Gaming News

Ubisoft’s beleaguered pirate adventure Skull and Bones is getting a free week-long trial

Skull and Bones – Ubisoft’s extraordinarily long in the works (and not particularly good) open-world pirate adventure – is getting a free week-long trial next week, and it’ll coincide with the launch of the live-service game’s second season of post-launch content.

When Skull and Bones released in February – some 11 years after its troubled development started – Ubisoft trumpeted “record player engagement”, but did not share sales figures. It’s unclear just how well the pirate game has done for the publisher, then, but Ubisoft evidently believes it needs a bit of a boost given its impending week-long trial.

That’ll take place across all platforms – Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 5 and PC (via Epic and Ubisoft Connect) – from Thursday, 30th May until Thursday, 6th June. During that time, players can sail as much as they like with access to the whole thing, and progress will be carried over should they decide to purchase the full game. And to tempt those wallets out, Ubisoft is slashing the price of Skull and Bones by 50 percent across all platforms for a “limited time”.

Skull and Bones: Season 2 story trailer.Watch on YouTube

Skull and Bones’ free week-long trial coincides with the game’s second season of post-launch content, which launches on 28th May. Ubisoft hasn’t said much about what it’ll bring, but there’s a story trailer to watch and a bit of teasing blurb. “The Hubac Twins have been dispatched by the Compagnie Royale to seize control of the Indian Ocean and eliminate the pirate scourge,” it writes. “Demonstrating dangerous abilities through song, they blaze across the high seas, hunting pirates in a violent duet and laying claim to the region’s riches.”

And is it worth your time? I wasn’t especially convinced in my two star review earlier this year. “There are moments when Skull and Bones weaves a convincing spell,” I wrote. “Cannon balls flying in ship-to-ship combat, impromptu engagements with other players, the brief dopamine rush when a resource slog culminates in a shiny new toy, or even when the light hits just right on another glorious view. But it’s soon swept away on a tide of uninspiring fetch quests and tedious traversal that just can’t sustain its live-service grind. Skull and Bones is okay, fine even, on rare occasions maybe even great – but, ultimately, it comes down to this: no game, let alone a swashbuckling pirate adventure, should be so consistently dull.”


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