Wed. Apr 24th, 2024

Skull & Bones Review


Available now

Version tested: Xbox Series X

After what feels like never-ending development for Skull and Bones we finally have the finished product! Well, I will use the phrase finished product bit lightly though..

Ubisoft set out to make what I think a fair few of the gaming community dreamed of, a pirate game with a lot of their original black flag game at its core. Sadly straight away it’s obvious that Skull and Bones is missing a few of Black Flag’s main elements, on-land sword fighting being a rather big omission!

It’s not all doom and gloom at sea though as the ship battles can be good fun and also a fair bit of customisation keeps ship combat feeling fresh. The majority of the game is spent sailing, hoisting and lowering the sails will adjust the speed of the ship and then you just need to steer it. The sailing itself feels better than Black Flag and the ship crafting allows you to choose your weapons which in turn changes the way you will approach each battle.

One of the most annoying things while sailing has to be how long it takes to get from A to B and a contributing factor to this has to be the ship’s stamina bar! Why Ubisoft has put this into the game is beyond me, the crew aren’t rowing so all I can think is maybe the stamina is for the wind and when it runs out? Ground and on-ship combat is a massive miss here, on land you will just speak to people to get quests and upgrades but there isn’t a sword in sight!

When attacking ships at sea you will lower the ship’s defences by attacking it and eventually, a prompt will come up to board it, sadly don’t think you will be jumping across to take out the ship’s crew and take the ship, instead a rope will be thrown across and then a cutscene with the ship being pulled to yours, after a short black screen the enemy ship will blow up and you will acquire its loot. These two things would have made a huge difference and with Black Flag its hard to see why Ubisoft thought not having them in the game would be a good idea.

I have to admit I am a little bit disappointed with the way this game has turned out but it seems to be a common thing nowadays that no game can live up to the hype around it. Ubisoft could certainly turn this title around in time and could take motivation from its sea rival Sea Of Thieves.

Graphically the game looks nice, nothing special in today’s games but does the job well enough with performance on the Series X doing ok. Playing in quality mode you can feel it chug a little but the performance mode certainly smooths things out at the cost of visual quality so the choice there is yours, I’ll take fps over visual quality any day!

When it comes to sound Skull and Bones is pretty solid, having your crew belt out different songs while sailing the open seas adds to the immersion of being a pirate and its times like that you can admire the setting that Ubisoft has built.

So with all that out the way, what is Skull and Bones about? If you like Sea Of Thieves I think you may find it difficult to fall for Skull and Bones. Sea Of Thieves has grown over the years into a fun and hilarious game to put hours into with friends with plenty to do on and off the ship. Skull and Bones however is lacking in all departments, boring fetch quests, no land combat and a story that has no real quality to it all don’t help.

It is difficult to recommend Skull & Bones right now but I do feel some players will get something out of this and if everyone sticks with it hopefully Ubisoft will continue to add and develop its multiplayer pirate adventure into something we all were praying for when it was first revealed.

Verdict:


Sailing and ship customisation can be fun and do change the way you approach battle out on the sea but a lack of a few things such as ground combat hold Skull & Bones back. Graphically the game looks good and the sound quality is solid throughout. After all the years in development it is hard to see Ubisoft ditching Skull & Bones, what they do from now will determine if this pirate adventure will ever live up to the hype it received, in its current state and if you want a good pirate story Black Flag is still the best we have.

Score:


7.2 / 10

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The review code was provided free of charge for my honest unbiased review.

Skull & Bones

7.2

Visuals

8.1/10

Sound

7.9/10

Gameplay

6.9/10

Story

6.0/10

Pros

  • Sailing
  • Ship Customisation
  • Looks nice and decent sound
  • It's not a bad base but Ubisoft will really need to work at it to make the game we all were wanting.

Cons

  • No land combat
  • Bland story and characters
  • Stamina bar while sailing??

By dailygamingtech

Hi I'm Shane, I've been a "gamer" my whole life pretty much and decided to start this website because I wanted to share my experience with others and give my honest opinion on products to help before you buy! I really hope you find the website helpful and any questions please send me an email and I will reply asap! Thanks for visiting and hope to see you again soon

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