I'd pay a substantial sum to visit Britannia again in a new adventure worthy of Ultima VII, which is, without a doubt, one of the games that made me. I probably wouldn't play Ultima Forever even if it was free though and that's at least partly because it's free. EA/Bioware's newly announced title is a "cross-platform action RPG" launching under the same Play4Free label as Battlefield Heroes. What price virtue, I wonder, and I mean it quite literally. How many tiny coins will I have to collect or purchase to redeem the virtues of Britannia. Scant details below.
These really are the most boring details ever but let's see if we can create a little excitement. There are TWO classes to choose from, although more MAY be announced. The first is a FIGHTER with a body so robust that he is actually a CUBE and looks a bit like he fell out of TORCHLIGHT. The FIGHTER will protect his ALLIES and smite his enemies.
What about that mage, EH? He's skinny and has a staff in his HAND and a spell on his LIPS. He'll assist his ALLIES, which is a bit like protecting them but WITH SPELLS.
You and your CHUMS will, presumably, TRAVEL across BRITANNIA fighting all sorts of MONSTERS but taking time out to GET PISSED IN VARIOUS PUBS. Then you'll lie on a BEDROLL under the stars, MURDER EVERYONE IN THE NEXT TOWN for no reason other than to PUSH AT THE INCREDIBLY FLEXIBLE BOUNDARIES OF THIS INCREDIBLY INCREDIBLE WORLD and realise that you could HAPPILY SPEND YOUR LIFE THERE.
Or not. Maybe not.
I think it's the invitation to accept "the challenge from Lady British" that made me actively grumpy. Lord British is away, you see, so it's only natural to have a Lady version to take his place. If she invites people to the challenge while wearing a push-up bra or a chainmail bikini I'll probably explode and be dead.
Thankfully, the reason Lord British can't be with us in Ultima Forver is because he's working on his own New Britannia which...IS A BLOODY SOCIAL NETWORK GAME? Crumbs. Maybe they'll both be brilliant but I worry that next year I'll be writing about Ultima and Robin.
Beta signups for Ultima Forever, which is coming to PC and iPad, are now open.