Skull and Bones' coolest feature - a hand-crafted Ship Wheel controller with a dedicated "Shanty Mode" button - isn't even real

Skull and Bones
(Image credit: Ubisoft)

Ubisoft's repeatedly delayed multiplayer pirate sim, Skull and Bones, has entered the high seas today, and a promotional ship wheel-shaped controller is easily the coolest thing about this launch.

Ubisoft introduced the Ship's Wheel controller in the video below, which ogles over its various handles, hand-carved finish, and chipped wood texture. One handle includes a directional pad, one handle houses the other buttons, and the "velocity pads" presumably take the place of triggers. 

The best part? The Ship's Wheel controller features a "full 360 range," letting you steer your giant sea vessel by spinning the controller itself. A proper immersive pirate sim, by the looks of it. The worst part? The Ship's Wheel controller isn't actually available for purchase, and according to the video's closed captions, it was only made for "promotion only." 

That's a massive shame since the thought of forcing my crew to break out into song with the dedicated "Shanty Mode" button was an enticing one. But I suppose the same thing is just as easily done with a button press in Assassin's Creed 4: Black Flag - just without the mega-cool, life-sized wheel, sadly.

Speaking of that classic pirateventure, Ubisoft is reportedly remaking Assassin's Creed 4, the single-player open-world outing that combined stealthy-stabby shenanigans with the naval seafaring that's since become a series staple feature. Though production apparently only began a couple of months ago.

Some Skull and Bones beta players, meanwhile, felt the online romp wasn't worth a premium $70 price tag, following comments from CEO Yves Guillemot who said it was a "triple… quadruple-A game." Gamesradar+'s Skull and Bones review said it was an enjoyable "pirate ship fantasy builder," although it hides its best secrets behind a sluggish opening. 

Check out where to find the Sunken Goldmines and how to change your appearance in Skull and Bones to get the most out of the high seas. 

Freelance contributor

Kaan freelances for various websites including Rock Paper Shotgun, Eurogamer, and this one, Gamesradar. He particularly enjoys writing about spooky indies, throwback RPGs, and anything that's vaguely silly. Also has an English Literature and Film Studies degree that he'll soon forget.