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Tabula Rasa - updated impressions

Richard Garriott knows a thing or two about fantasy-based role-playing games and put his name on the map with his seminal Ultima series. With a non-compete agreement with EA and work on City of Heroes and City of Villains behind him, Garriott has set his scopes on space with Tabula Rasa - his latest shot at the online role-playing scene.

Set in a futuristic world on the edge of annihilation, Tabula Rasa will throw you into the fray as a recruit in the human resistance against a xenophobic alien race, the Bane. The Bane sound like your typical alien invasion force. You know - the kind that spends the night, sucks your planet’s resources dry, and then doesn’t even bother calling you back afterwards.



Above: Firing while behind cover will affect how much damage you take from incoming fire

We watched as Garriott ran us through a mission - to infiltrate and destroy a Bane lab that’s reanimating corpses of fallen humans - highlighting some of the ways Tabula Rasa tries to distance itself from the traditionally UI-driven combat in most MMOs. “You’ll notice that there’s no cursor floating about…” said Garriott, as a space marine-like soldier took down several alien enemies with concentrated bursts of rifle fire.

You won’t be mashing on the number keys or clicking on skill bars to use your attacks. Instead, the game will control much like a third-person shooter. You’ll move with the WASD keys with the left and right mouse-clicks reserved for firing your weapon and using special powers.

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