Just two days later Postponing Skull and Bones (opens in new tab) once again, this time in early 2023-24, Ubisoft has posted a new developer stream showing off the “narrative gameplay” of the oft-delayed pirate adventure. The video takes players through an “investigation” described by narrative director Joel Jannise as “a way of telling a story through a series of steps”.
“The player follows a trail of something that they think will be interesting and probably lead to some kind of treasure or some kind of score,” Janisse explains in the video. “But it also tells a story about our factions and our world, and we do that by, say, finding messages in bottles, fragments of lost magazines, sometimes talking to different characters in the world, and through that we can tell a story. “
The investigation featured in the video focuses on a dispute between a brother and sister, who both believe they are the right heir to the throne of a petty kingdom. You, as a pirate, don’t really care about the politics of the situation, but thrones come with crowns, and crowns are worth a lot of money.
The action begins with a mission to loot a local settlement, and this is where I start tuning in. The act of plundering is simply a matter of getting close enough to the port in question, hitting the “plunder” button and then sailing around within a defined area firing at enemy ships while a timer counts down, indicating the progress of your departure. fencing crew is making.
“The fantasy here is, while we’re here fighting and holding out, they’re running around the settlement, stealing whatever they can get their hands on, and looking for the thing that we’re looking for in this case, which is the next clue in our investigation says Janisse. And I think that’s really one of my main issues with Skull and Bones: It’s purely a fantasy, because I can’t participate in it — I can’t even see it happen.
The same thing happens later in the investigation, when Janisse and senior community developer Alexis Cretton choose to investigate a shipwreck they discovered. stock.
Even the sailing, the most basic, central element of Skull and Bones, doesn’t seem very impressive. Ships appear light and floating in the video, with no sense of mass or inertia, and not very reactive to the water; it’s also impossible to properly scout ships – you can’t go below deck or in the captain’s cabin, for example.
It all seems so boring. My pirate fantasy is not to mess with menus and timers, but to be reckless! Ideally in the most ridiculous ways possible. I said after a gameplay in July 2022 that watching Skull and Bones was normal makes me want to play Sea of Thieves (opens in new tab), and that is still very much the case. Janisse said Ubisoft has “worked very closely with historians, as well as language and culture experts, to make sure we’re accurate,” which is fine, but what about the fun? Skull and Bones has three different types of sea shanties to reflect the authenticity of the game’s languages and knowledge; In Sea of Thieves you can play your own instruments, dance, drink too much and puke on your teammates.
You can do it too if you want this kind of things (opens in new tab):
I don’t know about you, but that’s the kind of pirate adventure I want to dive into. (And don’t worry, he’s fine. It’s one big aerial adventure for Virgil!)
It is impossible to make a concrete judgment about a game based solely on videos. But Skull and Bones floats, Ubisoft is in trouble (opens in new tab), and at a time when it needs to put its best foot forward, this really fails to impress. Ubisoft said earlier this week that the most recent Skull and Bones delay will “help us provide further finishing and balance,” but what I see in this video isn’t a lack of finishing, it’s a lack of interesting gameplay.
Skull and Bones again has no release date, but is expected to release early in Ubisoft’s 2023-2024 fiscal year. That is sometime after April 1.