Posts Tagged ‘OtherSide Entertainment’

Underworld Ascendant swings into action in September

Underworld Ascendant

Perhaps being nine years old when it was released may have dulled my appreciation of the original Ultima Underworld. Looking back, it’s a vitally important, genre-defining game, but I was just too young and inexperienced to appreciate it at the time. Decades of playing immersive sims later, and I am practically buzzing with anticipation for spiritual successor Underworld Ascendant. Today, OtherSide Entertainment (who are also working on System Shock 3) released a new gameplay trailer as well as announcing that the game is due out this September.

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OtherSide hopes you’re smarter than Underworld Ascendant in first trailer

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Underworld Ascendant is the first in a series of titles where Looking Glass studios alumni are moving to reclaim their former mantle. Under the OtherSide Entertainment banner, they’re working on a proper System Shock sequel, but the game we’ll see out of the gate next is the Ultima Underworld sequel we deserve. The Dungeons & Dragons flair is mixed into an immersive sim setup that lacks the Ultima name but keeps the spirit alive. Amidst deadly traps, evil glowing skeleton bois, and red hot liquid magma, there’s adventure to be had and hundreds of terrible deaths to meet! But not if you can outwit the game, which OtherSide is counting on.

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Underworld Ascendant wants you to break all the rules

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Underworld Ascendant is a game for anyone who has ever tormented a GM during a tabletop RPG session. The maps have been drawn up, the traps have been primed and all of the plans are coming together. You’re deep in a dungeon and the story is about to take a very unpleasant turn. And then…

“You said the spikey pillars are made of the same wood from which the ancient throne of Catharsia was carved? Fine. I’ll set fire to them.”

“You can’t do that…there are another six distinct phases of this particular peril…”

“I’m pretty sure I can. They’re wood. They’ll burn. Let’s get out of here.”

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System Shock 3 signs up with Starbreeze

Starbreeze are putting $12 million towards System Shock 3 [official site] in a publishing deal, the Swedes announced today. Publishing deals are rarely exciting enough for us to mention but this means:

1) System Shock 3 is actually, definitely still happening. We did not imagine this. It wasn’t a dream. A new System Shock is being made by a team including Warren Spector, Terri Brosius (the voice of SHODAN), and other former Looking Glass folks.
2) Unlike the System Shock remake, which was dependent on the success of a Kickstarter, SS3 already has a big bag of money to get it rolling.
3) Oh my stars, they really are making a new System Shock. Read the rest of this entry »

Underworld Ascendant Unveils New Art Style

We’ve seen a little of Underworld Ascendant [official site] in action since OtherSide Entertainment crowdfunded their revival of ye olde Ultima Underworld games, but we’ve not seen its final look. They’ve been talking about what they call an “authored look”, an art style inspired by the unreality of tabletop games. Today Otherside shared a few new screens showing exactly what that means for the game’s world and enemies, starting with a chubby little skellington.

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Warren Spector Working On System Shock 3

In the kind of Getting The Band Back Together news that makes me hyperventilate ever so slightly, the news just broke that Warren Spector has joined Otherside Games, the studio working on System Shock 3 and Ultima Underworld spiritual successor Underworld Ascendant.

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System Shock 3 Formally Announced Oh Gosh It Is Real

System Shock 3 [official site] is now properly, formally announced with a press release and everything, and, well, I was two-thirds right. First, the basics: the third part of Looking Glass Studios’ hallowed sci-fi FPS-RPG series, whose rights were only recently untangled by Night Dive Studios, is being made by OtherSide Entertainment. That’s the Underworld Ascendant lot, who were founded by Looking Glass co-founder Paul Neurath and include a few other LGS folks. And… that’s mostly all we know. Oh! And Terri Brosius is returning to voice AI antagonist SHODAN, as you can hear in this clip.

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System Shock 3 Teased By Looking Glass Veterans

Oh! Well then. I guess System Shock 3 is actually happening. Cool, cool. Seems it’ll be coming from a team including folks who worked on the original too: Looking Glass co-founder Paul Neurath’s new mob OtherSide Entertainment. You know, them lot currently working on Ultima Underworld sequel Underworld Ascendant. Yep, no biggie. STAY CALM, ALICE. MAINTAIN STEELY EXTERIOR.

