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Skull and Bones Review

In our Skull and Bones review, we take a close look at Ubisoft’s game that we have been waiting for Ubisoft to release for a long time. What kind of a game is S&B, does it promise the future? You will find answers to all your questions as you read.

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Skull and Bones Review

Skull and Bones Review / PC

Piracy is a theme that we don’t come across very often in the game world. Black Flag and Sea of Thives come to my mind at once. Ubisoft, the producer of the first of these, told us in 2017 that they were developing a pirate-themed game and pointed to the following year as the release date. The following year, while everyone was waiting for the release of the game, Ubisoft scandalously did not release the game and Skull and Bones fell silent for a while. Then the company announced the game again and here is the game in flesh and blood.

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Skull and Bones Review

The reservations about the game were simply that the game focussed on ship battles rather than the pirate theme. The producer expected a game like Black Flag, where we would sometimes draw our sword and slaughter someone, and sometimes we would jump on our ship and engage in relentless battles where we would challenge other ships. Personally, I was one of them and hoped that Ubisoft would tell us an impressive pirate story. At the end of the day, let’s see if our dreams have come true or if Skull and Bones has fallen into the Indian Ocean, which looks delicious.

Ready, Set and Fire

Firstly, let’s clarify what the game at hand is. Skull and Bones is an online-based and pirate-themed production. There are expeditions with your ship, there are missions, there are missions, there are improvements, there are cosmetic items, and many ship improvements and adventures like these are available in the game.

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Skull and Bones Review

As you know, the service game wave is very famous today. Producers think that their games will be played forever (!) by bringing seasons, passes, events and of course additional content to the games. In my opinion, in order for a game to be long-lasting, it must be good, entertaining and give me a good time.

In my opinion, after doing the same missions in the game all the time, it doesn’t matter if the game has 100 seasons. That game is doomed to be short-lived and this is soon realised. Our companies continue to bomb the market with empty service games with regret, and I guess the revenues satisfy them that no one gives up on this business.

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Skull and Bones Review

Or maybe it is such a dream for companies to make a service game that no one gives up and persistently tries. As I said, whether it’s a service game, single-player, multiplayer or multiplayer, no matter what the theme is, a game needs to be fun first. No one is going to exclude a good game because “it’s a service game”.

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Skull and Bones Review

This is exactly the case with Skull and Bones. We have a service game, but Ubisoft didn’t want it to be called a service game. Like an unnamed relationship, the game was left there in an undefined way.

I explained above that the genre of a game is not the first thing that concerns us. What concerns us is whether the production is good or not. So, is Skull and Bones a good game? S&B is not a game that you can easily make this judgement. That’s why I’ve categorised the review into classes to make it more understandable. Introducing Skull and Bones, the latest crop of the Ubisoft field!

Sea is a Beautiful Thing

At first, I would like to talk about the technical features of the game. If we are asked to spend tens of hours at sea, first of all, that sea should look beautiful. I need to open my heart as I look at it.

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Skull and Bones Review

The landscapes of the game look really exquisite. It really feels good to switch to the camera looking from the deck of your ship and calmly travelling the endless waters. The ship mechanics of the game are also suitable for this, because you don’t have to accelerate constantly while using the ship like driving a car. Lower your sails and the ship starts sailing. Although this may seem strange at first, it doesn’t take long to get used to it.

Skull and Bones’ other ship mechanics are not bad at all. You experience very well that the vehicle you use is a ship and that it is relatively difficult to move and cumbersome. You cannot easily take quick manoeuvres left and right. First you collect your rudder and then you swing wherever you want. Moreover, there is also a current part of this job. If the current is strong, the already cumbersome ship will become even more cumbersome and it will become more difficult to get distance and manoeuvre. Meanwhile, you may find yourself struggling with the gamepad. If an enemy appears in front of you, things get out of hand. First you need to hold your ship according to the current. Then you have to manoeuvre according to your opponent and try to make an accurate shot from the direction you want to fire.

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Skull and Bones Review

When shooting is so demanding, you naturally want the satisfaction you get from it to be as high. The game does not let your efforts in this regard go to waste at all and makes you feel this feeling of hitting very well with effects where you hit, screen shakes in critical damage, and even explosions that look delicious when you sink a ship. I don’t remember ever getting bored while fighting with anyone in the game, NPC or real player. Ship battles are very well prepared.

