So far, the Skull and Bones beta has just made me want to play Sea of Thieves again

Skull and Bones is finally coming out this month (or so we’re told), and this week’s open beta is Ubisoft‘s last best chance to convince us that the long-delayed pirate game is worth $60. I played a few hours of it today, and I can’t say I’m convinced, though I won’t rule out that it gets better in the endgame.

It starts with Ubisoft’s typical early game babying: Before you graduate from captaining a dinghy, generic pirate NPCs make you prove that you understand complicated game systems such as pressing F to pick up floating loot, and you’re sent schlepping between little islands in search of an acacia tree to cut down. That task took me a while, because other players had already harvested all the nearby acacia groves, and I guess they take a while to respawn. Yo ho yo ho, another stump for me.

(Image credit: Ubisoft)

Should logging really be one of the first things you do in a pirate game? Probably not, but after acquiring lumber and finally building a proper ship, I could focus on sinking NPC merchants to amass wealth and supplies, which is better. 

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