REVIEW | Skull and Bones

REVIEW | Skull and Bones

Skull and Bones is a naval warfare game in a pirate jacket.

The so-attended game of 2024 has finally arrived on Xbox. Starting as a pirate on an online platform, you conquer the sea from East Africa to Southeast Asia in the 1700s to be a forbidding kingpin. Skull and Bones will conquer your heart if you are a fan of (naval) warfare, piracy, online gaming, and story-based games. Skull and Bones offers it all.

You start up at the bottom, a pirate without any recognition or infamy, a goonie as you arrive in Saint-Anne. This will be your home base for future contracts that will make you into the big ruthless pirate kingpin hiding inside you!

ℹ️ Reviewed on Xbox Series X | Review code provided by PR/publisher, this review is the personal opinion of the writer. Got unanswered questions about this game? Get in touch on X!

DeveloperUbisoft Singapore


Things I liked!

  • Graphics | Damn how good are the graphics of this game!? The water effects are spot on and give you the feeling of sailing or braving through the seas. But not only the water effects are jaw-dropping. The boats and every little piece of furniture on there are made with such an eye for detail that it makes you wonder what other beautiful little details are to discover still.
  • Audio | The amazing graphics are also accompanied by a maybe even more outstanding audio! The blowing wind through your sails whilst your crew is chanting sea shanties from the bottom of their hearts while you navigate the ship through the waters. The chants quieten as you are under attack. This makes playing the game a submergence into the life of a pirate with a pounding heart.
  • Broad | The game in itself is also very … broad! It is an online game, but don’t mistake it for any other online shooting game. As a pirate in Saint-Anne, you have to accomplish contracts in order to make you grow (in)famous! With the silver and infamy, you win over the course of completed contracts and sunken French boats, you can customize your ship as well as your looks. And don’t be mistaken, you have the possibility to own a fleet and personalize every single one of them to your liking.


Neither good nor bad

  • Controls | How?! The controls are a bit of a hassle. We really appreciated the reality of the graphics and the controls add up to that realism! Though feeling that realism has also a counterweight. The navigation of the boat during a fight is a bit of a “wench” to say it in pirate terms. This mostly impacts the fights during the beginning of the game as further in the game, you can customize your fleet to having 4-sided canons, covering all sides of your ship. As this makes the gaming experience more pleasant, it takes away from the realism.
  • Gameplay | The gameplay has a focus on a cooperative aspect. During a fight, you see a full fleet of French boats arriving, preparing for battle, and determined to make you sink. As a solo player, this results in quite a few respawns or enough mend kits on board in order to survive the attack successfully. Split screen was an option that has been taken away, which means that if you want to play with a friend or family member, you simply need to have an additional console and create a party. Quite a bummer if you read that the option was available at the pre-ordering phase and launch, but was taken away a few days after the release date. On the plus side, you can call for help when desperation is near. From a pirate point of view, this cooperative way of playing doesn’t really satisfy me. A pirate has a rogue way of life and would rather sink with his boat rather than ask for help. You can sink a ship, but you can also plunder a ship before. This is also counterintuitive and needs a few tries to successfully throw your hooks. The plundering is simple and remains just that. You cannot board the ships in order to steal it.
  • Farming simulator | Your persona also is nothing more than that, a person. Just as the beaches or other areas that you can plunder or visit. All resemble one another and the actions you can do have a copy-paste feeling to them. The amazing graphics are nothing more than that. You cannot explore everything or get closer to some detail; you just walk a path where you can talk to a vendor or something glistening up is awaiting you The real important part of the game is your ship and the water. Just like harvesting is done from on the boat, you don’t disembark to go mine some copper or harvest wood.


Things I disliked!

  • Bugs I When playing the game, we experienced a few blocking bugs. One of the bugs even was game blocking. We needed to dock the boat but were unable to, which meant that the contract could not be completed. Another time it appeared so that a vendor got social anxiety because his speech option was constantly on “Does not want to talk to you” while our contract did demand that we spoke to him as well. When talking to a vendor, my controls froze. Nothing could be said or done, a game reboot was needed in order to loot some more.

How long did I play the review before publishing? 15 hours
How long to beat the story? 20 hours
How many Achievements did I earn before publishing? 15
How long to achieve 1000G | 30+ hours
You’ll love this game if you like these | Sea of Thieves, Assassin’s Creed: Black Flag


78/100| All depends on how you see the game. If you put more importance on it being a shooter game? We think there won’t be anything you dislike. However, if you put the accent of it on the RPG, you can be left disappointed.

After playing the game, we can conclude Skull and Bones is a naval warfare game in a pirate jacket and not the other way around. All in all, if you expect a full RPG game, you won’t be fully satisfied.