I'm actually playing ultima 7 in a more serious way for the first time, it's quite fantastic once I tweaked it up with exult so that interface would work a bit better.
I love the interactive world!, droppable items is a rarity these days! It definitely is the precursor to the modern elderscrolls.
Oy. However, that review links to an interesting thought experiment by Richard Cobbett about how Ultima could be rebooted. Definitely some cool ideas in there.
I did briefly play this iPad abomination and yes, it is that bad. The writing is sickeningly horrible.
If I had the goddamn willpower and art skills, I'd do my own reboot to help turn a blind eye to the prolonged and sustained rape of the franchise by EA. Garriot's new project is... mildly interesting, but what I want is an oldschool Ultima from the days it was about inhabiting a world by thrusting yourself into the issues at hand, or simply choosing to say 'fuck it all' and go bake bread for a spell. I have a feeling I'm not alone in that regard.
What I'd be looking for in a spiritual Ultima descendant:
- A living, breathing world
- NPCs with actual personalities, regardless of whether they're plot-relevant or not
- Schedules - nothing over-complicated, but I want to get the impression that the NPCs have a life
- A world and storyline revolving around ethical questions that aren't the usual good/bad binary
- Companions that are real characters and not just people who happen to fight alongside you
What I would like, but can do without: all of this in first-person 3D, at least as an option (I'd like to see the world through my character's eyes) and a return to Britannia (I miss the Britannia of U6 and U7). The former's more likely than the latter; I don't think I'll ever see a modern Britannia in a *good* game, unless someone does a great mod that isn't stopped by EA.
If Lord British (aka Richard Garriott) isn't part of it as lead designer or producer then its not Ultima. His heart and soul went into that series and made it what it became + knows it better than anyone else on the planet. Hell he was even in the mmo.
To be honest, while I think that Lord British was instrumental at the beginning, I have no reason to believe that he was *the* key figure to what made Ultima VII and especially Serpent Isle the games they were - and interviews with the guy with respect to Shroud of the Avatar don't make me think that he *knows* Ultima better than others. He's the father of the series, sure, and for that I respect him, but at the very least his SotA pitch didn't really convince me that he still knows either Ultima or game design in general. Happy to be proven wrong by SotA's release, mind you.
"...Ultima Forever is Cow Clicker with a beard." Whoa. That's harsh.
Yeah, while overall tone-wise that's not the harshest review I've ever read, that one line is thunderous.
A free-to-play game? From EA? That sucks??
PIGS ARE FLYING OUT OF MY ASS AS I TYPE OH GOD HELP ME
This, of course, means spectacular things for the upcoming F2P Command & Conquer game, also from EA. Someone needs to get these franchises out of EA's hands.
Personally i am waiting for a remake of Ultima IX (runs away).
Best part of Ultima IX, trying to leave the house in only some dad pants and being accosted by The Guardian (Avatar's Arch Enemy, not the newspaper): "Surely, you will not go adventuring without clothes, Avatar?"
Not 100% on this one, but I think it's Hawkwind who tells you that, Ulukai, not the Guardian. Shame - it would've been much better if Big Red had been the one to admonish the avatar for his nudity.
It's amazing that there are still a few (very few) people doing fan mods for Ultima IX. What is a real shame, though, is that apparently none of the Elder Scrolls TCs of Britannia ever came about. When I played Oblivion, I thought that it'd be great to explore Britannia in this engine, discovering my old haunts in 3D with a beautiful day/night cycle, changing weather etc. Judging from other games in the engine (especially New Vegas) you could even get some party-based gameplay working. If I had more artistic talent and tons more time, that's what I'd do - though with the Skyrim engine by now.
Since you mention Elder Scrolls: Here you go
A quick check of the GOG site you linked + the site they mentioned had that one up there which is still in development.
I had no idea that people had been and are still doing Ultima 9 mods. Very fascinating.
I knew they were working on Titans of Ether, but their work has never made me all that excited. Perhaps (i.e. probably) I'm a snob, but their screenies don't look very good to me, even compared to other fan mods.
Looks very Zelda-ish (the 3D ones) to me. All lit up and no dark shadows.
He comes off as a very humble man IMO.