Posted By Gabriel B. about 9 months, 3 weeks ago
Yesterday, Joystiq managed to wrangle an interview with Kate Flack, the lead designer of Ultima Forever, the upcoming free-to-play game by Bioware and Electronic Arts. The interview revealed many details about the game, including that the game was currently in its alpha build but will move into closed beta “very soon.” More importantly, Falk revealed that the game would be developed for and released on the iPad and other tablet devices first before other devices and make use of the virtual keyboards, but not virtual joysticks or buttons. The multiplayer RPG will also be set 21 years after Ultima 4 and feature the flattened isometric view that became associated with later games like Ultima 7, though there will of course be higher resolutions and some conveniences that weren’t around back in the day, like an improved conversation system and questing system. The virtues have also been incorporated, both in how players react to NPCs and how they react to other players, which will improve or damage their status as the Avatar.
You heard that right: in this game, everyone is the Avatar. As Flack states, “Ultima 5, 6, 7, 8 haven’t happened yet. Lord British is among the stars; he’s no longer there. Lady British has now taken the throne and we’ve found that one Avatar isn’t going to do it this time round, we need multiple Avatars and multiple people coming to try and repair the land.” True, multiple Avatars is more than a little confusing (what, do you have to take the Codex of Ultimate Wisdom back to the Abyss after you find it so the next guy gets a chance?) and takes away from the trials of the original avatar but…the Great Council was sealing dungeons in that time, so it is possible you are a member of it. Lord British’s absence is more disturbing, since he has been a staple of the series and he was exploring the Underworld during this time, so having a new character ascend the throne is a bit weird. Of course, Lord British’s absence might be due to Richard Garriott not being involved in this project and working on his own game. Flack assures fans though that “Ultima is very well respected in EA.”
No word on when Ultima Forever will be released, but in the meantime you can enjoy EA’s latest Free-to-Play Ultima game Lord of Ultima and feel the deep respect the series has received. Please leave your thoughts below on the game and keep following Blistered Thumbs for the latest news on this game.