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Skull and Bones Sinks Under Weight of Its Own Ambition | Video Games

by Xtreme HD IPTV

The problem is that these sequences are only a small portion of the gameplay in “Skull and Bones,” which often comes down to shooting cannonballs at other ships or trying to ram them. There is a bit of a learning curve to combat in that it’s not a standard shooter—no such thing as automatic cannons—so you have to aim, fire, and dodge all in the same beat really. Like a lot of simulators, a lot of combat success is determined before you set sail, in how you upgrade weapons, armor, etc. Consequently, “Skull and Bones” becomes a series of fetch quests as you track items to make your ship into a naval killing machine. There’s also a robust trading system that allows you to sell your ill-gotten gains to merchants and even eventually generate passive income from your pirate empire.

You don’t have to sail the seas alone. Not only will you encounter other players in their ships, but you can team up with friends to accomplish missions, or even just grab a buddy you see in the open environment. The concept of a pirate game in which you’re playing with other wannabe pirates is an excellent idea, although it often felt like the players that I encountered were just doing their own thing, likely searching for materials too. So “Skull and Bones” becomes a hunting game, an online game that often feels barely online.

It’s worth noting that “Skull and Bones” is a live service game, which means there will be upgrades, tweaks, and new content delivered after release. There’s even a year-1 roadmap for the game that will feature a villain named Philippe La Peste, but GameSpot reports that the seas of “Skull and Bones” are pretty empty, failing to reach a million players even with a free trial to entice them. It feels like a game that will have its ardent supporters early on who seek to reclaim an “unloved” game, and potentially even a title that will redeem itself down the road, possibly even in year 2 or 3, something that has happened to live service games that stumbled out of the gate before. The only question is if anyone will be on board to notice.

The publisher provided a review copy of this title.

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by Xtreme HD IPTV

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