Nearly 30 minutes of gameplay from Skull and Bones is shared in a new devstream off the back of the pirate game’s recent delay. As frustrating as the delay may be for everyone involved, Ubisoft continues to work diligently to complete Skull and Bones. It may not feel like that to those who have been anxiously awaiting Skull and Bones, though, which is why Ubisoft has decided to share a substantial look at the game’s narrative experience in an extended video.
Ubisoft has previously said that Skull and Bones “is not a narrative-driven game,” though it does have narrative pieces to help drive the player’s personal story. As a historical fiction, however, Skull and Bones has a rich setting and narrative structures built around gameplay actions. Players are pirates sailing the oceans of Skull and Bones‘ version of the real world, after all. For many players, without narrative elements, it’s difficult to fully immerse in a game.
The extended gameplay devstream from Ubisoft for Skull and Bones is led by narrative director Joel Janisse, who guides the player through one of the game’s Investigations. Investigations are akin to quests in other games, requiring players complete steps to proceed and ultimately rewarding the player upon completion. The quest shown in the video is named the “Hunt for the Crown of Ukuta” and revolves around the hunt for a deposed king named Mwenye, who fled with the Royal Crown of Ukuta.
In the Skull and Bones video, a variety of gameplay is shown. That includes the player performing a Plunder raid on an outpost to receive a clue on their quest, which involves attacking the outpost itself and its defense forces, extended sequences of travel by ship, searching shipwrecks, and digging up treasure. It’s a proper pirate adventure, helps flesh out the world and story of Skull and Bones, and is likely just the first chapter in a broader narrative experience.
The broader story hinted at through Skull and Bones‘ gameplay and by comments from Janisse has to do with a notorious pirate. The pirate is described as someone seeking to fight against Skull and Bones‘ mega-corporations, the pursuit of true freedom, and someone with a treasure haul worth seeking out. Odds are there’s more to this story for players to discover when Skull and Bones eventually launches.
As previously noted, though, Skull and Bones is more of a multiplayer live service experience than a narrative-driven game. When the Investigation is completed, a notification pops up saying it’s just one of seven available. So while there is some story-driven content in Skull and Bones, it’s not the whole game. Players will use the Investigations to delve further into the broader progression systems and gameplay that could, eventually, make Skull and Bones a game worth playing for quite a long time.
Skull and Bones releases 2023-2024 on PC, PS5, and Xbox Series X/S.