You are the Avatar, the most noble of heroes. In your day, you have beheld many wonders and proved yourself master of many dungeons. But nothing in your experience prepared you for this: the terror-filled passages of Britannia’s underworld. In this epic adventure you, the Avatar, join the leaders of Britannia in Lord British’s castle for an evening of celebration to commemorate the defeat of the Guardian’s forces a year ago. Suddenly, the Guardian strikes again, encasing the building in a gigantic blackrock gem. He offers the imprisoned heroes a simple choice: proclaim him ruler of all Britannia, or starve while his minions conquer the land. Can you free Lord British and save Britannia?
Age requirements: ESRB Rating: EVERYONE with Animated Violence.
Minimum system requirements: Windows XP or Windows Vista, 1.8 GHz Processor, 512MB RAM (1 GB recommended), 3D graphics card compatible with DirectX 7 (compatible with DirectX 9 recommended), 2GB HDD, Mouse, Keyboard.
Minimum system requirements (Mac): OS X 10.6.8 or later. Processor: Intel Core Duo 2GHz+ Memory: 1GB of RAM Graphics: 64MB of video memory Recommended two-button mouse, or Apple mouse with Secondary Button / Secondary Click enabled.
ACCEPTANCE OF END USER LICENSE AGREEMENT REQUIRED TO PLAY
Posted on 2011-06-03 00:16:51 bywvpr:
[review based on CD edition, not GOG's release]
The first thing most will notice in the Underworld series is the blocky graphics and limited view. The next thing they'll notice is old-style MIDI music and limited sound effects. Finally, they'll run into an early System Shock-style interface in which the best control scheme uses keyboard for movement and turning, while the mouseread more pointer moves freely around the view area. It's tricky to master.
Beneath lie two of the greatest first-person RPGs ever created. It's all here. Large, hand-crafted levels. Complicated stories involving 5 or more factions. Random encounters. Creatures that respond to your actions; taking someone's food or money will usually get you into a fight, and so will poking around in rooms where you shouldn't be. Freeform gameplay that allows you to help or dispatch nearly every character in the game. Food, weight limits, degradable gear, the works. Items that can be combined in countless useful and useless ways. Rune-based magic that requires collecting runes and then combining them in various documented and undocumented ways. Stats and skills. Multiple-choice conversations with occasional typing for puzzle purposes. Flying "scry" camera spell that can see through walls. Teleportation. Annotated automaps. Secret doors requiring lockpick and perception skills. Huge rewards for careful exploration.
More than anything, these games ooze atmosphere. The first takes place deep in a colonized volcano. Except for the prologue and the magic runes, it has very little relation to the Ultima series. But it stands perfectly well on its own. Early survival may be challenging. Finding food, supplies, and fighting equipment is a frequent requirement. If you can locate the first human settlement, you should be able to master the rest of the game. Levels often combine a trapped, oppressive feeling with quiet, peaceful exploration. Despite the dungeon setting, every level is carefully hand-crafted and has its own theme. Players may get lost enough within levels to pull up the automap, but they probably won't mistake one level for another.
The second game is Ultima through and through. It takes place between Ultima 7 parts 1 & 2 and features many familiar characters. It's probably a little easier to get into than UW1, since you get more of a base of operations right at the start. There's great diversity in locations as you jump from world to world from the central hub. A tall goblin-infested tower, a haunted mausoleum, and a deserted wizard training ground are three of the more mundane; others are truly exotic, bending reality as far as the game engine allows.
Despite the differences, both of these games feature gradually unfolding plots that build up to exciting conclusions. Discovering all the twists and turns of the plots is as interesting as discovering new areas of the various dungeons.
Combat is challenging early on. For best results, don't try to dish out your blows without moving. Approach, strike, fall back, repeat. Even the game's best armor won't protect you enough if you just stand there.
A modern interface and a few refinements would make the UW series truly timeless for a mass audience. But the UW games are already all-time classics. If you enjoy first-person RPG exploration and have any patience at all, don't miss these titles.
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Posted on 2011-06-02 19:07:48 byLukes78:
Ultima Underworld 2, even nowadays, still tops my all - time favourite CRPG list (along with Ultima VII and Planescape: Torment) : it improves the first episode on every aspect, and it also ties-in more with the main Ultima storyline, unlike UW1. Immersion and general atmosphere are simply superb, probably its strongest points; finally, great gameplay and soudtrack, as well. Thank you, GOG :)
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Posted on 2011-06-02 18:41:15 byLantisdrag013:
Though branching out from their typical 3/4 birds-eye view rpg/adventure that's known to us older gamers as Ultima, this First-Person dungeon crawler is still just as fun, and brings a difference to the way you know Britannia. The first one takes place in the Stygian Abyss (as the name implies), a dungeon that's supposed to be the be-all-end-all of dungeons in the Britannian world,read more you must make your way through down through it's depths and rescue the damsel, clear your name (although since you are the Avatar it shouldn't have even come into question - but I digress) and set the world to rights yet again. Ultima Underworld II takes place during the time of the Fellowship, when an otherworldly, inter-dimensional entity known only as The Guardian is vying for world domination and conquest. Trapping you and some of your cohorts (introduced in preceding 'Ultima' games, again you must steel yourself to the challenge and find a way to free the castle's occupants from the "dome" (kind of Stephen King-esque, if you've read his book), and thwart The Guardian's plans yet again. If you've never experienced the world that is "Ultima," or if you like FPS, this game is set to keep you entertained for many, many hours. Go on. You're the Avatar, and everyone's crying for you to save them... AGAIN.
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