You may or may not know this, but Ubisoft has a game in the works called Skull and Bones. As you can probably guess, it’s a pirate game. And I know what you’re thinking. “Oh, another pirate game? We already had Sea of Thieves, why do we need another?” Shut up and let me tell you.
I’ve been a fan of Assassin’s Creed for a while now. I stopped playing the games as much around the time of AC: Origins, but my interest never truly left. If you’ve played Assassin’s Creed 3 you’ll remember the ship segments and how they were weird and broke up the flow of the game. And if you’re like me, you were pleasantly surprised when Black Flag came out and revamped the system, making it extremely fun.
Ubisoft found their sweet spot with the pirate ships in Black Flag, and I’m not ashamed to say I spent more time on the sea than on land. That’s why when I heard of Skull and Bones I was excited, to say the least. I mean, a pirate game made by Ubisoft post-Black Flag? Sign me right up. The thing is, it has been a while since Ubisoft delved into tales of piracy, and perhaps they’ve lost that spark.
Except they haven’t. Look at this crisp looking naval battle gameplay demo.
It’s literally Black Flag without the Assassin’s Creed parts and it looks glorious. They’ve stripped away the assassin plot and have instead focused everything on piracy. The camera is the same, the boarding, the combat, everything seems the same: just improved and polished. There are a few new features and they seem like great additions that fit well with the gameplay.
One thing I noticed was a distinct lack of sea shanties. If I can’t be sailing across the ocean listening to my crew singing “Drunken Sailor”, then count me — ever so slightly — out.
I also love the fact that the pirate stuff is now the focus, so the developers are able to lean more heavily into the theme as a whole. A lot of the art direction has changed to reflect standard pirate fare. We have a new font and in a side-by-side comparison between Black Flag and Skull and Bones, you can see how the art style has subtly shifted.
These changes and the many others we are sure to see in the future are just some of what has me excited for Skull and Bones. Assassin’s Creed: Black Flag was such a well done title in its own right, all the while managing to stay fun without weighing itself down under all the new innovations it came attached with. Here’s hoping that any innovations added to Skull and Bones benefit it in the same way.
Sadly we haven’t heard much about the game as of late, though it is slated to come out March of next year. In that time we can only hope the game keeps on course and doesn’t release bundled with any of Ubisoft’s signature bugs.