At its annual E3 2017 press conference, one of Ubisoft’s big surprises was Skull and Bones, a brand new IP under development at its Shanghai studio. The game takes the beloved naval ship combat from Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag, and expands upon it with ship customization, open world gameplay moments, and shared experiences with other players. After revealing the game through a very stylish and thrilling cinematic trailer, one of the game’s multiplayer modes called Loot Hunt was shown off, taking players through a typical match.

The aptly named Loot Hunt pits two teams of five against one another as they take their completely customized ships into battle ranging from a small but fast Sloop-of-war, a ramming Brigantine, or the heavy warship known as a Frigate. Skull and Bones players work together to scout out the enemy, plan a successful raid, locate floating treasure, and work to sink the opposing ships. Ultimately though, both teams are vying for loot as victory goes to the team with the most of it at the end of the match.

In addition to fighting other players, the living seas present more opportunities for players as NPC ships, from merchant vessels to aggressive combat ready boats as well. Sinking these ships rewards players with everything from money, to new loot to further customize and accessorize their boats. Not only that, at the end of the Loot Hunt battle, pirate hunter ships were sent in the reclaim the lost assets as well.

Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag fans may see a lot to love here as the naval combat reintroduces a lot of mechanics from that fan favorite entry. Mortars, broadsides, and other ship combat mechanics all make a return, including the wind which can either hinder or hurt the speed of all naval vessels. Sound queues, the sail directions, and the minimap all help a player understand which way the wind blows, which can certainly affect the outcomes of combat.

While the game is still a long ways off, eager players will get a chance to go hands on with the title sooner thanks to the reveal of a beta prior to the launch of the game. Players can sign up now at the official website.

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What did you think of the first gameplay from this new Ubisoft IP? Share your thoughts with us below in the comments.

Skull and Bones launches in the Fall of 2018 for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC.

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