Ubisoft unveiled several new games during the developer's E3 2017 press briefing, including the new pirates-based game, Skull & Bones. The France-based video game developer and publisher has dabbled in naval mechanics before, particularly in the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 launch game Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag, but this marks the first time the developer is pushing forward with a full-fledged naval game.
In the wake of new installments in the Assassin's Creed, Far Cry, and The Crew franchises, as well as another South Park game, Ubisoft has been pushing for new intellectual properties to diversify its lineup, and Skull & Bones is one of those titles that will help achieve that goal. The new game is being developed by Ubisoft Singapore (one of the company's largest Asia-based studios), the same studio that has worked on virtually every Assassin's Creed game since Assassin's Creed II (in addition to Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands).
Ubisoft officially unveiled Skull & Bones during its E3 2017 press briefing, debuting a three-minute cinematic trailer (video above), as well as a five-minute gameplay demo (video below). The gameplay video showcases the game's multiplayer component, particularly the 10-player game mode Loot Hunt, in which two teams of players battle one another to capture the mission's loot. Take a look:
Black Flag fans may immediately notice similarities between that game and Skull & Bones -- and they should. It appears that the team that worked on Black Flag incorporated the best components from that Assassin's Creed installment and turned it into a full-fledged game. Skull & Bones gives players the chance to create elite pirates and heavily personalized pirate ships with the capability of competing in player-versus-environment (PvE) and player-versus-player (PvP) combat.
To do this, players must establish hideouts and recruit crew members to aid them in battling other pirates (and players) in the Indian Ocean's high seas, such as plundering "rich merchant convoys" in heist-like modes. People have the option of playing either solo or with a team of other players for exploring and plundering other ships. If players are part of a team, once the mission is complete, they have the option of either sharing the loot or betraying their friends and taking the loot for themselves.
Ubisoft specifies that the game's dynamic open-world setting -- such as the Indian Ocean's extreme weather -- can make or break someone's chances of winning a battle. In addition to the aforementioned details, the game also features a class system and a bevy of ships. Unfortunately, there is only little that we actually know at this time. We should find out more about Skull & Bones as we near the game's release date in fall of 2018.