Ultima IV Reimagined in Free-to-Play Reboot

Paul Lilly

If you grew up playing games on the Commodore 64 and, later down the line, 286/386/486 IBM compatible PCs, there's a good chance you spent many hours serving Lord British, the mostly unkillable ruler of Britannia ( save for an incident during an Ultima Online beta test). Well, you can stop longing for days gone by and re-experience (or experience for the first time) the series with a new, free-to-play title called Ultima Forever: Quest for the Avatar.

BioWare Mythic is bringing the Ultima series back, though Ultima Forever isn't a completely new title. Rather, it's a reimagining of Ultima IV.

"We've basically taken the Batman reboot option. The Spider-Man reboot option," Paul Barnett, creative director at BioWare Mythic, told Kotaku . "What we've down is we've picked Ultima IV, because think Ultima IV is really cool, and it's neat, and it's ace, and then we've made it so it's small groups of people, three or four people down [in] the dungeon, going through the world of Ultima, going in to see all the famous towns and all the NPCs and the entire world is available."

For those of you new to the series, Ultima IV was unique in the fact that it challenged gamers not just with leveling up and/or conquering an evil, but with developing a virtuous character into a spiritual leader with a focus on the Eight Virtues, including Honesty, Compassion, Valor, Justice, Honor, Sacrifice, Spirituality, and Humility.

Barnett says the Ultima reboot will play fast and is "clicky," but promises fluid fun combat as opposed to "tactical and mind-numbing." There will be 3D characters, hand-painted backgrounds, and conversation trees, along with single-player and cross-platform multiplay.

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