Inspired by Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag, Skull and Bones is an online game that will cast players in the roles of swashbucklers during the Golden Age of Piracy. From a release date to early gameplay, here’s everything you need to know.
Publisher Ubisoft unveiled the pirate-themed adventure during its E3 2017 press conference, promising an experience that would take the mechanics of Black Flag’s naval gameplay to the next level.
Ubisoft Singapore leads development on the beleaguered project, which the publisher has delayed on multiple occasions. Allegedly, the protracted production cycle is thanks in part to Skull & Bones undergoing several reboots.
Unsubstantiated reports claim one mid-development refresh came amid the ousting of Ubisoft Singapore’s Managing Director, Hugues Ricour, who stood accused of sexual misconduct.
While much about Skull and Bones remained under wraps in the years that followed, we finally got a deep dive on July 7. From how the game works to when it comes out, here’s everything we know today.
- Skull and Bones release date
- Skull and Bones platforms
- Skull and Bones trailers
- Skull and Bones gameplay details
After years of anticipation, we now know for certain that Skull and Bones is set to launch on November 8, 2022.
During a Skull and Bones-dedicated stream midway through the year, Ubisoft announced the news. This now means Skull and Bones will arrive five years after its reveal.
Upon announcing the project and its initial 2018 release date, Ubisoft showcased Skull & Bones as a PC, PS4, and Xbox One experience, one meant to receive graphical and performance boosts for PS4 Pro and Xbox One X.
Since then, however, plans have changed. The pirate-filled online adventure is now set to sail across PC via the Epic Games Store and Ubisoft Connect, PS5, Xbox Series X/S, Google Stadia, and Luna.
The gameplay overview trailer for Skull and Bones notes that it takes place in an Indian Ocean-inspired locale. Players will assume the role of an ordinary swashbuckler looking to become the most infamous pirate on the high seas. They’ll start by visiting Sainte-Anne, a pirate den that doubles as an in-game hub.
While exploring Sainte-Anne, users can expect to socialize with other players, as well as stock up on ship upgrades, provisions, and equipment.
The Infamy system serves as the means through which every Skull and Bones user will boost their pirate reputations. Thus as their Infamy grows so too will new opportunities.
Notably, Infamy-improving activities include exploring, treasure hunting, raiding, and dynamic events. Completing contracts for NPCs counts as another way of increasing a pirate’s reputation, with some jobs even allowing players to join up with fellow swashbucklers online.
Of course, pirates will begin their ventures with a small ship – a dow, in fact. Progression should beget more powerful vessels, though, each one bearing a unique playstyle. The condition of the ship and its crew will demand regular inspection by the pirate captain, too, especially since disgruntled crewmates will have no problem starting a mutiny should things go south.
In terms of off-ship adventuring, Skull and Bones only permits limited land-based exploration. Players will even manage the plundering of resources from an in-game menu on the ship.
The sea vessels play an integral part in Skull and Bones as a result, with three different types confirmed for launch. Cargo ships count among the slowest vessels but should prove useful for those hauling large loads of loot.
Navigation ships move through waters with more speed, yet reduced cargo space and “lower hull HP” could be a deal-breaker for some.
Finally, Firepower ships come equipped with more gun ports, resulting in higher damage outputs. The downside rests in the fact that these ships aren’t easy to maneuver.
Ubisoft is bound to share more information in the months leading up to Skull and Bones’ long-awaited arrival.