Skull and Bones, Ubisoft’s ambitious — and oft-delayed — open-world pirate adventure, will launch on Nov. 8 for Amazon Luna, Google Stadia, PlayStation 5, Windows PC (exclusively to the Epic Games Store), and Xbox Series X, Ubisoft confirmed on Thursday. Ubisoft Singapore, the studio behind the five-year-old project, followed the announcement with a livestream introduction to Skull and Bones’ world and gameplay (above).
Set in the Indian Ocean, on a map stretching from the east coast of Africa to Malaysia, Skull and Bones puts players in the role of a pirate captain seeking to make a name for themselves. Starting with a tiny ship and a spear, they’ll quickly work their way up to commanding larger vessels and crews, managing the ongoing threat of mutiny and finding enough food and plunder to placate everyone.
Cinematic trailer notwithstanding, the games’ 1-hour gameplay livestream showed off the main elements of the open world game. Here’s the 7:36 summary:
Enter the perilous paradise of Skull and Bones, inspired by the Indian Ocean during the Golden Age of Piracy, as you overcome the odds and rise from an outcast to an infamous pirate. Craft a variety of unique ships to survive, thrive, and rule in an immersive world that introduces new challenges and features every season.
The “Long Live Piracy Cinematic Trailer” produced one of the best YT comments I’ve seen:
GrayRaven Show: ‘Long Live Piracy’…yup that is what i done with most Ubisoft games
So yeah, there’s that small issue. If you are desperate to play the game straight at launch, but aren’t sure it’ll work for you, you could also do a one-month Ubisoft+ subscription for 15 / ~R255 to check it out.
I know, right? Madness. Hopefully it goes the way of other Ubi titles and is on sale after 6 months. I’m also curious to see, seeing as it’s an Epic Games Store exclusive, if it’ll go on sale during the Epic Winter Sale. If it does, and there’s an Epic coupon given again, it may just make the price palatable.
Just read, in the latest playtest that it is confirmed: there is NO sword/pistol fighting in the game from the player character. You just stand on your ship and send your crew over to do it for you. The only NPC interaction you have is walking into a settlement and talking to shop/quest NPCs.
How disappointing. I will be hard pressed to play this now, although the pull is still there.
Honestly still can’t decide if it’ll be worth a one month Ubi+ subscription to be able to spend some time playing this. Maybe mid-Dec through to mid-Jan if there’s nothing else happening. Give it a couple of weeks to get through the inevitable early patch process.
Skull and Bones lets players explore a fictionalized version of the Indian Ocean during the Golden Age of Piracy - but piracy didn’t just spring up from nowhere, especially not in the Indian Ocean. It fed off a rich trade in spices, silks, and other hot commodities for 17th-century Europeans. These lucrative pickings led pirates to a new business opportunity: their own secret smuggling networks.
During Ubisoft Forward, the Skull and Bones team revealed a bit more about these networks, which are only revealed to you once you’ve earned the right to know. To achieve that, you’ll have to grow your Infamy and eventually unlock your own pirate lair - known as The Helm - which becomes the base of your smuggling operations. This is where you’ll be able to manufacture high-value goods like Rum and Opium before selling them to whoever’s got the deepest pockets. From here, you’ll also have more leeway to choose your own contracts, rather than be at the mercy of other pirate kingpins.
The Forward presentation also revealed more about how you’ll be able to build and customize your ships. Each ship type is geared toward different kinds of playstyles, whether you’re looking for maneuverability, power, or cargo capacity, but each also comes with certain perks; for example, the Sambuk gives an advantage to players using fire weapons, while the Brig - already a heavy hitter - can deal even more damage when it’s anchored. And that’s just the start - each ship can then be fitted with different weapons, ammo, armor, furniture, and cosmetic items, letting players tailor them to specific tasks and make them uniquely their own.
The Insider Program is on-going live testing initiative for which we’re inviting carefully selected players to play an early version of our game in real conditions before anyone else. Meaning for the very first time, members of our Insider Program get to play Skull and Bones and get a sneak peek at the work our development team has been doing behind the scenes.
Skull And Bones Release Date Update
September 28, 2022, 4:00 PM
Ahoy there, privateers. Our team is hard at work polishing and balancing the experience ahead of the worldwide launch. As a result, we’ve made the tough decision to move our release date to March 9, 2023.
We’re very eager for you all to get your hands on Skull and Bones and dive in headfirst to the dangerous and exciting world of building your own pirate empire. To give you the best possible experience we’ve decided to take a little more time to make sure we can deliver exactly that.
For the most eager of you, we are also very happy to announce that we will hold an open beta of the game in the near future. We’ll share more news on how you can sign up to register soon, so keep your spyglasses trained on our social media for more news and announcements.