A Preview of Skull and Bones

edited February 15 in Gaming

Haul on the bowline! Today we’re playing by our own rules and heading back to the Golden Age of Piracy to check out the long awaited action-adventure pirate fest Skull and Bones. Pirate games fans, landlubbers and living room pirates alike, the wait is almost over…Ten years in the making, Skull and Bones offers players the chance to rise from humble beginnings, after a shipwreck and fight their way to the top among the notorious pirates that lurk and work upon the Indian Ocean.  

Ready to set sail? Read on to discover what is Skull and Bones, as well as the release date, story and gameplay, and everything you might need to know about this hotly anticipated immersive pirate experience! 

When does Skull and Bones come out?

Firstly, regarding the Skull and Bones release date, the game is finally slated for release on February 16, 2024, for Playstation 5, XboxX/S, Amazon Luna, and Windows. If you really can’t wait, then play up to 3 days early with Premium Edition or Ubisoft+.

You may have heard stories, murmurs on the wind over the last 7 years, since Skull and Bones was first announced. Development of the game originally started way back in 2013, as an expansion of Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag. Skull and Bones then grew into its own as an independent project, changing tack from its original setting of the Caribbean, to the mythical land of Hyperborea, before finally settling on the Indian Ocean. 

If you heard about Skull and Bones when it was first announced by developer Ubisoft Singapore in 2017, then perhaps you have even been disappointed by the delays? Skull and Bones was first slated for release by the end of 2018, then delayed until 2019, and then further delayed until after March 2020. As the pandemic raged, the seas that the Skull and Bones game sailed on were clearly stormy too, as in September 2020, the release was pushed back even further. Jumping forward to May 2021, Ubisoft announced that the game would again be delayed until 2022-23.

In September 2022, release was rescheduled for March 2023, and in January 2023, the release was pushed to the 2023-2024 financial year. Finally, in December 2023, at the Game Awards, Ubisoft gave a last, and final release date of February 16, 2024. 

Are you still with us? If so, let’s get stuck into the details of Skull and Bones

Six delays! Shiver me timbers! As we mentioned above, Skull and Bones is developed by Ubisoft Singapore. During the development, the scale and vision of the project grew, while the release dates were postponed. Many new talents and established Ubisoft teams contributed to the global effort, including Ubisoft Berlin, Chengdu, Kiev, Paris, and the Philippines.

What’s the story?

Set at the end of the 17th century, during the Golden Age of Piracy, Skull and Bones exists in an open world environment based on the Indian Ocean. The player starts out as a customizable outcast, with the goal of becoming the most infamous pirate in the beautiful yet dangerous waters of the Indian Ocean. After barely surviving a shipwreck, you begin your journey to the top (or the bottom of the sea) in St Anne, a pirate den where you can build up resources and meet like-minded pirates. Stock up and start out on a small Dhow, then build up your crew and craft your own personalized pirate ship to rule the waves.

Sail alone, or in a fleet?

It's simple enough to set your sights on becoming the most fearsome pirate in the Indian Ocean, but won’t you need some compatriots to work with? Is skull and bones multiplayer? You may be asking. Yes, thankfully, you can sail solo and in multiplayer fleets of up to three players (one player per ship), both in player vs environment (PvE) and player vs environment vs player (PvEvP) modes.

Skull and Bones gameplay

Played from a third-person perspective, the pirate ship and naval combat is quite rightly at the center of the Skull and Bones gameplay. On your relentless quest to become a pirate kingpin, your infamy grows as you complete contracts from vendors, factions and existing kingpins to establish your empire. Building a mighty, terrifying ship that will strike fear into your enemies, and inspire loyalty among your crew is a key part of the gameplay of this game.

Firstly, weapons and ammunition will decide the fate of the battles you fight, arming yourself with a range of cannon shots will help you to destroy your enemies and rise to the top. Secondly, expect your enemies to shoot back: armor is crucial for survival in Skull and Bones. Finally, a custom paint job: customize the look of your pirate ship to suit each and every occasion. The three ship types available are Navigation, Firepower, and Cargo.

Each ship type has advantages for different situations at sea, by building up a fleet with all categories of ship, you will be prepared for anything that the Indian Ocean can throw at you. 12 different ships in total are available, all of which are customizable. Get stuck in and put your ship to the test in thrilling naval combat, but you must also keep your crew happy, or they will mutiny. When your ship is sunk in combat, or foul weather, you will restart at the nearest Pirate Den, and recover some of your cargo.

The spyglass feature uses the view from the crow’s nest to find opportunities, as well as assess your opponents strengths and weaknesses. Board enemy ships to get the most loot possible, but keep an eye out for privateers who are out to destroy pirates like you!

Infamy is another important feature in Skull and Bones. Your infamy is tracked and grows, as you take on and complete contracts, plunder towns, hunt treasure, and plunder. The lagoons, rivers and coastlines are rich pickings for harvesting animals, wood and ore that can all be refined and crafted into more advanced ships, weapons and armor. From the coasts of Africa to the West Indies, set sail with Skull and Bones and seek out your fortune.

The takeaway

We hope that you’ve enjoyed this dive into the pirate mayhem of Skull and Bones. Will Skull and Bones be worth the wait when it finally comes ashore? We reckon so. Remember, (how could you forget?) Skull and Bones will be released on February 16, 2024, come hell or high water! It will be available on Playstation 5, XboxX/S, Amazon Luna, and Windows. In the meantime, be sure to visit Acer’s Game Pass, the best place to discover all of your favorite games, past, present and future.

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Edmund is an English copywriter based in New Taipei City, Taiwan. He is a widely published writer and translator with two decades of experience in the field of bridging linguistic and cultural gaps between Chinese and English.


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