Movie Reviews

Skull & Bones Leaked Footage Offers Look at Much-Delayed Pirate Game

The much-delayed Skull & Bones pirate game from Ubisoft has resurfaced, courtesy of leaked gameplay footage that showcases a tutorial test build. Ubisoft announced Skull & Bones during its E3 2017 press conference, teasing a high seas adventure inspired by Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag’s beloved naval combat. The Ubisoft Singapore-developed project has seemingly endured development hell, though, repeatedly being delayed out of already nebulous release windows.

Some of Skull & Bones‘ issues reportedly stem from executives restarting development no less than two separate times. Notably, uncorroborated reports claim one such reboot came around the time that Ubisoft ousted the Singapore team’s Managing Director, Hugues Ricour, following allegations of harassment. There’s no word on whether the alleged development shift constituted a response to Ricour’s exit, but news from earlier this year suggests the project is progressing nicely. To the surprise of many, the French publisher opened applications for an Insider Program in March to attract potential Skull & Bones playtesters. This move proved that, at the very least, Ubisoft’s long-awaited pirate adventure won’t soon walk the plank.

Related: Skull & Bones Becomes ‘Multiplayer-First’ Amidst Delays & Uncertainty

As spotted by Push Square, test footage of Skull & Bones gameplay has been uploaded to video streaming website Streamable. The leaked gameplay video is marked as a “Technical Test Build” and runs roughly six minutes in length. As a tutorial video, this particular leak outlines what players can expect from the opening hours and moment-to-moment action. Users will begin as an ordinary swashbuckler trying to make a name for themselves as the most infamous pirate in an Indian Ocean-inspired world. The pirate den known as Sainte-Anne will serve as a hub of sorts, allowing travelers to stock up on ship upgrades, equipment, provisions, and contracts. In addition, this Red Isle locale will mark the place at which players can leisurely socialize with one another.

Despite Skull & Bones‘ many setbacks, it seems as though developers have finally found a marketable gameplay loop. The tutorial video notes the player character’s pirate reputation is tracked through Infamy, which unlocks new opportunities as it builds. Contracts with NPCs constitute one way of increasing Infamy and some of them will even allow users to align themselves with up to two others pirates. Other Infamy-gaining activities include plundering, exploring, and treasure hunting.

As of writing, Ubisoft has yet to outline plans for Skull & Bones‘ inevitable re-reveal. Such a time could come soon, considering the publisher recently reaffirmed its interest in launching the title by the end of Fiscal Year 2023, which falls on March 31, 2023. It’ll be interesting to see how well the Black Flag-style gameplay holds up after eight-plus years of development.

Next: Ubisoft Still Plans To Launch Skull & Bones Despite Delays

Source: Streamable (via Push Square)

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