Starting off life as a pirate in Ubisoft’s upcoming sandbox Skull and Bones will require players to get themselves acclimated, which generally means there’s a tutorial to get through. That tutorial, which was shared with selected testers, came in the form of a narrated video that one player leaked online; that footage has since been deleted and reuploaded by other users in what we’re sure will be a fun game of whackamole for Ubisoft.
Reporting on this footage describes a progression path that sees players starting off with a basic ship but eventually crafting larger and stronger ships as players earn infamy. Infamy is earned from successful exploration, attacking of forts, plundering of settlements and ships, completion of world events, and clearing “high risk, high reward” contracts with NPCs on land and sea.
The video further discusses the process of which ship-to-ship plundering is performed, as players will need to use a spyglass to find trade routes or other player ships, then get in close enough to either sink or board a target, with more loot being earned the closer a player is to their chosen mark – as one might expect, boarding a ship will yield the best rewards.
There will be survival elements as well, as players will need to keep a ship well-stocked and repaired, managing ship health and crew morale. Failure to keep up morale will result in a crew mutinying against players, while a ship that gets sunk will result in the player respawning at the nearest discovered outpost with some of their cargo; the rest of the cargo can be recovered from the shipwreck, but other players are able to collect the dropped goodies as well.
As far as multiplayer, the video notes that while the game can be played solo, it will be easier with friends, as players can combine their chosen ship strengths to cover one another and take on more deadly enemies on the seas.
The veracity of the footage in question was initially unknown, but a representative from Ubisoft confirmed in a statement that the footage was indeed authentic:
“Recently, we ran a technical test for the game and some of its details became public. This video footage was taken from an early version of the game and doesn’t reflect the quality and features of the final game. We’ll share more details about the game soon.”