Ultraworld Is Ultrapretty Wandering Inside A Computer

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.

You can grab Ultraworld through its website or Humble, if you’re feeling exploratory. Do check the minimum specs beforehand, if you’re running on an older machine. It’s also up on Greenlight.


  1. BTAxis says:

    Eh, “Feels ‘Em Up” sounds more like a groping simulator.

    • sabrage says:

      A genre with a storied and well-represented history in Japan. Is Ultraworld a true Feels-‘Em-Up, or just a Feels-‘Em-Up-like, or even a psuedo-Feels-‘Em-Up-like?

    • zentropy says:

      I’m definitely feeling this genre.

      No but seriously, you should stark reworking the tags on the site. This is what I’m going to refer to tham as from now on haha. Thanks Ben. :)

  2. Ross Angus says:

    Well, I’ll let it pass this time, because she’s on holiday, but I prefer to hear about this kind of game from Alice.

  3. Hunchback says:

    Looking at the RPS front page today i have a feeling we are back in 1995 or something. Just with more shades of colours. *ponder*

  4. Wret says:


    exploring, relaxing, and thinking”

    But what about interactivity and player expression? Is this game going to trap me in a pretty box while the developer expresses what THEY feel is important, sublime, and objectively beautiful? (Hi I’m still bitter about Dear Ester)

    I realized with that sarcastic The Crew Article that Going-For-A-Walk-Sim games aren’t really engaging as going for an actual walk. Walking VS falling asleep on the forward key.

  5. valz says:

    I like real walking much better than anything at all like Dear Esther. In fact, I think anyone who can walk without hurting themselves probably agrees. If they don’t, they probably haven’t been on much of a walk yet. They should try walking somewhere more interesting.

  6. Stardog says:

    Err, do you want to explain your comments about Unity? Technically, I mean.

  7. Viroso says:

    People who make games, if you’re reading this, next time you make a walk’em up add photography. Like, not just point the camera and click it though. Make the camera like the gun in Receiver, make it a fully functional camera.

    Give the player a camera, set the player loose in a big world, throw some life into it so unique things happen by sheer accident ( link to youtu.be ) and maybe some procedurally generated stuff or whatever.

    But give me a camera, a good one. I wanna care about aperture, ISO, shutter speed, the lens I’m using, the whole thing.

    I’d play the hell out of a walking simulator with a camera and stuff worth photographing.

  8. Steed says:

    Hmmmmmmm, where’s Alice? Perfect daily/weekly walk fodder.