A six-minute overview tutorial video from the currently ongoing Skull & Bones technical playtest has leaked online.
As seen in the footage shared by VGC, players start their journey as an underdog and will slowly build their reputation by sinking enemy and merchant ships and completing risky contracts from NPCs. Preparation is key, as you have to keep an eye on your provision's supplies, the morale of the crew, repair kits, and ammunition to successfully return from the sea expedition.
The game's progression relies on a reputation system called Infamy. Your every action will increase or decrease your Infamy level, allowing for more dangerous jobs for you to tackle and bigger ships to sail. You'll lose some Infamy when failing a contract or destroying your ship in battle, but you can retrieve some of your lost cargo if you're quick enough. Crafting is also very important for your progression, so you'll need to take your time with grinding resources and unlocking better blueprints.
Since Skull & Bones is a “multiplayer first” game, certain contracts can be shared with a group of up to three players. For example, it will be much easier to take down a well-guarded fort or settlement with some backup. On the other hand, you can easily turn from predator to prey if you attract unwanted attention from other players at sea. You can also socialize with fellow pirates in the game's hub and choose from a wide variety of customization options available both for your character and your ship. Fear not if you are in for a solo experience as all the game's content can be completed alone.
It seems Skull and Bones hasn't drifted too far from its original formula, despite being stuck in the development hell for eight years. Several sources earlier reported that Ubisoft Singapore has thrown months of work away while struggling to find the right approach for the project. Still, the current build boasts some heavy resemblance to later Assassin's Creed games, like Black Flag, Origins, and Odyssey.
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