Another technical feature is the game’s dialogues and cinematics. Although the ship battles are carefully prepared, unfortunately I cannot say the same for the situations of navigating on land. Unfortunately, while we were expecting a pirate theme from the game, it shifted to the ship theme.

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Skull and Bones Review

We had the wrong expectation. There is nothing you can do on land in the game. Talking to NPCs is incredibly unpleasant. The gestures of the NPCs are so bad that I didn’t want to talk to any NPC throughout the game. The voices of the dialogues are also extremely soulless and seem to be made for the sake of making.

The conclusion we have to draw from here is that the game is in a very dilemma. The producers definitely wanted to make an online game, but they must have been afraid of the reaction, they must have placed a lot of empty things in between and everything except the ship is extremely sloppy. I will touch on these again in the future.

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Skull and Bones Review

Thieves of the Sea

We talked about the visuals and ambience of S&B, but beautiful visuals and impressive landscapes are not enough to make a game good. I need content that will immerse me in this scenery so that I will be motivated to play. Unfortunately, this is where the biggest drawback of the game comes into play. The producer is so obsessed with the ship battle part of the game that I think he forgot to design why we are going to do this battle.

The game welcomes you with cinematics that are not exquisite but manageable in their own way. You realise that you are in a war in the middle of nowhere and it is a circle of death. You have no choice but to fight your way out of here. You start shooting, slowly and gradually, and you take down everything in front of you. In the meantime, the game shows you with its combat mechanics and visuals. You warm up to the environment very quickly and try to take down whoever is in front of you, it is not clear who is friend and who is foe.

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After the expected happens and your ship sees the bottom of the water, somehow our character survives and the game shows you once again with its visuals. The post-war environment, wrecked ships, floating pieces of wood and other atmosphere pieces are all in place. Then our character looks at a puddle on the ground and our character creation screen welcomes us. I must say that the game has an extremely empty character creation screen. Choose three or five things and continue.

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Skull and Bones Review

At this point, I should have realised that the game doesn’t care much about the character, the main thing it cares about is the ship, but I realised it later. The character is just something that was put there just to “do this”. He doesn’t even have a voice! Would you believe it, we can choose dialogue in the game, but the character has no voice! It’s as if we’re playing GTA 3, not a $60 triple A production. (Although according to Ubisoft founder and CEO Yves Guillemot, it’s a AAAA game)

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Skull and Bones Review

After the opening, you go and take the same missions over and over again from extremely soulless characters and we enter into an empty cycle. Sink this, loot that, didn’t work, loot directly this time. Don’t run out of loot, loot all the time. This is the logic of the game. Afterwards, you improve your ship with the materials you collect and build a more powerful ship. This is the whole game.

Unfortunately, the motivation of the game is based on building a better ship and unfortunately this is not fun, dear producers. The game is stuck in between.

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Ship battles are fun, I have absolutely nothing against it. Then you should have focused more on ship battles. You could have built a competitive game that adds matchmaking if you want online. So many bad decisions were made that unfortunately an incredible potential was wasted. You have a great theme. You have a nice gameplay mechanic that supports this theme, but nothing else. The weapon variety of the game is good again, but I don’t know if you will be patient enough to see all the weapons.


To summarise, we have a pirate-themed ship game that looks great and has great mechanics. This “Don’t go to your favourite” thing has already become a standard in Ubisoft games. I can’t help saying the same for this game, if you like ships and if you think with the logic of “I don’t care about the remaining factors, I’ll shoot a little and strut a little”, Skull And Bones is there. Let us remind you once again that the game is released at full game price and has a price tag of 60$ abroad on Ubisoft Store.

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Skull and Bones Review


Average - 7.5


Does not promise long-term gameplay

S&B is a massive looking pirate game with stunning views and amazing artwork. Includes improvements of the ships and epic battles as well. However there are no such things to do in land and the strong hand of the game is sea battles.

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Murat Oktay

Video games have been my passion for as long as I can remember. I have been writing and managing in the game industry for more than 30 years. I've been playing Diablo 2 nonstop since it first came out.

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