Talking with Gamespot over the weekend, Skull and Bones creative director Justin Farren has gone into more details about the narrative content that was hinted at during the game's E3 reveal. Describing the Skull and Bones campaign as a "shared-narrative", Farren stated that their goal was to craft a "narrative where people can broadcast or stream what they're doing and it's a unique experience to that player." This means that the Skull and Bones narrative bits and bobs will be told over the course of the game's life rather than in one designed story, similar to Destiny.
"We wanted to create a system that let us tell our narrative month after month, year after year, and then throw in the story elements to it. So, if you're a PvP player, you should still feel like you beat the campaign. If you're a PvE player ... I want us to be able to go through the story and become kingpins together and be able to tell the same world narrative through the game worlds that we build."
When pressed for whether all this shared-narrative fun will be in a mode separate from the multiplayer, instead stated that it was "woven into everything."
I worked on Gears for a while and the players who play Gears multiplayer, they are different some times than the players who really invest in campaign. We want to bring those experiences closer together. For it to be a, you know, a one-off campaign that's consumed, would be a shame.
Skull and Bones is planned for a 2018 release on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC. For hands-on impressions of the game's main multiplayer modes, check out my thoughts from E3.
All this dancing around the facts is kind of tiring, but seemingly necessary after the basing Rainbow Six: Seige got from some critics for lacking any single player content at a full price. Really though, the developers of Ghost Recon: Phantoms aren't going to be the ones to deliver a deep narrative experience anyway.
In any case, It's pretty clear at this point that Skull and Bones will not have a traditional campaign. At best, it will have bot matches with cutscenes in the style of the original Star Wars: Battlefront games and Unreal Tournament. At worst, it will take a page from For Honor's story bits in multiplayer and have some changes in window dressing substitute for significant story changes. In either case, buyers of the game should know going in that PVP is really going to be the order of the day.
What do you think of the situation of Skull and Bones Campaign? Do you think it would benefit from a true single player campaign? Share your thoughts in the comments below!