One of the more interesting games unveiled at this year's E3 show was Ubisoft's Skull and Bones. While the French developer/publishing giant has promised some ship-based gameplay and combat in its upcoming Assassin's Creed Origins, one of the most fun aspects of the AC series in recent years, was Black Flag's larger scale combat and that's exactly what Skull and Bones is all about.
You never leave your ship in the game, unless it's to board another. While you'll be able to view your ship from the helm - and it does look gorgeous - you won't be transitioning to a new setting to wander an island or township yourself. It's a competitive, open-sea arena-based combat title.
“What we really want to bring in Skull & Bones is the feeling of being a pirate at the helm of the ship, so that’s where we are focusing the experience,” producer Arnaud Vaudour said during an interview with PCGamesN.
“We want it to feel like the pirate will control his destiny by becoming stronger and stronger, having a better ship, having a ship that you master more and more, and that really represents his own power as a pirate. So that’s really the focus for us.”
But just because you're locked to the helm. It doesn't mean the world won't feel alive. Indeed it will be populated by other players who you'll be fighting with and against in massive pitched battles.
Ubisoft released a new video of that multiplayer gameplay in action at E3, while giving everyone attending the show a chance to play the game and it looks phenomenal. There are some health bars though, which doesn't suggest the gameplay is too deep.
We'll wait to see more before we make a big judgement on this one.