The Ultima Underworld series is getting a sequel, and it’s being made by the same people who made the first two games back in the early nineties.
Ex-developers from the now-defunct Looking Glass Studios have banded together under a new name, OtherSide Entertainment, and turned to Kickstarter to ask fans for some cash to help them finish the new game, tentatively titled Underworld Ascendant.
It took just a single view of the pitch video, and I was reaching for my credit card.
For $20 (R228.50 at today’s exchange rate), I got in at the PIONEER- EARLY BIRD stage that unlocks a digital copy of the game as well as the digital soundtrack and three hi-res game-related wallpapers; November 2016 is the estimated delivery date at present. A Kickstarter-specific reward will be available to me in-game, that of a copper ring that glows in the presence of enemies.
(I considered jumping in at the $35 level that would grant me access to an early beta, but I don’t like playing unfinished games or paying to be a tester. Not my thing.)
The devs are asking for $600 000, and at the time of writing they’ve already attracted over $186 000 with 29 days to go. While that’s not “Exploding Kittens” good, it’s still a good indication that OtherSide Entertainment has fans’ attention. As word spreads, I expect that figure to skyrocket well beyond the required level.
Ascendant will once again star The Avatar, Ultima’s much-loved protagonist as he’s thrown in an underground dungeon, although there’s no word yet if his nemesis, The Guardian, will make an appearance in the game.
The first two games were genuinely revolutionary in their time, introducing gamers to fully-realised 3D worlds (albeit with blocky, 2D sprites in them) and six-axis movement, influencing countless games that came after, including big names like Deus Ex, Bioshock and Skyrim.
I’d love to know what justification the writers come up with for locking The Avatar away for a third time. You’d think his enemies would know by now that chucking him in a hole just leads to problem-solving and, ultimately, escape.
The developers say the game’s factions will play a very important part in the game, as each of which wants control of Underworld (of course) and can be influenced according to player actions.
But what excites us the most is that the developers will be able to take bigger risks than publisher oversight usually allows. Sound good? Head over to the Underworld Ascendant Kickstarter page and sign up for what promises to be a pretty good ride.[Source – Kickstarter]