Ocean waves are a huge, largely untapped energy resource, and the potential for extracting energy from waves is considerable. Research in this area is driven by the need to meet renewable energy targets, but is relatively immature compared to other renewable energy technologies. This review introduces the general status of wave energy and evaluates the device types that represent current wave energy converter (WEC) technology, particularly focusing on work being undertaken within the United Kingdom. The possible power take-off systems are identified, followed by a consideration of some of the control strategies to enhance the efficiency of point absorber-type WECs. There is a lack of convergence on the best method of extracting energy from the waves and, although previous innovation has generally focused on the concept and design of the primary interface, questions arise concerning how best to optimize the powertrain. This article concludes with some suggestions of future developments.