Free Lord of Ultima Online Game Goes Live

Free Lord of Ultima Online Game Goes Live

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Lord of Ultima, a new browser-based online strategy game from Electronic Arts, is now open to the public and it actually looks pretty sweet.

Nominally set in the Ultima universe, Lord of Ultima is a free strategy game in which players build and manage cities, engage in diplomatic and military campaigns and strive to establish themselves as powerful, peaceful merchants or feared warlords. Tightly-integrated online play is a central feature of the game, as players launch trade missions, forge alliances, take part in online chats and discussions in community forums, and of course go to war with their fellow gamers.

"Lord of Ultima was designed to ensure that everyone, from strategy newcomers to diehard fans, can make it to the top of the leader board," said Volker Wertich, Creative Director of Phenomic, the EA studio behind the game.

I'm not entirely sure what the Ultima connection is but the fact that Wertich referred to it as "the legendary world of Ultima" and not Britannia, its proper name (if you'll excuse my pedantry) makes me think that it doesn't extend very far beyond a marketable title. But I spent a few minutes playing around with it and while the early stages are very conventional - build a sawmill, upgrade your town hall, build a quarry, etc. - it appears to have surprising depth, particularly for an online game, and looks pretty good too.

I'm no strategy expert by any stretch of the imagination but it looks to me like the sort of game that fans of the genre could really get into. More important, it's an interesting crossover title, a sort of Farmville for so-called "real gamers," and it also adds some heft to EA's oft-stated commitment to building the online space. This is the future, kids! Go give it a try at lordofultima.com.

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It's really just another Travien, Evony, Ikarian etc. But it's a good one

Very sad on a lot of levels since I wanted to see a new Ultima game for a long time. I actually spent $10 to support "Zork" despite it's terribleness due to nostolgia over the franchise, but in this case it doesn't even seem that they have the franchise right.

Though I would point out that for those who are Ultima nerds, that there were 4 more or less identically shaped continents in the beginning. Brittania was only one of those continents and in "Ultima 7 Part II" when you go through the Serpent Gate you actually wind up visiting another one of those continents, meaning that the other two are presumably out there.

One of the things that disappointed me (and other fans of the series) was when they turned it from an RPG into a pseudo-platformer/action game, and didn't wind up exploring a lot of the things people wanted them to. For example the return to "The Lands Of Danger and Despair" where Shamino was once king was cool, people were wondering when Richard Garriot would get around to explaining what happened to the elves, dwarves, fuzzies, and bobbits that were present in the earliest titles as well... but he went in a TOTALLY differant direction.

In theory it could be argued that this game could be taking place on one of the other continents.

It's also been pointed out I believe that technically the world is called "Sosaria" with Brittania only being ONE continent (as mentioned) on "Sosaria", though the named was forgotten.

It's sounds intriguing, I might check this out in the near future.

Hmm...

I feel sad that Ultima is just some browser game now, I was always hoping (in vain) for a resurgence of Ultima as an RPG.

Still, I've always got my memories...

Cousin_IT:
It's really just another Travien, Evony, Ikarian etc. But it's a good one

Yeah, looks the msae to me. But, I might look into it, even if it is just for a little fun

Just made an account, logging in now. I'm intrigued.

Like all their "free" online games EA will probably introduce a ridiculous cash shop.

lets get an actual ultima browser based game and I might re-look at the series.

Therumancer:

In theory it could be argued that this game could be taking place on one of the other continents.

That might be so. I remember that in Britannia, there was an island called Skara Brae, which also exists in real life in the north of great britain.

When I joined this game, my village was created in Caledonia, which was the old name for Scotland.

So in theory, Lord of Ultima might take place in Britannia, or at a larger scale, Sosaria.

Stormz:
Like all their "free" online games EA will probably introduce a ridiculous cash shop.

Yup, magic items cost "Diamonds".

I just made an account, I'll give it a few weeks to see what it's like. Thanks Andy!

Seems interesting.

I got to give it to EA, take a browser cash cow game like Evony, slap a popular title like Ultima on it, give away for free, then charge for items like Evony. It would be funny if they weren't making 2 billion a year on Farmville.

They buy Playfish, they do this... Boy, EA is certainly intent on getting a foothold in the social game and browser game market. I just hope it's a self-contained effort, and that it doesn't compromise the remaining developers and franchises under their wing (although, i must say i'm quite worried with the direction Bioware is headed). But i wouldn't put my money on it, not after the 1500 layoff and termination of Pandemic, it's a bit "turn in profit or die" for them.

Bah ... not something I'll bother looking at. If I want to play the old Ultima's, I just play them. And still do on a fairly regular basis.

I played it during the beta for a month or so. It's entertaining to build your town, though once you hit the top level your only gameplay options are either to attack your neighbors or to found new towns. At that point it didn't hold my interest any more.

It is impressive as a browser-based game though, and looks very nice.

It's not Ultima though, even if they did rename some of the buildings to have more Ultima-ish names during development.

Wow! Its TOTALLY flash free and runs in Seamonkey browser. I am surprised it works at all. I have no flash installed and pretty restrictive settings for javascript.

First impressions are as follows:

Quick, someone Photoshop Richard Garriot into an Evony ad!

Fun so far, but still has a beta feel to it. Once the combat begins, the alliances and groups of alliances could make for some interesting strategies. Everyone is a noob right now, so its a good time to join.

 

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