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Skull & Bones looks sumptuous in its latest developer video, but there's still no release date

Is it ship shape?

Make no bones about it: Ubisoft's perennially delayed Skull & Bones is still coming. A new developer video proves that, offering a fresh look at some sumptuous seas during a hunt for an Ungwanan renegade. The most interesting part of Skull & Bones is still its tortured history, with a recent sixth delay pushing it even further back from the original 2018 release date - but oh, maybe I do want to be a boat after all. At least for a bit.

Bones began as a multiplayer-focused expansion for Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag, but it's since morphed into its own optionally-multiplayer open world pirate 'em up. You can clearly see the Creediness in the footage above, though you'll only stop off on islands for shopping and exploring rather than stabbing.

The devs talk about how every ship you see wil belong to its own faction, with visual clues to tip you off to how much cargo they're carrying. You'll have your own fleet of ships, too, built to different sizes for different purposes. The devs equip themselves for a hit and run mission, fending off ships in a harbour while the crew rampages through a town looking for the clue they need to track down a bounty target.

Alice Bee wasn't too impressed with her Skull & Bones preview from last July, fearing that all its crafting bobbins and finickity systems could act as "a bulwark to the kind of instant joy on the open water that Sea Of Thieves facilitates". "You can see, I think, the legacy of previous rounds of development in everything they've tried to cram in here", she said.

Ubisoft say they'll announce the game's latest, hopefully real release date "very soon". There's a beta incoming, too.

Apropos of nothing, did you know Blackbeard only lasted as a pirate for 15 months?

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Skull and Bones

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Matt Cox avatar

Matt Cox

Former Staff Writer

Once the leader of Rock Paper Shotgun's Youth Contingent, Matt is an expert in multiplayer games, deckbuilders and battle royales. He occasionally pops back into the Treehouse to write some news for us from time to time, but he mostly spends his days teaching small children how to speak different languages in warmer climates.