Played Sea of Thieves but always wanted to upgrade your ship instead of just redesigning it? And you miss the naval battles from Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag? Then Ubisoft has something great for you: the pirate adventure Skull and Bones. The complete revision of the title with the new gameplay was shown for the first time at Ubisoft Forward in July.
Here’s what it’s all about: The scope of developer Ubisoft’s pirate adventure was revealed to the world for the first time at Ubisoft Forward following its complete overhaul. In addition to developer comments, there was also a first major gameplay trailer that showed many of the new features, such as crafting or upgrading your ship. We watched the entire talk and show you what Skull and Bones have in store for us when it releases on November 8th.
Gameplay Reveal for Skull and Bones
Part of the almost hour-long event was a 7-minute gameplay reveal for Skull and Bones. Here you will be shown all the new features that await you on the high seas and on land! That says a lot, because not only will you be able to steer your ship, but you will also be able to go ashore. In addition to settlements, outposts await you there, where you can trade, and build new ships or equipment.
According to Senior Creative Director Ryan Barnard, Skull and Bones is an “open-sea pirate experience” in which you can explore the Indian Ocean from the coast of Africa to East India.
The game itself starts at a shipwreck, and you have to try to find materials with which to build your first boat, the dhow. If you survive that, it’s all about asserting yourself on the seven seas and collecting new raw materials for better ships and equipment, thus expanding your own fleet.
Crafting in Skull and Bones
Above all, the new crafting system was presented and a wide range of production options was shown. In addition to new ships, you can also build a wide variety of weapons and armor. If you have collected enough resources and have the appropriate blueprint, you can use this to improve your equipment.
Those are the ships
In a pirate game, the main focus is of course on the ships. With them, you have the opportunity to choose from different types and then individually attach weapons and armor and expand your ship. In addition to the dhow, a small boat that you have at the beginning, three other ship types were introduced.
Cargo Ships: Do you want to loot a lot and collect resources all day? Then the cargo ship could be interesting for you. With plenty of storage space, it offers you enough space for all your captured treasures. But the ship is of course a lot slower on the road.
Navigation ships: Would you rather explore the high seas instead? No problem! With the navigation ship you glide quickly over the high waves. Of course you don’t have as much space here as on the cargo ship. And be warned! Your ship won’t be able to take very much as a navigation ship. So be careful who you mess with or you’ll soon find yourself at the bottom of the sea.
Warships: All this not for you? Prefer to be armed to the teeth? Then the warship might be the right choice. With this, you can take additional weapons on board and send your opponents to the bottom of the sea with your high firepower. However, such a massive warship is more difficult to maneuver and much more sluggish than a maneuverable navigation ship.
Weapons and armor in Skull and Bones
In addition to the ship types, the armament and armor of your ship also play a major role. You can also produce these at settlements and use them to strengthen your fleet.
Armed to the teeth: The developers made a special mention of the large arsenal of weapons at your disposal in Skull and Bones. Here it is no longer just the simple cannons that fulfill the cliché of every pirate. A selection of weapons is as follows:
- Greek Fire (similar to Breath of Chimera from Assassin’s Creed Odyssey – Legacy of the First Blade DLC)
- Huge ballista
- rocket launcher
With this, you are armed to the teeth and can assemble your ship according to your ideas.
Protect yourself and your crew: Not much has been said about the armor. The different types of armor range from metal plates to huge spikes to the light shields seen in the trailer. Each of the armor has its own strengths and weaknesses in terms of how your opponents attack.
Alone against the rest of the world?
The developers have made one thing clear: Skull and Bones is a social game. It’s designed for you and your friends to fight for supremacy in the dangerous waters of the Indian Ocean. However, you can also play the game all by yourself as a solo adventure. But if you decide to fight against others in PvP, you have to be extremely careful. In the contested areas, you will quickly go from hunter to hunted. That’s why it’s good to have a loyal crew of friends behind you.
Become the most feared pirate in the Indian Ocean in Skull and Bones
Many of the crafting recipes require blueprints. You unlock these through the progression system in Skull and Bones. You generate progress through Infamy. These are some kind of experience points that you get for doing things that pirates are famous and notorious for. In addition to combat on the open sea, these include:
- The search for treasures.
- Orders from other pirates.
- Exploring the Indian Ocean.
- Looting fortifications.
- Dynamic events, like a fleet that you can ambush.
Similarities to Sea of Thieves and Assassin’s Creed IV Black Flag
Apparently, the developers managed to implement the “Ubisoft Formula” well. Many features that come from various Ubisoft pirate or ship games have also found their way into the Skull and Bones game.
Looking Afar: A feature that will be familiar to all players who have played Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag is the binoculars. Not only can you see far across the waters, but you can also see what cargo the ships around you have.
Become a treasure hunter: On land, you can also search for treasure again by using a map that you have previously obtained or found to anticipate and visit certain locations on the map.
Attack Fortifications: As in Black Flag, you can attack and capture forts. How the actual capture works and whether you can storm the fortress in close combat is not yet entirely clear.
Destroy fleets: There will also be dynamic events. Similar to Black Flag’s gold convoys, you may encounter large cargo ships with escorts. You can attack them and stuff your pockets full – provided you are successful.
Go hunting: Hands up who remembers all the harpoon hunting from Black Flag! This comes back in Skull and Bones. In a dinghy, you try to hunt down hippos or crocodiles for valuable resources with a harpoon.
Be like no other! Of course, in 2022, no game should be without customization. As in Sea of Thieves, you can visually customize your ship with many items of clothing, sails, or figureheads.
Is it all just sailor’s yarn? From November 8, 2022, we can find out for ourselves whether Skull and Bones is really the perfect fusion of Ubisoft’s previous pirate games, or whether it’s just spun sailor’s yarn.