The greatest surprise of the Ubisoft conference might have been Beyond Good and Evil 2, but Skull and Bones is a close second. The game seems to take the best of naval combat from Assassin’s Creed titles and builds on it significantly.
Sea of Thieves should be pretty worried after this presentation, because both the cinematic trailer (above) and the pvp 5v5 trailer (below) are great looking and very hands on. Of course, at this moment it is unknown what the final form of either is going to be. Skull and Bones does not show any way in which you can leave the ship, apart from the boarding, which seems pretty automated, while Sea of Thieves showed a lot of traipsing around looking for pleasure. Still, it is nice to see too pirate-based games focusing on naval combat coming out soon.
What can be seen in the multiplayer video is very similar to some of the single-player components from Assassin’s Creed: Black Flag, for example, after a successful raid on an admiral-class ship you will get pirate hunters after you. Just like in the game, they are heavily armored and you cannot take them on (perhaps you will be able later on, but it does seem to go against some of the self-imposed rules of this mp title) and they are a signal that you should run away with your loot.
An interesting moment appeared when one of the smaller frigates sacrificed itself to slow down the pirate hunters so that the rest of the team could escape more easily. This type of gameplay is even reminiscent of some serious MMOs, such as EvE Online, which is only a good thing. If Ubisoft is making a multiplayer only type of game, it should learn from as many sources as possible.
The game will be out in the fall of 2018, for PC, PS4 and XBox One.