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Skull & Bones Multiplayer Test Footage Leaks

Skull & Bones' long development cycle appears to be nearing its end.
Skull & Bones' long development cycle appears to be nearing its end. / Courtesy of Ubisoft

Gameplay from the closed multiplayer test of Skull & Bones, the pirate adventure Ubisoft Singapore has been developing for several years, has leaked online.

The nearly four minutes of footage appeared on a subreddit for gaming leaks in the early hours of Friday morning. They show the opening minutes of the game, including a cinematic introduction and tutorial, and are likely sourced from the Ubisoft Insider multiplayer test that took place last month.

The video covers the central island, Sainte-Anne, at which players can upgrade their ship, buy provisions, pick up quests (called Contracts) and customize their characters. Progression is measured with Infamy, which players gain primarily through Contracts, and can lead to bigger and more powerful sailing vessels.

Players must provision their ships with supplies and ammunition before each journey, and out at sea they'll need to maintain the morale of their crew. If morale drops too low, the crew will mutiny, spitting the player out at Sainte-Anne with a hit to their Infamy and a portion of the supplies they had at the time of mutiny. They can return to the site of the mutiny to recover the rest, but other players can beat them there and loot the supplies for themselves.

The game also features a crafting system that feeds into ships, weapons and furniture. These provide myriad in-game bonuses such as higher hull HP, stronger attacks and faster sailing. Those bonuses come in handy when attacking NPC trading ships and privateers, or against other players. Sinking an enemy ship will award some of its cargo, but boarding is the only way to ensure full looting.

Other islands called Outposts offer some of the benefits of Sainte-Anne, including cooking food, storing cargo and buying from vendors. There are also forts and settlements to be plundered, and world events that will see legions of players take on major challenges such as huge merchant fleets together.

Naval combat appears to be the focus in the tutorial video, with hand-to-hand combat showing up only very briefly.

Skull & Bones was first revealed in 2017, but Ubisoft has delayed the game several times. As of last July, it had reportedly been in development for eight years. The game has yet to receive a release date.