Today, EA and BioWare have announced Ultima Forever, an action RPG set in the world of Ultima IV and poised to release on both the PC and iPad with fully integrated cross-platform play. The game will bring together action RPG gameplay with BioWare's legendary storytelling, creating an Ultima that will be accessible and appealing to all generations and will bring an entirely new crowd to the shores of Britannia.
The focus for Ultima Forever was to shift away from console settings and into the type of gameplay that allows for short, fulfilling bursts of gaming with plenty of free reign travel. Here, in the Ultima IV universe, filled with iconic hot air balloons and pirate galleys, who you say you are wil truly be tested against who you really are. Find misplaced currency and return it to it's rightful owner, or give it to the poor. Concepts of justice or compassion quickly do away with watered down interpretations of right and wrong. Team up with a small community of online players - not thousands, but instead a family you will learn to know - and leave your mark on eight original towns and all over the world. No restriction, only exploration, choices, and plenty of enemies to mow down.
Compared to Ultima Online, Ultima Forever focuses on stimulating rather than simulating joy. Ultima Forever will send you into battle against foes and will help you to learn something about yourself and your choices, with less focus on whether it's snowing outside or villagers are happy to see you. Stimulation over simulation. It's all part of creating an action adventure experience the likes of which you have not seen before, with a focus on driving storytelling on technology that all generations can access. It is, BioWare's Creative Director Paul Barnett says, "something wonderful, and full of stars".
By making the game accessible on both Pc and iPad, the developers were not only able to broaden their audience and give the game a portable element, but also shifted the gravitation pull away from the complexity that so often surrounds PC games. By transitioning onto the iPad platform, an "elegant simplicity" was wrought that keeps the game true to it's goal of telling a good story and teaching players about the nature of who you say you are versus who your actions make you.
As of now you can sign up for a chance to partake in an upcoming closed beta as well as see the first trailer at the official site - UltimaForever. You can also follow the game on Twitter, and Like it on Facebook. Take the reins of your own Avatar and prepare for Ultima Forever - this is definitely not one to miss!