EDIT: I changed the title on this post after posting. Yes, I’m wholly dubious of the likelihood of this game appealing to me, but I’m sure there are some good people working on this project and they deserve to have it judged on what it actually is when it’s done.
Not to date myself, but I remember walking into the B. Dalton’s at the mall near my dad’s and seeing the Ultima IV box sitting on one of the shelves. Yes, B. Dalton’s once stocked video games. Yes, there used to be a chain of bookstores called B. Dalton’s. Yes, this will border on a “get offa my lawn” post. I loved the art on that box, by the way. Way cooler than the crowded image you see above. Sorry artist who drew that, I’m just a simple creature.
So… yeah. There it is. EA and Bioware/Mythic have announced a new, long-rumored Ultima title, Ultima Forever: Quest for the Avatar. (I see what you did there.) I’d say it’s something of a franchise reboot that begins with retelling Ultima 4: Quest of the Avatar, except it’s really probably not so much.
You see, I started playing games with the Sierra Quest stuff and Ultima. Ultima has been the single most influential gaming franchise in my life. I still have every boxed copy of the game from U4 to U9. I have the pewter ankh, the “silver” codex coin, the moonstone, and all the cloth maps. So, you’ll have to excuse me if I approach this one with a skeptical eye.
They’re saying it’s not an MMO, but it sure doesn’t sound single-player. It’s not a remake, but it is sort of telling Ultima 4′s story. It is free to play, but they’re really hoping you’ll spend money in the game. It will be available for PC and iPad. So there’s that. On the other hand, they’re talking about adventuring in parties of four and choosing only between mage and wizard character classes and using “action RPG” on the homepage and something about “Lady British” and then Todd’s head just sort of pops. Not even a pop with authority. More like the sound you can make yourself by putting your index finger against the inside of your cheek and snapping it back out again. It’s the sort of madness that makes me refer to myself in the third-person and not even care.