Otherside have a teaser page saying “SYSTEM SHOCK 3” all casual like, which seems to have been uncovered earlier than planned given that the timer they did actually announce is still counting down another five days. So yeah, sure, System Shock 3.

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Underworld Ascendant: Peek Into The Stygian Abyss

“A rogue’s view of the dwarven magic controlling the flow of lava in the Stygian Abyss’ Volcanic core.”

That is how the folk at OtherSide Entertainment teased a video for a prototype of their RPG Underworld Ascendant [official site]. I’m a sucker for wanting to peer into Stygian Abysses (provided they don’t start peering back into me) and thus here we are. They did not mention it was a very bad day to be a Shadow Beast:

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Ultima Underworld 3 Ascendant Is Funded

get a haircut, dude

Two years ago, if you’d asked me how a spiritual Ultima Underworld sequel made by assorted Origin/Looking Glass veterans would fare on Kickstarter, I’d have said “funded in 60 seconds!” then smiled smugly. In 2015, that really doesn’t happen unless you’re a funny watch or a card game about weapons of mass kitty destruction. It looked a little touch and go for Underworld Ascendant for a while there, but it’s now crossed its $600k finish line with a few days to spare.
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Looking Glass / Irrational Does System Shock 2 Live

Even a few years ago, the idea of getting to watch assorted Looking Glass and Irrational alumni play and talk through revered sci-fi immersive sim System Shock 2 sounded like an absurd fantasy. Twitch and Twitter, whatever else they might be throwing at the world, have broken down so many barriers. For instance: two of hours of System Shock 2, with live commentary provided by the likes of BioShock’s Ken Levine, Gone Home’s Steve Gaynor and Ultima Underworld’s Paul Neurath (not to mention all the other landmark games those guys worked on).
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Underworld: Ascendant Wants To Let You Improvise

Oh goodness me. If Underworld Ascendant [Kickstarter] can at least match my hazy, confused memories of Ultima Underworld 2, the first game I ever played on my dad’s PC, then I’ll be a happy bunny. If it can match what’s being said by the team about their “improvisation engine”, then my jaw will hang agog. They are, it seems, attempting to create a setting where you’ll be able to – at least feel like you can – approach scenarios in your own way. Hmmm. It’s a claim I’ve heard a lot of times before, but heck, if I had to pick who was make it happen, I’d likely choose former Looking Glass members. Talking of whom, Warren Spector shows up in a new video, reminiscing on the original games.

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Beyond Looking Glass: Underworld Ascendant Interview

Underworld Ascendant [official site] has some big shoes to fill. Big shoes of Nostalgia +8. As a continuation of the Ultima Underworld series, with a team led by Looking Glass veteran Paul Neurath, Ascendant is picking up where the immersive first-person RPG left off a couple of decades ago. The game is currently well on its way to a $600,000 Kickstarter target and I spoke to Neurath about the project, and how it’s possible to move forward while looking to the past.

“This isn’t Looking Glass 2.0,” he says, even though Looking Glass 2.0 seems like a hell of a good thing to be. “We’re not just looking back and trying to recreate something from the past. We’re hoping to be part of the future.”

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Looking Glass Founder’s Underworld Ascendant Revealed

he's in big trouble if an orc decides to give that beard a tug mid-combat

Edit – links fixed

As old school PC gamers’ desires for a comeback go, a new Ultima Underworld is right up there with new System Shock or new true-blood X-COM. While a huge number of ’90s PC devs have burst back into the limelight thanks to Kickstarter and a legion of people who are terrified of new things, I don’t believe we’ve yet seen anyone from revered UU/System Shock/Thief studio Looking Glass sing for their crowd-funded supper. Today, Looking Glass co-founder Paul Neurath does, with spiritual Ultima Underworld sequel Underworld Ascendant. It’s a subterranean, first-person RPG, which he claims is set in ‘a living, breathing fantasy world.’ While EA retain squatters’ rights to the Ultima license, Ascendant’s protagonist will be named ‘The Avatar’, and it even gets the Garriot blessing.

You know you want it. Take a look below.
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