Skull and Bones: Everything we know about the pirate game

Skull and Bones is an upcoming action role-playing game developed by Ubisoft Singapore.

This title, which has experienced multiple delays, is finally set to release in 2024. Here’s a comprehensive look at everything we know about the game so far.

Development history and release date

The game’s journey began back in 2013, shortly after the release of Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag.

Initially conceived as a possible expansion to Black Flag, the project eventually evolved into a standalone game.

Skull and Bones has faced a tumultuous development process, with several delays pushing its release from the initially planned 2018 to February 16, 2024.

This has involved revising the game’s direction, setting, and overall gameplay.

Ubisoft has invested significantly in the development, amounting to over $120 million.

The game’s evolving vision has led to numerous changes over the years, including the involvement of other Ubisoft studios such as Ubisoft Berlin in the development process​​​​.

Setting

Skull and Bones is set in the Indian Ocean, between 1650s and the 1730s, during the golden age of piracy.

It’s a third-person tactical action role-playing game that will feature a full-length single-player campaign and an option for online multiplayer gaming.

A key aspect of Skull and Bones is its open-world environment, which allows for exploration and adventure without a strict narrative structure.

This setup is designed to encourage players to create their own stories and experiences within the game world​​.

Gameplay

In Skull and Bones, players will assume the role of a formidable pirate captain with comprehensive control over their ship, encompassing aspects like navigation, combat, and managing the crew.

The naval combat system draws inspiration from the Assassin’s Creed game with customizable ships equipped with broadside cannons and other tools.

However, unlike Black Flag, the game will place a stronger emphasis on crafting, customization, and shipbuilding.

The game features three distinct types of ships: Navigation, Firepower, and Cargo, each with unique abilities and advantages.

Navigation ships excel in speed, making them ideal for covering vast distances quickly.

Cargo ships have a higher capacity for carrying items, which is beneficial for collecting valuable loot or resources.

Firepower ships are designed for combat effectiveness, boasting superior offensive capabilities.

Players have the opportunity to customize a total of twelve available ships, tailoring them to their preferred gameplay style.

Attention must also be paid to the ship’s condition and crew morale, as neglecting these aspects can lead to challenges such as mutiny.

Additionally, the game incorporates a penalty system for failures; for instance, if a ship is sunk, players will respawn at the nearest Pirate Den with only a portion of their cargo, with the option to retrieve the rest.

However, this retrieval might involve combat with other players vying for the same resources.

The multiplayer mode

Ubisoft emphasizes its multiplayer experience for the game, where players can navigate the vast ocean either solo or in small groups, up to three players.

Skull and Bones offers a mix of player versus environment (PvE) and player versus environment and player (PvEvP) scenarios.

This means players can choose to battle against game-generated challenges or engage in more dynamic encounters involving other real-life players.

Game editions

Skull and Bones is scheduled for release on Xbox Series X|S, PlayStation 5, PC, and Amazon Luna.

As of now, there is no confirmation of the game being available on Game Pass or PlayStation Plus.

It will be available in two editions: the Standard Edition and the Premium Edition.

The Standard Edition will include the base game, while the Premium Edition offers additional content such as the “Ballad of Bloody Bones Collection,” digital artbook, soundtrack, and extra missions​​.

Adaptations and awards

Interestingly, Skull and Bones is also being adapted into a television show by Ubisoft in partnership with Atlas Entertainment.

The game has garnered attention since its announcement at E3 2017.

It has earned nominations for various awards, including the Game Critics Awards’ Best Original Game and Best Online Multiplayer awards, and a nomination at the 21st Visual Effects Society Awards​​.

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