Skull and Bones gameplay footage was revealed today through a dedicated Ubisoft Forward spotlight (opens in new tab). We also got an official release date, with the game launching on November 8 this year. The showcase began with a cinematic trailer before diving deep into a series of interviews and finally over 30 minutes of actual gameplay footage, illustrating how ship battles and progression systems will function.
Players begin stranded ashore after a shipwreck, where everything in the world wants them dead. The world in Skull and Bones is inspired by the Golden Age of Piracy, and the player starts with little to nothing and must build themselves up throughout the seas.
Infamy is that currency that will allow players to gain access to greater rewards and more exciting quests. Infamy can be increased by successfully completing contracts, exploring, plundering, treasure hunting, investigating and more. All of these can be tackled in either solo or multiplayer modes.
Progress through the game can combine different armor types, weapon types and ship types to get more powerful. Everything can be played in single-player, but it is encouraged to play it with friends and take on major tasks together to make things more manageable. Players can also jump into PvP and shoot other ships with their friends throughout the Indian Ocean. The ship combat looks like pure chaos in the stream, so we'll need to see how that feels when you are at the helm.
Dens are hubs that allow the player to craft, take contracts, socialize and prepare for their big expeditions out at sea. Rookie pirates will only receive small dhows (ships), but through the game, there will be many craftable and purchasable ones. Your pirate crew can also mutiny against you if they go hungry or aren't happy with your leadership. If you lose your cargo, other players can steal it, so you'll want to be careful. Players can gather ore, wood and hunt animals in the sea to unlock new crafting materials.
However, the thing to keep in mind is that players cannot explore the world on foot. You're attached by the hip to your ship, and you'll only be off of it when you're in hubs.