Ubisoft has some notoriously problematic games in development that have left fans scratching their heads for years. Apart from Beyond good and evil 2the most curious game that has managed to avoid cancellation despite years of delays, reboots and who knows what else behind the scenes is the pirate game skull and bones. It was first announced in 2017, and since then we have received nothing but bad news regarding this title. Despite having a playable, press-only version in 2018, the game has undergone major, if not comprehensive, overhauls.
Promised as a fully fleshed out game based on the incredibly popular ship combat featured in assassins creed 4 black flag, skull and bones was about to make a big splash after the success of that game. Players loved all of the pirate activities seen in that game, so expanding on that should have been an easy move. However, public statements about the game have almost completely faded away, leaving many players in the lurch regarding the status of this pirate epic. We took out our compass, plotted our course, and dug up all the details in Skull and Bones I You need to know.
As we all know, skull and bones It has not had a smooth development. We do not know exactly what happened behind the scenes, except that the game has undergone at least one major revision in which the vision of the game has changed. What that means in terms of the game itself remains to be seen, but in terms of development, that just pushed the release date back.
skull and bones it’s been delayed almost too many times to count, most recently being given an “early 2023 to 2024” release window.
When originally announced, skull and bones It was said to be released on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. Naturally, things have changed with the current generation consoles on the market, and skull and bones it has completely changed to the current generation only. This means you’ll need a PS5, Xbox Series X/S, or PC to play the game.
Here’s his blast from the past, as the only official trailer for skull and bones is the original E3 2017 reveal trailer. This announcement trailer sets the game in 1721 in the Indian Ocean, which is both the prime time period and the site of historical pirate activities. We see some beautiful, though obviously pre-rendered shots of pirates and cargo ships sailing rough seas. Cannonballs pierce hulls, splintering wood, and shattering masts as pirates cripple the target ship. However, when two new pirate crews appear, the real battle begins.
The trailer ends, as a team is pulling their loot out of the waters, with the premonitory threat of a Kraken-like creature of incredible size just below the surface.
In terms of plot, story, and characters, there’s nothing really continuing. From skull and bones is supposed to be an online experience, it may be the case that there is it’s not a story in a traditional sense. Perhaps following the example of sea of Thieves, there will be no overarching main plot, but smaller quests and quest chains, as well as dynamic events, filling in the gaps between PvP naval combat. Again, that’s just speculation, especially since the game has undergone a lot of changes since this short announcement trailer.
We finally have an official look at skull and bones via a dedicated Ubisoft Forward. In it we do get an idea of what plot there will be.
Waking up alone on the shore after a shipwreck, we will be playing as a pirate going from nothing to a legendary captain of a crew and an entire fleet. It’s not much, but that’s to be expected for a mostly multiplayer experience.
how to play
Going back again, this time to E3 2018, we have a source for an overview of the game. Now, take this trailer with a grain of salt, as we have no idea how much of what was shown here is still part of the game in its current form. However, in this trailer we can see some mechanics and game systems that seem very interesting. Oh, and you can obviously also ignore the “2019 release” bit at the end.
At the basic level, it is very similar to the naval combat of assassins creed 4 black flag, which makes a lot of sense. You will be the captain of your ship and you will aim your weapons with colored indicators that show where your cannons will fire. You can see the level of the opposing ship, as well as a health bar. The approaching system also feels straight out of that Assassin’s Creed game, though the trailer completely forgets to show us what melee combat will look like, if it’s even in the game.
Based on the narrative, it looks like there will also be some kind of reputation or quest system, where bigger and more dangerous ships can track you down if you loot and sink enough other ships. This is where the multiplayer component shows up – you can call in help to shoot down or just survive these huge ships attacking you. Of course, as the trailer is quick to point out, pirate alliances are fleeting when loot is on the line, and any ally can easily become an enemy.
