Skull and Bones Review – Needs Time In Davey Jones’ Locker

Rizwan Anwer
Rizwan Anwer
9 Min Read
Skull and Bones
Skull and Bones
6 Above Average
Review Overview

Skull and Bones is a game that needs no introduction. It was announced almost 7 years ago and has since been delayed multiple times. With fair seas finally letting the game have its maiden voyage, is this a sea-worthy ship, or do you want to wait for a sail? In my review of Skull and Bones, I’ll answer that, and more.


Skull and Bones is set in the vast openness of the Indian Ocean during the 17th Century. The game has a sandbox-style opening that eases players into its world by starting you off with a powerful ship able to sink other vessels with little to no trouble. Things take a turn for the worse when a British armada sinks your vessel and forces you to start over from scratch. You find a dinghy and work your way up to more powerful ships with stronger armor, weaponry, and other tools to give you the advantage as you take on the high seas.

Your travels will take you to various ports, islands, and locations in the game to meet other pirates, take on contracts, and gradually increase your infamy. The latter is directly related to the type of contracts you get and helps with scaling the difficulty of your seaworthy adventures. It also enables you to get better weapons, ship upgrades, cosmetics, and more.

The cast and crew you encounter are standard boilerplate pirates with the accent, and there is little to nothing memorable about them as you travel from coast to coast reminding you of your failure at the start of the game. There is a semblance of a story here, it’s just forgettable as you skip past the dialogue to accept your next contract.


The gameplay is easily the only redeeming factor of the whole game. If you are familiar with the naval combat segments in Assassins Creed 4 and Assassins Creed: Rogue, you will feel right at home, even when you get your first vessel after the dinghy. The combat is fast and requires a lot of careful and clever maneuvering. As you do more contracts and raise your infamy you can get better and stronger weapons such as canons, ballistas, mortars, and more.

Controlling the ships is similar to the aforementioned games, with the exception that your ships now have “stamina”. This is justified with the stamina being tied to the crew holding down the sails when they’re fully down, and you can refill stamina by feeding your crew food that you either buy, catch, or loot from other ships. The same goes for repairing your ship which you can do at ports. If you get too wreckless with your pirating adventures, you can lose all your loot to the pirate who took you down, unless you store it at a warehouse that is found at seaports. Loot stored in the warehouse will remain untouched, and safe in the case of a wreck.

The gameplay loop however is repetitive and monotonous. You’re doing the same rotation of contracts or missions repeatedly with slight changes and there is very little to no payout aside from infamy. If you are okay with a ‘rinse and repeat’ style of gameplay, then you will be right at home in the Captain’s Quarters.

Fighting Monsters (and Other Players)

Aside from fighting enemy ships, you will also have to fight other terrors of the sea such as aquatic monsters that range from sharks to sea monsters. You can also engage in other pirate activities such as plundering, investigating rumors at various points in the map, hunting for treasure, fighting other ships (PvP), and much more – this is the grittiest representation of being a pirate in most recent gaming.

The biggest limitation here is the lack of ability to leave your ship outside of trading posts, and other places where you can not engage in combat. This means you will do activities such as boarding the enemy ship, treasure hunts, and more while being on the ship. One of the first quests in the game tasks you with cutting trees at the river bank from your ship, which can make the game feel like a step backward from the games it was based on.

While the map is broad and expansive to explore and is littered with life thanks to encountering other players or even enemy ships, there is also no lack of views, islands, and other points of interest for you to find. However, the lack of opportunity to interact and explore these places on foot via swimming or free-roam makes the world feel like the developers missed an opportunity.


I was able to play the game on my Nvidia 3060 RTX with a Ryzen 5800H processor with all settings set to High, 1080p, DLSS set to visual, and Ray-Tracing enabled with a constant 60FPS throughout my playtime in the game. I would see the FPS drop during intense ship combat segments for barely a second, but it was mostly great.

The game looks really good but the color palette feels a little dry and boring, with varying hues of brown, green, and whatever the color of the ocean is. Most travels will take you from one island to another or into the sea. The amount of scenes you will explore and interact with is essentially non-existent.

While you can add some spark to the graphics with the help of customizing your ship and seeing the ships of other pirates in the online space, the lack of scenic environments outside of looking at the landscapes in the distance when you are on land or at sea makes the game feel a little boring to look at, and you eventually become accustomed to the color scheme of the game.

Outside of customizing your ship, you can also vastly customize the captain and crew outfits. These tie into your current infamy level and while you can’t see yourself in the open world, you can make an effort to increase your appearance for the few minutes you do spend on land.

There are forests and other sceneries in the game but you can only look at them from a distance. You can’t explore different islands or landscapes as you find them, which makes the world feel restrictive.


Skull and Bones is a game that clearly has a lot of effort put into it and there is definitely potential for improvement. Similar to the 2018 title – Sea of Thieves, there is promise here, but Ubisoft has to work long and hard to make the game sea-worthy and prove the skeptics wrong. The journey ahead for them is full of treacherous waters, but if done right, this game can realize its vision.

What did you think of our review of Skull and Bones? Share what you think about it in the comments below.

This review is based on the PC version of Skull and Bones. The key was provided by Ubisoft.

Skull and Bones
Review Overview
Above Average 6
Overall Score 6
Share This Article
A gamer passionate about writing for the world of video games and consoles. Always on top of the latest leaks and making sure that I'm the first to cover them with the utmost accuracy. Thoroughly enjoy my work and always enjoy talking to other gamers from all over the world!
Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.