After 33 years, Sea of Thieves is hosting one of the biggest gaming glow-ups ever

Sea of Thieves: The Legend of Monkey Island
(Image credit: Rare/Xbox)

The big Sea of Thieves and Monkey Island crossover already looked very cool for fans of classic adventure games and goofball pirates alive, but a new look at Melee Island confirms that this update is going to fulfill a 33-year-old dream.

The first Tall Tale in Sea of Thieves: The Legend of Monkey Island launches on July 20, and it will offer both a new story and a whole new island to explore. Based on this new guided tour video, it looks like we'll be able to check out every square inch of Melee Island in the full glory of first-person 3D. Melee served as the iconic opening location of the original Monkey Island, and while it's been revisited several times over the course of the series, we've never seen it in this much detail.

Seriously, this is all of Melee Island, from the iconic interiors of the International House of Mojo and SCUMM Bar to dark fog of the forest and the unbelievable deals at Stan's Previously Owned Vessels. Seeing all those 2D background art locations I'd memorized as a child rendered in a modern game is absolutely mesmerizing.

The locations are built in such a way that you can go to a position mimicking the camera location of the original game, and there'll be a series of optional objectives to do just that. As creative director Mike Chapman says on the Xbox blog "there are these hidden positions where you can hear a memory of Guybrush or Elaine narrating what happened at that moment in the original story."

And yes, there will be insult sword fighting. We don't know exactly how it'll work just yet, but Chapman suggests it'll be a combo of Sea of Thieves-style first-person combat and Monkey Island-style dialog puzzles. "It allows you to have those more visceral moments, because it’s in first-person, you’re fighting your opponent directly. But it’s also more accessible because the bulk of the flow of combat is handled through the quips and the retorts, and how you build up that knowledge of the insults."

Sea of Thieves: The Legend of Monkey Island takes the form of three monthly updates with their own Tall Tales missions attached, and it looks like Monkey Island itself will figure prominently in one of the future episodes. This is already looking like one of the most substantial additions Rare has ever made to Sea of Thieves.

Check out our Return to Monkey Island review for more on the beloved series' modern comeback.

Dustin Bailey
Staff Writer

Dustin Bailey joined the GamesRadar team as a Staff Writer in May 2022, and is currently based in Missouri. He's been covering games (with occasional dalliances in the worlds of anime and pro wrestling) since 2015, first as a freelancer, then as a news writer at PCGamesN for nearly five years. His love for games was sparked somewhere between Metal Gear Solid 2 and Knights of the Old Republic, and these days you can usually find him splitting his entertainment time between retro gaming, the latest big action-adventure title, or a long haul in American Truck Simulator.