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Kelly Miller
15comments Bioware Rebooting Ultima Franchise
Posted Fri 13th Jul 2012 9:35pm by Kelly Miller
As if the entertainment industry is not already filled to the brim with reboots and remakes of popular franchises; Bioware Mythic is adding yet another with their take on the critically acclaimed Ultima series of role-playing games. Unless you count the free-to-play civilization builder Lord of Ultima, a proper entry hasn’t been released in years. Will this game be enough to draw in fans new and old to a series that arguably brought the role-playing game genre to its creative peak?
One thing is sure; it won’t cost anything for anyone to give it a try. Ultima Forever is being launched as a free-to-play title that Bioware says won’t cost you a dime. They also promise that, unlike other popular free-to-play titles, they are trying to eliminate that glass ceiling effect that prevents players from enjoying themselves unless they spend some cash. What players will be able to purchase are, supposedly, vanity and convenience items that will not affect the overall balance of the game.
Ultima IV is said to be the company’s main inspiration for Ultima Forever and that they will be taking many of that entry’s core concepts while experimenting with their own. Paul Barnatt, the creative director behind Ultima Forever, described it as being of a similar fashion to what Christopher Nolan did with his Batman series; keep the themes, but play with the rest.
Ultima IV was rated as the #2 best PC game of all time by Computer Gaming World in 1996 and hailed as a major turning point for the franchise as it abandoned its hack and slash roots for something deeper and more story-driven.
He also described the gameplay as a four player cooperative experience with gameplay in the vein of the Diablo series without all the pesky hot-bars. The flow of combat will depend on player location on the battlefield and their equipment. Doing combat in this way will hopefully eliminate repetitive clicking and instead encourage a more Tactical approach to combat.
The game will release with only two Classes, the Fighter and the Mage, with more to be added shortly thereafter. Players will adventure across the land if Britannica searching for the eight ‘virtues’ that will allow them to become the ‘Avatar.’ Just in case some of you more hardcore Ultima Fans want to know Richard Garriot, the creator of the Ultima Franchise, is not involved in this project in any way.
Ultima Forever is set to be released on the Ipad and PC later this year. If you wish you can sign up to take part in the beta on the official Website.

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