Classic but dated fantasy adventure
The Ultima series of fantasy RPGs
is one of the legends of gaming history, along with the likes of Bard's Tale
, Elder Scrolls
. However, the Ultima Underworld
games are spin-offs from the main franchise but which are set in the same world and feature the usual array of dungeon crawling, character customisation and epic questing that one expects from the genre. This sequel plays in pretty much the exact same fashion as its predecessor, with a detailed, 3D first-person perspective, action-heavy combat and a conversation system that was a major influence of Deus Ex. As is the norm, you get to create a character, selecting things like class and skills as you would expect and then you move on to the game itself, which involves exploring a nicely diverse set of environments as you travel the world in your attempt to free the land from the evil Guardian. The story does involve many characters from the main Ultima games as well as making reference to the previous one, so having some familiarity with the world would be useful if you intend to play this. While in many ways this is pretty much the same as any other dungeon crawler, it is held in high regard within the community for its lavish attention to detail and the sheer care with which it has been put together. The graphics, plot and quests are all well implemented and designed and there is plenty of excitement along the way, with the world feeling alive and real as you explore it. However, there are moments of tedium and frustration as well and it is actually quite difficult to play now as it has dated somewhat. Still, if you are a hardcore Ultima fan with some knowledge of the series, then this is well worth checking out.
Dungeon crawler spin off of the Ultima series
The canon Ultima games
are the RPGs seen from above, with a cool story, a deep story and action that is blasted from the helm of your party. As such, you are going to have a much different experience with this game, Ultima Underworld 2 as it is a 3D engine dungeon crawl, with a lesser, spin off story and a rather flimsier backbone in terms of its narrative. In the game you are going to have to navigate narrow corridors, generally with tiles that will feel a bit repetitive. The design of most levels is rather linear, though there are chambers here and there, sprinkled with loot and with different potions and other equipment pieces. The game is sure simple, straightforward, but, if that is what you are looking for you will not be disappointed. The greatest challenge will be to keep well stocked and well equipped, with tools, armor and swords, or, if you prefer it, with scrolls and mana potions. So, don't get fooled by what you know about the Ultima series, this game is a different beast than the canon games, but a fun one to play, if you are in for its charms!