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‘Skull & Bones’ Set To Make Waves, New Gameplay Revealed

‘Skull & Bones’ Set To Make Waves, New Gameplay Revealed

Set sail on the (digital) high sea.

Ahoy, matey! You’re probably wondering if you’ve read the title right, and I can confirm that you have. Skull & Bones is indeed coming, and it's coming sooner than you think! Skull & Bones has been in development for what feels like an eternity. Originally set to release in Q3/4 2018, it has been hit with delays ever since. Progress has continued on, though, with Ubisoft Singapore at the helm, and now it’s finally time to raise the sails and see what the game is all about. 

Since development first started in 2013, Skull & Bones has taken a new direction. World producer of Ubisoft Singapore, Vanessa Seow, detailed the new direction as "darker and grittier" with the intention of moving away from the traditional pirate fantasy. The game is set in the Indian Ocean during the golden age of piracy. Sounds like a good time to be a pirate right? Skull & Bones starts out with you as a shipwreck survivor, washed up in an unknown exotic location, in a world where almost everything wants you dead. As the name suggests, the only way to survive is to become a pirate.

Not had a chance to check out Skull & Bones yet? Take a look at the brand new gameplay reveal trailer here.

The Skull & Bones world is brutal and unforgiving, every time you set sail there’s a host of dangers that you’ll come face-to-face with, whether that be hippos and crocodiles, storms, pirate hunters, corporations and even the mutiny of your own crew. Yes, you read that right. Stock plenty of rum onboard and keep your crew happy or else they’ll turn against you. 

Ubisoft Singapore senior game director Ryan Barnard describes the Skull & Bones gameplay as an “open sea, pirate experience." Players start out with a small ship with basic weapons and must grow infamy to progress, allowing new blueprints, designs and crafting of new ships to strike fear into enemy pirates at sea. Each ship has different attributes and playstyles, allowing you and your crewmates to find one that caters to you all. At first you’ll be limited to just the basic Dhow ship, but as you gain Infamy in Skull & Bones you’ll be able to craft bigger and better ships and ship types; such as Cargo ships which are slower but handy to hold tons of loot, Navigation ships which sail fast but have low hull HP and Firepower ships which have more gunports but are more challenging to maneuver. 

Skull & Bones /

Naval combat is at the core of the Skull & Bones experience, and there’s a whole host of ship weaponry that can be unlocked through Infamy. Weapons will extend past the stereotypical ship cannons you’d expect from a pirate game. Skull & Bones also has Greek fire, explosive mortars and bombards which can be thrown onto decks causing ships to sink, to name a few armaments. Together with varying armor and ship types, players can create their ultimate pirate combo for the best chance of survival. 

As mentioned, the progression system in Skull & Bones is called Infamy. The higher the Infamy, the greater the opportunities that’ll be presented to you. As you have success in the game, the bigger and more dangerous the jobs you’ll get, and of course those are matched with an equally large payout on completion. 

All aspects of Skull & Bones can be enjoyed solo, but at its core it is a social game, which means everything is developed through a co-op lens. As a result, the best way to play Skull & Bones is with friends. Players can also opt into PvP servers, which allows you to team up with friends to take on other players. 

Skull & Bones /

Skull & Bones is set to release on November 8th 2022, the game will be available with cross-play and cross-progression on PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, Stadia, Amazon Luna, as well as Windows PC through the Ubisoft Store. Obviously the release is smack bang in the middle of a busy release period, so it remains to be seen how the game will perform, however Ubisoft Singapore has already outlined extensive content for Skull & Bones post-launch. The dev team are committed to providing content for months and years after release, which include in-game world events, ships, weapons, furniture and much more. Better yet, all of this content will be free to players.  

Given the success of Rare’s Sea of Thieves in recent years, it’s easy to see similarities between the two games. It’s also easy to forget that Skull & Bones has been almost 10 years in the making, and as a live service game I’m sure all the developers want to do now is ship it and see how it is received. Together with a drastic new vision for Skull & Bones, which promises the ultimate pirate experience, the release of the game could see the tide begin to turn. 

Featured Image Credit: Skull & Bones / Credit: Ubisoft

Topics: Ubisoft