through steam early access. This game was earlier published for the PS4 which was then ported to PC. It’s hard being a successful MOBA game especially on the PC where there are brilliant options you can choose from, unless developers bring some real innovation into their game, it won’t get any reception from players. Pirates: Treasure Hunters is essentially a good game but there a lot of things which are holding it back and could be improved.
Let’s talk about the good things first – Pirates: Treasure Hunters feels unique and in a good sense, many MOBA games try to replicate Dota or LOL, but fail miserably, here Virtual Toys has done a good job in making a game which has a place of it’s own. While playing this game I felt it was more of a top down shooter than a MOBA, but it does have MOBA elements in it. You have to play with your team and you can’t be much of a threat if you try to be a lone wolf, no matter how good your shooting skills are. There are many turrets placed in various strategic positions which you can operate to push back the enemy and there are vehicles too which have a driver’s and gunner’s seat, all this brings pace into the game. Now the map designs are unique too, these don’t have that typical lane structure but are very open in design, there are various capture points and you can swim too, so basically you can go through a water body to flank the enemy and it’s kind of expected as it is a pirate themed MOBA. The graphics are somewhat decent and the characters have their own strengths and weaknesses, which brings good balance in the game. All the characters have 4 abilities and 2 types of attacks, one ranged and one melee. There are various game types too like defend the totems, capture the flag and collect treasure maps.
Now coming to the cons:
Pirates: Treasure Hunters’ matchmaking on PC is downright awful, in most matches, I was playing with a team which was either dominating or getting thrashed, if a MOBA is not balanced nobody can have fun playing it. The vehicle handling was very clunky and they were kind of overpowered which disturbed some balance. Not having a lane structure also hurts it, it brings down the number of strategies a player can employ to win. The graphics look dated honestly, could have been better. I also encountered a bug where I couldn’t go full-screen on my laptop which had a resolution of 1366×768, this issue although didn’t persist on a 1080p screen. The maps are big, but not a lot of it is used in a useful way, the developers could be a bit more creative with it.
Concluding I would say you should definitely try this game out, although if you are looking for a typical MOBA experience this might not be for you, but if you want to try out a different kind of MOBA or you are new to this genre this game might be the right point to start as it is very beginner friendly. The developers have promised more content as the game comes out of early access and to it’s main launch, so go ahead and give it a try.