Wednesday 23 August 2006
Massively multiplayer PC RPG workhorse Ultima Online (currently in its ninth year, so possibly older than the newest generation of gamers) is to be given a sweeping overhaul next year in the Kingdom Reborn expansion. Most obvious is a graphical upgrade: while UO won't be moving out of its old school, isometric 3D look, soft lighting and smoothed visuals will make it less eye-searingly retro.
Developer EA also promises "many, many more suprises in store" for players, although the hardcore UO community has previously shown a downright crotchety response to surprises. Whether Kingdom Reborn can bring lapsed or even first-time players into the game is another matter - currently just over a hundred thousand subscribers remain, unlikely to trouble the six-million-strong World of Warcraft monster.
A detailed list of Kingdom Reborn's contents is to be revealed before the end of the year, and possibly a clearer indication of when in 2007 it will be released.
Above: Kingdom Reborn's new look, which the more cynical among us might say is almost on par with 2001's Dark Alliance on PS2