Dammit. Ultraworld was going to be the name of my stunningly beautiful neon landscape filled with mystery and wonder. Ex-Crytek James Beech pipped me to the post with his first-person explorer (a term he prefers to use over ‘walking simulator’, or my personal invention ‘Feels ‘Em Up’) about helping a video game character come to terms with existence. Sort of. In the style of the genre it’s a story to be explored and to say much more would spoil the experience. Having played the first twenty minutes, I do have some mechanical thoughts though and there’s a supremely pretty trailer below.
Ultraworld has more specific objectives than its peers. You know specifically that you’re looking for ‘x’ and when you find it you must do ‘y’. That’s not necessarily a complaint and some players will prefer it. Having objectives makes me examine the world more thoroughly, hunting for these specific things, but it means there’s less time spent just taking in the incredible vistas that James has built. At times, the world becomes background decoration for the thing I’m seeking rather than a place in its own right.
Which is a shame because good gracious is it ever a pretty place. Built in the CryEngine rather than the Unity standard we’ve come to expect, it seems to exploit that juggernaut fully. The tech is most obvious in the lighting, casting lovely shadows from all the crazy architecture. There are few higher fidelity places to relax.