Preview – Skull and Bones – We saw (again) the new piracy game from Ubisoft | Xbox Usa

We can say that Ubisoft Singapore will spend its time developing Skull and Bones. Announced in 2017 and handed into our hands for two E3s, the game will finally be released on November 8, 2022 with more ambitions. During a new private presentation of the game we learned all the new features of Skull and Bones, and we have a lot to tell you.

A game of pirates at sea, but also on land!

When Skull and Bones was announced five years ago, it was about major sea wars and stealing enemy ships. At the time, we enjoyed the gameplay of the game, which was definitely inspired by the maritime jousts of Assassin’s Creed IV Black Flag, but it’s true that there was probably a little something missing in the game to really stand out from the crowd. .. This time, officially, Skull and Bones will also allow us to hear about the islands in the Indian Ocean.

The rumors of the past few months are true. Skull and Bones has expanded its game and now has a much different game than expected. We are immersed in the golden age of piracy, where society imposes rules on us, but where the survivors we choose our own destiny. Between living like a pawn or dying like a pirate, this is clearly the second option we receive from the start of the game where it all starts in a small boat and its only disadvantage is to get through this world. of atrocities.

Skull and Bones is an open world game (620 km²) to be played alone or with others, and for sure with friends it will be the most interesting to cross swords and go in search of bahandi. Its release is scheduled for November 8, 2022 on Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S, PS5 and PC. The game has not been announced for other platforms or consoles.

The little pirate can be big

The Skull and Bones adventure started in Sainte-Anne, an island in the Seychelles that was not much of a paradise at the time, and that was our base after a few adventures that allowed us to set the scene. Determined to take our lives by the hand, it will be a question of building a strong reputation in hopes of rising through the ranks among the region’s most notorious pirates.

Because yes, the whole game revolves around this reputation that needs to be added to progress. The system is called Infamy and the more experience you gain through different activities, the more your level of evil will increase. Note that there is no story or main quest in Skull and Bones, Ubisoft mostly portrays a world where legendary pirates, faction leaders and other non-player characters (NPCs) trembling shoulders than we would meet in our adventures. Our only purpose in the game: to create a place among the most fashionable pirates to unlock new activities, weapons, armor and other cosmetic elements for ourselves or our ship.

Although playable alone, Skull and Bones is considered a social adventure where cooperation remains necessary to defeat the most dangerous opponents, and therefore reap the highest steals. The ground stages allow you to get contracts and talk to different characters, but it’s the naval combat that stays at the center of the experience. Raising your reputation, building your fleet and forming a quality crew can be important activities in the development of Skull and Bones and gradually benefit from a more powerful ship. During the presentation we will see many possibilities to customize it, whether it is weapons that we put on the boat, armor to strengthen it, large bags to carry extra food or purely cosmetic items, must with a choice to make our ship different from others.

We started with a small dhow-type sailboat, but progress has allowed us to get other more powerful and / or more maneuverable ships in the future, each with advantages and disadvantages. Everything is immediately played between successful or unsuccessful maneuvers and the damage inflicted by opponents stealing their valuable booty. The big guns were obviously very useful, but we also saw other offensive tools during the presentation. Thus we can discuss a rocket launcher system or even Greek fire, a much more effective incendiary mix and already seen in the Assassin’s Creed series.

If a sea war is won, some of the spoils will go to us, but others will fall into the depths of the sea. To collect the most theft, it is better to approach the enemy ship, an operation performed, alas, through a simple script, and not in real time like Sea of ​​Thieves. If our own boat sinks, we lose what we gained, but it is possible to return to the battlefield to try to recover part of it before the other players.

If you’re not interested in PvP (player versus player), know that Ubisoft only plans PvE servers (player versus environment) for those who want to enjoy Skull and Bones at their own pace and don’t have to constantly under threat. people in the game. Each server can have up to 20 real players, but the game world will also be filled with other AI players.

A more realistic and alive Sea of ​​Thieves?

Sail a vast open world with pirates, customize your own ship, steal other ships, collect contracts to get stolen… Comparisons between Skull and Bones and Rare’s Sea of Thieves, which was released in 2018, will definitely return regularly. But while the two games obviously share big common background points, a few elements set them apart.

From what we’ve seen in Skull and Bones, it’s for us for now a more realistic Sea of ​​Thieves and more detailed what it offers on screen, like what Assassin’s Creed represents in the adventure game. genre. Aside from the presence of a crew here (mostly there to enhance the dive, since the members have no “life” outside the boat), the main difference is that it’s impossible to swim Skull and Bones, and that’s why there is no underwater world to explore in the game, at least on launch.

For the rest, Ubisoft’s pirate game also offers outposts to sell and collect cards, or even dynamic events that allow you to recover as many thefts as possible, like the capture of a trader sailing the full speed and under a good escort. Speaking of events, we also witnessed the theft of a fort from afar, it defending itself using towers and human fortifications while our cannons fired at constant intervals at the most critical. point. Ubisoft obliges, a red gauge is displayed at the top of the screen and acts as a progress bar to determine when the theft will end.

The various stages of the game we’ve seen suggest that Skull and Bones is more about the action where Sea of ​​Thieves is more about inappropriate situations and a specific skill to be gained in handling the ship. So even at very low speeds, Skull and Bones ships seem to be very maneuverable, and can easily be turned off at 45 degrees when the ship is about to stop.

In the end, this first look at Skull and Bones instead reassures us about Ubisoft’s ability to transcribe the atmosphere we envisioned from a slightly more serious pirate game. The wind blew the sails, the floor flowed and the crews rumbled as the waves rumbled, while one aspired to be the most respected pirate from the East African shores to India. With this new franchise, Ubisoft promises us an unpredictable experience where storms are raging, where corporations are fighting to conquer new territories and where our own crew will sometimes lead us to our downfall if we are not careful. An adventure that already delivers regular post-launch content with dedicated raids and events. We can say that we can no longer wait to get our hands on it to discover it more deeply.

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