While it’s not official, there are new gameplay footage for skull and bones leaked online in April. Originally posted online by a Reddit user (the original post no longer exists, unfortunately), this video quickly spread online. The footage is six minutes long and shows off a number of mechanics and systems. The first detailed is something called the infamy system, where your actions as a pirate will affect your reputation. Infamy can be increased by accepting quests from NPCs, exploring, and completing events throughout the open world, with ranks such as Outcast, Swashbuckler, and Cutthroat. The higher your infamy, the more options open up to the player, including new ship upgrades. Crafting, another mechanic, will also unlock new ship upgrades.
skull and bones It will feature both foot and naval exploration, as well as some survival elements. You’ll need to make sure you have enough supplies to complete your voyages, for example, or loot and steal them from other ships along the way. If your crew isn’t well cared for, they can apparently mutiny and try to kill you. Exploration on foot is slightly limited. You can only dock at specific points to explore different islands instead of landing anywhere you want.
The main circuit will focus on starting in a central area called Sainte-Anne, where you can do your shopping, craft, take on quests, and interact with other players before heading out to sea.
In the game’s official reveal, we learned about many natural hazards, including animals like hippos and crocodiles, plus storms and even pirate hunters. Your own crew can even turn against you.
When starting out, you will only have access to the smallest ship, called a Dhow, and a spear. As you accumulate materials and money through quests or contracts, your Infamy level will increase. The higher your Infamy, the more blueprints you can access to build new and better ships, weapons, and armor. Infamy can also be increased by doing other activities like exploring, looting, treasure hunting, and research, as well as dynamic events around the world.
Your ship will have as many weapon options, if not more, than the player, including cannons, mortars, and Greek fire. There will also be a variety of ship types with different strengths and weaknesses such as speed, hull space, and combat capabilities. If your ship sinks, you will lose a portion of your cargo as a penalty.
Another gameplay trailer was shown during Ubisoft Forward 2022.
This trailer shows a bunch of different options you have to equip your hips, like cannons and crossbows, as well as the design of the ship itself. However, we see many of these tools in action, not from the perspective of what we will actually see while playing the game.
The gameplay trailer showed some of how multiplayer will work, but there’s still a lot to explore. It looks like you’ll be able to come across other player’s ships in the world naturally and decide on the fly whether you want to team up or attack each other. It also appears that alliances are not binding, and either you or your ally can betray the other at any time. What other options there are, including dedicated modes or other ways you and other captains can interact, haven’t been shown yet.
According to the leaks, it seems that skull and bones it is meant to be an always online game. In the leak, players were placed in a shared hub area where you had the option to team up with up to three other captains before exiting. Many quest descriptions also offer a recommendation on how many players you should have with you to take it on.
PvP is something that will be relegated to their own servers to prevent people from ganging up and disrupting other players’ progress. The main goal of multiplayer is still to team up with friends instead of fighting each other.
Nothing is set in stone yet, but all signs currently point to DLC being an important part of skull and bones. We already know that there will be a lot of customization options included in the game, at least in the version we’ve seen. Change the appearance of your ship (or at least I look) as a main component of the game. You can apply different figureheads, wheels, rudders and sails at a minimum. If this game is intended to continue, you can expect there to be paid cosmetic options for the ship and possibly the captain and crew as well.
Assuming this is a standard $70 game, we just hope Ubisoft isn’t greedy enough to make these items exclusive for DLC purchases and also obtainable through gameplay. If it were a free game, that could be forgiven, but we’ll have to see how it all plays out on that front.
In the reveal, it was explained that new content will be brought to the game over the next few years that will be free for all players. World events, weapons, challenges, and more were listed as post-launch content.
Make an order
After so much waiting, we already have a release date and preorders for skull and bones, which you can see on their official site. There are two editions to choose from as of now: Standard and Premium.
The Standard Edition is simply the game skull and bones for $70 on the platform of your choice.
The Premium Edition costs $100 and adds the following bonuses:
- The Ballad of Bloody Bones Collection
- Two additional missions
- The official digital art book and soundtrack