The much delayed, rebooted, and delayed live service pirate ’em up Skull And Bones actually pencilled in a release date not long ago. Just when you thought it couldn’t get any more remarkable, Ubisoft have also announced it’ll get an open beta before it launches. In only a couple of weeks, you’ll be able to sail the seven seas with a purple rarity cannon firing off common rarity cannon balls that you bought off a rank 25 landlubber with your Skullbucks. Cool!
The open beta begins on the 8th February and runs until the 11th. You can access it via Ubisoft Connect or the Epic Games Store, with your progress carrying over to the full game when it launches on February 16th. I’d head on over to Ubisoft’s official announcement page if you’re curious about recommended PC specs.
As for what you’ll get up to: a lot of pirating. You’ll get a chance to see the “pirate den of Sainte-Anne” or in other words, a hub that’s probably a bit like Destiny 2’s Tower except there’s less wizards and more parrots. Outside of the safe spaces, there will be three isles to discover, presumably all of increasing difficulty. “Main Campaign Contracts” will act as a way to progress through a story of some sorts.
The highest rank you can attain will be Brigand, but you’ll be free to keep playing until the beta ends. And judging by the announcement page, there will be a lot of Ubisoft map-clearing to tackle. We’re talking every type of contract. You like contracts? S&B has it all! Side contracts, repeatable contracts, bounty contracts, and world events that are surely just contracts with a different name. And of course, you get a bunch of exclusive rewards for taking part, most of which are a bit eh, except a pet lemur called “Cookie”.
Our Alice B previewed the game last year and thought its busywork – “flashing weakpoints”, collecting crafting materials, “staying inside demarcated areas for fights” – would be a “bulwark to the kind of instant joy on the open water that Sea Of Thieves facilitates”. Not exactly a glowing preview, eh.
It won’t be long until we get our mitts on it and see what it’s like, after all these years.