In the year of 2018, ship warfare seems to be in. With Sea of Thieves releasing earlier this year, and Assassin’s Creed Odyssey (featuring ship warfare similar to what we have experienced in Assassin’s Creed Black Flag), and now Skull & Bones. Skull & Bones is one Wicked and Wild ride. The ships are fun to sail, and the freedom of the open world really lends itself to the naval combat aspect. Overall the Demo Presented at E3 was a giant heap of fun, and makes me very excited for the games release next year.
Assassin’s Creed Odyssey and Skull and Bones are both made by Ubisoft, so one is probably inclined to think they are the same. But, the creators of Skull & Bones claimed to be trying to differentiate themselves very much form the combat players may be use to in the Assassin’s Creed series. This is hard to see while watching, but extremely apparent while playing Skull & Bones. The biggest difference between the two is the wind mechanic.
According to the team of develops we spoke with, in Skull & Bones, the wind is almost as much of a rival as other ships. It is a nasty beast you cant easily sail through, if you do chose to turn around directly to the wind, you cripple your abilities significantly with drastically slower movement and some loss of vision.
The feel of the world is hard and confrontational. Contrast this with ‘Sea of Thieves’, a game I play regularly and love, where the game is whimsical and more of the prate fantasy with songs and sweet dreams of loot. This isn’t bad by any means, the art style combined with the gameplay creates a solid experience. However, let me tell you… the opening cinematic for skull and bones gave me chills. And this carried over to gameplay, everything I did mattered. Every mistake i made drastically put me behind other players, while moves I made to take advantage of others disadvantages drastically aided me over all.
One particular situation I encountered was when i sailed next to a ship wreck and stole the sails from the ship as a disguise. This made it so the NPCs would not attack, and other players saw me as a NPC . this allowed me to sneak right by all the hostile NPCs and ram the enemy player’s broadside very easily. But if I did not finish at ship off, I would be at risk to be boarded, luckily my worries were for not, and my one strike was a fatal blow that sealed my victory. And because I was still in disguise I was able to sail away unharmed. A huge risk, with a huge payoff.
Skull & Bones is a wild ride, It’s hard rock feel and tone really make the player feel like the decisions made matter. I can’t wait to see more of this game.