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Story in 'Skull & Bones' will take place over many months, not offline

Skull and Bones: E3 2017 Multiplayer and PvP Gameplay | Ubisoft [US]
Ubisoft’s Skull & Bones takes the naval pirate warfare established in 2013’s Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag and turns it into a full-fledged multiplayer game, but it does still include a story component. However, it won’t be the standard offline single-player adventure that we’ve seen in many of the publisher’s other games.

Speaking to GameSpot, creative director Justin Farren revealed that players shouldn’t expect a “separate” story component.

“[The story is] woven into it, so the story itself will be woven into everything you do. ” Farren explained. From the time you build your relationships with your crew until the time that you take down your first kingpin, building up your hideout, all of those things are woven into the modes you play.”

Farren added that the team at Ubisoft Singapore wants to tell its story “month after month, year after year,” and that players will be able to experience the full story regardless of whether or not they want to engage in player-versus-player encounters.

The closest comparable title in Ubisoft’s library might be The Division, which also uses an always-online model to allow players to create their own narratives with each other. That game, however, still does feature a separate story mode, albeit one that can be played cooperatively. It uses “instanced” areas like those in World of Warcraft to ensure that massive amounts of people can’t disrupt one player’s experience or ruin the difficulty balance of a mission.

Though recent games like Ghost Recon: Wildlands and For Honor featured options for completely single-player story experiences, there are signs that Ubisoft could be using the Skull & Bones approach for more games in the future. Long-awaited sequel Beyond Good & Evil 2 will feature an enormous multiplayer world for players to explore together, and this could allow developers to continue adding existing content to the game instead of jumping into a follow-up game right away. It’s a much different approach than the standard single-player format used in the original game.

Skull & Bones is expected to release in late 2018 for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC. Ubisoft is currently accepting registrants for a beta test, which will be available on all supported platforms. No time frame has been given for when the beta will launch.

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