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What To Expect: Ubisoft’s ‘Skull and Bones’ Game

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Ahoy mateys! Would you like to embark on a high-seas adventure like never before? Do you want to explore infinite seas, fight different ships, and be the best captain your crew ever served under? If your answer is “Aye, Aye Captain!”, then read on. Below, we’ll explore the world of the upcoming Skull and Bones game. Which is the highly anticipated action-adventure game developed by Ubisoft Singapore.

The new Skull and Bones game’s development odyssey

Skull and Bones promises from the beginning to be a very captivating experience, set against the backdrop of the fantastical late 17th-century Golden Age of Piracy. This project is led by Ubisoft Singapore, with its roots in the naval battles of Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag. Initially, it was conceived to be an expansion for Black Flag. But it later evolved into an MMO spinoff titled Black Flag Infinite.

The development process involved multiple changes in direction, shifts in settings from the Caribbean to Hyperborea, and ultimately settling in the Indian Ocean. Conflicting ideas, management issues, and a lack of consistent direction contributed to a reported project cost exceeding $120 million.

What to expect from gameplay in Skull and Bones

When it comes to the gameplay in Skull and Bones, I have to say that I was happy when I learned we won’t be spending 100% of the time on our ships. That way we can explore different islands, villages, and areas. We can upgrade our ship, hire the new crew members and sell/acquire various treasures. It’s a similar game to the Sea of Thieves, but different. I enjoyed Sea of Thieves and I love this kind of game where you can just chill with your friends and have some adventures. It’s one of the reasons why I kept and am still keeping my eye on Skull and Bones.

From the beginning, players be able to choose a pirate captain and to pick a ship class based on our preferred play style. One of the first quests will be to recruit a crew, customize the ship and pick up on the latest rumors in order to complete missions. These missions will allow players to upgrade the ship and weapons.

With each successful mission, the player’s wealth and reputation will rise. It will become more difficult as there are more players to overcome, who will basically be our enemies. And as the game states, “Long-term survival depends on the ability to form the most powerful pirate gang in the Indian Ocean.”

This game invites players to command a customizable pirate ship, deciding between a single-player campaign in the vast Indian Ocean, or joining forces with up to five other players in player versus player gameplay in disputed waters.

Skull and Bones promotional graphic
Skull and Bones promotional graphic (Ubisoft)

Our movement will depend on the wind system, which will allow us to sail faster or slower, or hit harder with our cannonballs and shoot further. As I mentioned at the beginning, it’s a multiplayer game, and therefore we’ll be placed in a shared world with other players which will evolve and change based on other players’ actions.

In addition, whole new areas and regions will be available to be explored, but there is a price that comes with it. And that’s defeating very challenging and deadly enemies. But with great threat and hard fights, there always comes a great reward.

One of the game modes is called Loot Hunt. It’s a part of a multiplayer mode in which two groups of players compete in treasure hunting to get richer. Scaling the crow’s nest and utilizing spyglasses for reconnaissance, players must navigate the treacherous waters, engaging in both brute force collisions and skillful boarding maneuvers. The inclusion of microtransactions provides customization options for players seeking a unique seafaring experience.

Maybe it’s a fun way to upgrade your ship, but in recent years, a lot of gamers decided that microtransactions are becoming more and more useless. If you want to get an epic skin, your favorite looking upgrade, or a cool banner, you have to pay for it. And it’s not going to change in this project. With that in mind, I suspect that to beat other players, it would mean spending a lot of money because it definitely seems like a pay-2-win situation.

When will Skull and Bones release?

Skull and Bones was initially slated for a Q3/Q4 2018 release, and it faced successive delays, pushing its launch to the 2023–2024. But the challenges that were present during this time, persisted. Which led to a new vision for the game, adding more of the additional development time with the new collaboration partnership with Ubisoft Berlin. Despite delays, Ubisoft’s commitment to delivering a polished and amazing pirate/sailing experience remained the same.

A closed beta in August 2023 provided players with a taste of the pirate sailor mayhem. The final release date for Skull and Bones was revealed at The Game Awards 2023, to be February 16, 2024. The long wait, many promotional materials and a lot of alpha and beta tests later, Skull and Bones will likely have many players ready to explore the game on its release date.

The long road to finishing this game was rough, and it’s yet to be seen if it’ll be a success or a flop. Players demand more and more from creators of games and want to have their ideas be a part of studios’ new games. Adding microtransactions doesn’t help, but we live in times when 90% of games, even single-player ones, have some sort of microtransactions to continue to earn money after the game’s release.

Game awards nominations and TV adaptation ordered

Skull and Bones gained attention and earned huge critical acclaim, with nominations for Game Critics Awards’ Best Original Game and Best Online Multiplayer after its E3 2017 reveal. Back then, it was a really anticipated project that was meant to bring back the pirate genre back into the gaming world. But with so many delays, chances of doing so sunk lower with each year.

The game’s potential impact was further highlighted by Ubisoft’s collaboration with Atlas Entertainment to adapt it into a television series, adding a new dimension to the immersive pirate universe. Currently, the status of the Skull and Bones TV show is unknown.

As far as we know, it’s still in works. Danielle Kreinik, Jason Altman, Andy Horwitz, Richard Suckle and Amanda Segel are still executive producers for this project. Amanda Segel was set to write the pilot episode of the show, and potentially writing the rest of the episodes. But it’s not the first time Ubisoft decided to make a TV show out of a popular/highly anticipated game title.

By the end of 2020, Ubisoft and Netflix officially announced they’re in a collaboration to bring Assassin’s Creed franchise into the live-action TV show. That’s still in the works, and its initial form is to honor the legacy of the games, and give fans the taste of what live-action Assassin’s Creed projects may look like. Aside from the infamous movie starring Michael Fassbender, of course.

Bringing Skull and Bones into the development as a TV series even before it’s release, shows that Ubisoft have a lot of faith in this title.

Skull and Bones will release on February 16, 2024 only on Xbox Series S/X, Playstation 5 and PC , with potential DLCs on the way. Are you hyped for this title? Do you think Ubisoft will deliver a good game? Let us know on @mycosmiccircus social medias and on our own Discord channel.

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Wiktor Reinfuss

Big fan of all sorts of pop culture stuff. I also enjoy ambitious cinema. Games, music and graphics are all within my interests. I have a great fondness for the Arrowverse series, especially The Flash.

Wiktor Reinfuss has 127 posts and counting. See all posts by Wiktor Reinfuss