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Ubisoft should walk the plank for Skull and Bones’ $100 edition

Skull and Bones is finally out today, and Ubisoft wants you to drop your gold on the woeful Skull and Bones Premium Edition.

Skull and Bones Premium Edition: an image of Skull and Bones Premium Edition and a pirate.

We can’t believe it either, but Skull and Bones is finally out on PlayStation and Xbox consoles. Originally set to be an Assassin’s Creed spin-off, Ubisoft’s pirate RPG is sailing ahead as a fully fledged multiplayer game – but swashbuckling isn’t cheap. For a few extra splashes of your hard-earned cash, you can pick up Skull and Bones Premium Edition for almost $100. Or you could just slap yourself across the face with a wet fish. 

Buying new PS5 games or new Xbox games isn’t cheap these days, but Ubisoft is confident that Skull and Bones is worth the price tag. In fact, the studio believes it is a ‘quadruple-A’ game, so for a supposedly quadruple-A price what does your cash get you? Well, really not that much we’re afraid. For $99.99/£94.99, you’ll get access to the following Premium Edition bonuses:

  • The Ballad of Bloody Bones Collection including captain outfit and ship cosmetic items
  • Two extra missions including The Ashen Corsair and Bloody Bones’ Legacy
  • Digital art book and selected game soundtrack
  • Smuggler Pass token to unlock the premium battle pass and additional content

Skull and Bones Premium Edition: An image of Skull and Bones Premium Edition bonuses on the PlayStation Store.

So, that’s two missions locked behind a paywall, an art-book you can’t physically own, and access to a battle pass that requires a contract to be completed before you can progress down it. The contract in question, Heist on High Seas, isn’t exactly straightforward either. Of course, going on adventure is part of the fun in an open world game, but like you, we’d expect immediate usage of a paid feature. Cosmetics are commonplace too in these kinds of releases, but just one outfit and ship cosmetic? You’re having a laugh, Ubisoft.

To the credit of this edition, at least there aren’t pay-to-win elements, and we do love the work of Mad Max Fury Road composer Tom ‘Junkie XL’ Holkenberg. These inclusions don’t justify the means of a considerable price tag, especially when the game is already light on exciting features. You’ve likely already seen the lack of proper ship boarding, as this basic function is locked behind a loading screen.

Not to mention that your ship has a stamina bar. You know, because that’s how ships work. As soon as we saw that, any hopes of this being one of the best RPG games immediately sank.

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Despite all the elements stacked against it, Skull and Bones presses on to deliver its first year of post-launch content. There’s every chance it could emerge as one of the better multiplayer games around with some meaningful tweaks. However, with rumors claiming Xbox exclusive Sea of Thieves is coming to PS5, it might be too little too late.