Garrr me hearties, ‘tis a good time to be a pirate. Whether ye be an old salty sea dog who has played through Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag a million times or a wee babe when it comes to Ubisoft games, Skull & Bones will make you abandon your family (maybe) because it’s so good. But that’s ok, you’ll have a new family in Skull & Bones: your crew. 

Ubisoft

Is that Kurt Russel in Escape From New York'?

The game looks like a swashbuckling blend of two fantastic Ubisoft titles, Far Cry 6 and Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag. You’ll start off stranded on an island and have to craft and fight your way up to become a pirate of infamy in the Indian Ocean. You’ll have a small ship at first but be able to craft and afford bigger ones as you progress. Bigger ships mean bigger crew, which means more grim sailors ready to slit your throat at the first sign of dissatisfaction. You’ll be able to lead your crew in naval battles and even rally them to board other ships to get all that sweet, sweet booty. They’re essential, but you’ll also have to keep up their morale. If your crew gets pissed, they’ll mutiny. We found out from Ubisoft’s gameplay preview that there are at least three factors you’ll have to take into account to keep them singing shanties instead of screaming for your head. 

Ubisoft

I look forward to these guys throwing me overboard.

There’s your infamy, which functions as a progression tree in the game. You do more pirating, you get more pirating perks. A well known captain is a scary captain, and no one wants to mutiny against a scary captain. Then there’s the type of ship you have, which will drain their morale more slowly or quickly depending on its stats. And finally, something any seaman worth their weight in… seme- ugh, gold, already knows; you’ve got to keep them fed. I’m excited for the emergent narratives that arise when I’ve stretched my resources a little too thin and the crew turns on me. It’s a pirate's life, but no one ever said it was an easy one. The game is slated to release on November 8th, so after you use your vote to mutiny against the corrupt officials in your town, you can go home and see what that feels like for yourself.

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