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Skull and Bones First Impression Review (Xbox Series X)

Skull and Bones First Impression (Xbox Series X)

Release: February 17, 2024
Publisher: Ubisoft
Developer: Ubisoft Singapore
Genre: Action, Adventure, XBox One Reviews
PEGI: 18


Excellent About Rating
9.0 - Gameplay
9.0 - Video
9.0 - Audio

I feel like it has been a while since we had an open-world pirate game, but we got one for 2024. Ubisoft and one of Ubisoft’s Original Games Skull and Bones which was first announced back in 2017 by Ubisoft Singapore at an E3 event. I remember because I was there when it first got announced and I was excited because I love video games that incorporate wooden ships and pirates. This game when I first heard about it, I remember when I was a kid I used to play a lot of Sid Meier’s Pirates which still to this day is one of my favorite pirate games ever. Even though Skull and Bones is nowhere on the same level as Sid Meier’s Pirates, it has some good elements, and that is something we will talk about right now.

Story So Far

So the story begins where you are shipwrecked after an intense battle, and you start with a small tiny raft ship and eventually meet your first Kingpin John Scurlock who helps you on your journey to become the most fearsome pirate Kingpin ever. Throughout the story, you will encounter many different factions that are constantly at war with each other for dominance over the sea and islands, but nothing compares to the major factions that control most of the regions.


The first thing you should do that is important for any game like Skull and Bones, is the reputation ranking system, in this case, it is Infamy, as your Infamy rank keeps going higher and higher, players will be able to unlock more blueprints. There are a total of 10 tiers of Infamy with Kingpin being the last tier. To progress and earn Infamy points to your rank, every action you do in the game contributes to it, from sinking ships to plundering settlements or even hunting down wildlife.


The game entirely is about 90% sea and 10% land, so if you are a fan of games where you get to be captain of your ships, especially a pirate captain then this is for you. Most of the time you spend on lands buying and selling stuff, crafting and cooking, talking to NPCs for quests, and finding buried treasure chests. Every outpost or main port you docked, each place is unique and has its own vendors and island perks that make it special, I enjoy visiting these islands because I get to see what it is like being a pirate at sea and finally finding land after so many hours at sea.

The ship combat controls and UI system are similar to a few games that I played before Ubisoft Assassin’s Creed Black Flag & Assassin’s Creed Rogue, which are two of my favorite games. I love the ship combat in both of them and during my first couple of hours in Skull and Bones, I had the same feeling of happiness and love for exploring and also trying to become a fearsome pirate kingpin. Naval combat for Skull and Bones features weapons from Cannons, bombard, Mortars, and even a flame turret you can put on the bow of your ship. On top of that, you can customize your ship’s armor and furniture which gives your ship an extra stat bonus.

Unique Game Features of Skull and Bones

The customization is in-depth from not only your pirate captain but also your ships, which is an important feature I believe especially if you are striving to be a fearsome pirate captain, then you have to look the part and be different from everyone else. Ship customization is important because since you are at sea most of the time, you want other players to see what kind of pirate ship you have that is unique from everyone else.

The Cross-play feature for this game gives players a chance to play with friends on different platforms, and everything is cross-progression so you can also switch between console and PC, and continue your journey without having to start over.

World Events & Weather Dynamic bring the game alive as you explore the never-ending open sea. The rain and the storm, when you are in open seas, make the game feel so alive, that even when you take over the helm of your ship in first-person mode, you can feel a bit seasick if you are not too careful. Storms that will make the sea aggressive, and if you are not too careful you might get destroyed by a rogue wave, and then we have the fog, which makes it so hard to through small rivers but also have a hard time spotting ships as well in the distance. The World events give play never-ending content, which keeps us busy for long hours of gaming from either you destroying a merchant fleet or doing some PVP of stealing a treasure map and delivering it to one of the outposts.

Endless Open seas with dozens of ships at once, do you ever wonder what it is to be either in a naval battle with dozens of warships or just want an open world game fully alive? In Skull and Bones, there is never such a thing as a quiet day at sea, you will always find ships whether they are NPC or players the most I saw was 18 players online in a world. However with the NPCs you got them all over the map either doing trade delivery or fighting against other factions, just know there is a thing called traffic even at sea.


Controls, Audio and Graphics

I have been playing Controller both on my console and PC, it made the game so much easier especially when you have to steer the ship and use your weapons. The game is still playable either using a controller or keyboard, it just depends on the player’s game styling habit. Both keyboard and Controllers are easy to navigate so it gives all players who are both new and veterans to this kind of game style and easy approach.

Let’s talk about the sound of the game, which I believe is one of the most important in any video game. Skull and Bones have a wide amount of sounds from Cannon Fire to Stormy Seas, every part of the game feels alive especially the Shanties whenever you are on ships. I love every single shanties that my crew sings on board the ship and I can never get bored with them, it is like that when you go on a road trip you need that tune to keep you awake or feel like you are alive still.


There is a lot to talk about because I have to say the game is beautiful from the characters to the huge Forts. Every place is unique, the seas look so realistic and also dangerous especially when you are on a smaller ship. Every detail on the ship was done very well where you can not only see your crew working but you can see other people’s crew on other ships even if they are NPCs or players ships. Nature is important in the game, especially with wildlife and as you sail either through rivers or across the sea you will get to experience all of them. The Naval combat explosions, cannon fires, and ramming into other ships, everything was designed so that I feel like I am in a movie with pirates.

End Game Content and Road Map

There is so much to do once you finish the main storyline and also hit kingpin rank because a lot of activities get unlocked and we going to check a few of them. One of the biggest end-game content is when players get to unlock the Helm which is what I call a pirate smuggler operation where in this case, we make rum and then deliver it to certain places on the map to make a few extra end-game currency which is called “Pieces of Eight” this is the way to start building your empire and to unlock more blueprints for weapons and customization.

When you become Kingpin everything gets harder, even fighting against other rogue ships who will do anything to try and stop you from growing your empire and your fame. This is the challenge of what it takes to become the most fearsome kingpin, but the journey doesn’t end here. Ubisoft has announced a year’s worth of content and presented us with a roadmap to what the future holds. Each season lasts for 12 weeks and all the gameplay content is free to play.  blank


Ubisoft did an amazing job giving us an open-world MMO Pirate game that I feel is similar to the game that I used to play when I was younger which was Sid Meier’s Pirates which still today is one of my favorite pirate games. I can see Skull and Bones is a game that will keep me busy from time to time, especially playing with friends. I remember when Sea of Thieves first came out and I was having so much fun that I put countless hundreds of hours into that game, I will say this will be the same or even more. If you want to know what it is like being a pirate and just enjoy the pirate life, then Skull and Bones gives you every opportunity to make that happen from sailing across the seas and discovering a new world full of secrets and treasure.

Also if you are still undecided to figure out if this is a game for you, good thing that there is a Free Trial live right now on console and PC for up to 8 hours and everything gets carried over. Give it a try, and see if this is the pirate game you are looking for.



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