Reviews - Updated on April 14, 2022

Ubisoft is studying the online market with interest and is heading only for long-playing projects – it is quite possible that the painless merging of “single” and multiplayer will lead to the fact that the same Beyond Good & Evil 2 will be truly revolutionary. However, not only with the official announcement of Michel Ancel’s long-term construction, the French publisher surprised at E3 – even through a spyglass we saw the pirate network action Skull & Bones. And appreciated the demo.Skull & Bones обзор

Water Ubisoft succeeds well (albeit an embellished screenshot) – take the same The Crew 2.

Open world on the high seas

When talking about filibuster-themed games, Corsairs, Sid Meier’s Pirates immediately fly off the tongue! well, not so ancient Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag. During the development of the last one of the assistant studios, Ubisoft Singapore was listed – it is at its shipyards that Skull & Bones is now being built.

In addition, I would like to compare the novelty with the upcoming Sea of ​​Thieves from the gray-haired and scarred Rare and Microsoft (the golden age of virtual piracy is returning?), however, the basis of multiplayer gameplay is different – if in Sea of ​​Thieves we are talking about the distribution of roles between players when managing one ship, then in Skull & Bones each fighter receives a ship. Blankets scurry around the deck, instantly picking up orders (in the sense of responding to button presses) – Ubisoft made sure to fill the expanses of the Indian Ocean with at least some life.

A small digression: the events of Skull & Bones take place at the beginning of the 18th century between the coasts of India, Africa and Australia. Robbery seethes at points where the gold veins of trade routes converge, such as the shallows and reefs of Madagascar. There are several sides to the conflict – actually pirates, merchants and soldiers of organizations like the British East India Company (one of the few corporations in history that had its own army). The story mode, where you face historical figures face to face, will serve as a supplement to the multiplayer component – the developers answer questions about the “single” in a streamlined way. Perhaps it will be “for show” – like in For Honor or even like in Rainbow Six Siege.

So let’s move on to the main thing – to the multiplayer. At E3, Ubisoft brought a demo with only one mode (no wonder – the game is released on PC, PS4 and Xbox One right before the end of 2018), Loot Hunt. According to the recording of the gameplay from the developers, one could get the impression that it was boring to play. We hasten to dispel doubts – fun fun! Unexpected situations constantly arise – the excitement does not fall asleep.

Skull & Bones обзор

How, I wonder, will Ubisoft bring the Skull & Bones open world to life? After all, we are talking about the ocean, where islands and krakens come across not that often.

So Loot Hunt. Two groups of five go into a certain water area, where the prey is scattered right across the water surface or is hidden in peaceful AI ships (to get it, you need to flood them). The fight is divided into two segments. In the first one, you and your partners try to collect more “loot” while simultaneously interfering with the enemy (it is not at all necessary to shove it into the frontal one). If you are smashed to pieces, spread the sails again. The second segment is much more dangerous – pirate hunters burst into the arena. Shooting at them with guns is pointless – just run as fast as you can to the safe zone. If the vessel is crushed, the loot stored on board will not be credited to the crew. “Loot” from a sluggish ship also does not count – you need to sail to a neutral area within a certain time. We should rely on well-coordinated work, clearly distribute responsibilities – where we dump the cargo, and who is engaged in the extermination or delay of the enemy. Self-sacrifice is welcome, especially if there is no prey in the hold. The squad that has the most gold coins in its assets wins – the “loot” is measured in them.

The ships are divided into classes, in the “demo” there were three of them – a frigate with solid protection, a brigantine with a ram on the bow to make a hole in the enemy’s side, and a tiny sloop with long-range artillery. Between themselves, the boats differ in speed, armor, maneuverability, guns, types of projectiles, firing distance, and other characteristics. The “health” of the ships is divided into two sides – if one received cuffs beyond measure, then it can be boarded. Alas, the attack takes place in automatic mode – no interactive, even in the spirit of Sid Meier’s Pirates! By the way, it is possible to reduce damage by holding a separate button when enemy projectiles approach – while the team sits down and groups up. An analogue of a block, but, of course, it does not completely eliminate the loss of HP.

An important point – you need to keep in mind the vagaries of the wind. On the mini-map you can see how it blows – plan maneuvers based on the direction. The wind helps both swim faster and shoot more accurately. Getting used to speed control and getting used to inertia will take a long time.

At E3, Ubisoft showed only a PvP zone, and only briefly talked about PvE locations – it will be possible to attack merchants alone or as part of a flotilla. “Pumping” will allow you to gain levels and customize the ship with new equipment. As for the land, they will be allowed to go ashore to a maximum of some shops and taverns – you are unlikely to have time to feel the solid ground under your feet.

Skull & Bones обзорSign up for the Skull & Bones beta test here.

***

Skull & Bones is another Ubisoft experiment in the field of session multiplayer, entertaining and attractive. Take at least the theme (pirates!) and the implementation of naval battles based on Black Flag. The main thing is that Skull & Bones does not repeat the fate and mistakes of For Honor.

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