Underworld Ascendant: A Review

The content material:

The burning platform: PC

This fall, the veterans of the gaming industry, Brian Fargo (Brian Fargo), also the team of creators Ultima Underworld, United now under the guise of OtherSide Entertainment, determined to make a real Renaissance in the genre of "need-crawlers". But The Bard's Tale IV, and now here Underworld Ascendant frankly disappointed.


Underworld Ascendant is the actual continuation Ultima Underworld. The game was produced by Warren Spector (Warren Spector), and it was released in one thousand nine hundred and ninety-two, the year as an offshoot of the series Ultima and in many ways was a breakthrough — a RPG, combining first-person combat system in real-time and realistic three-dimensional environment. Plus nonlinearity. From it was born the genre of Immersive sim, it inspired the authors Deus Ex and BioShock.

Well, the very fact that made her future authors System Shock and Thief (the second part of the series came from the pen of Looking Glass), also says a lot.

So when the same developers, United in OtherSide Entertainment, were about to release, though informal, but the continuation of nostalgic players willingly funded idea on Kickstarter it gathered eight hundred and sixty thousand dollars. Expectations were high and the promises — sweet. They say it will be all the same Immersive sim, you have complete creative freedom in how to perform tasks.

Development Underworld Ascendant delayed, but players were willing to wait. Asked the same thing and the press. Acquainted this summer with an early version, journalists tearfully asked the authors postponed the release for another year to get it right. Did not listen: moved from September first to October, then November. Did not help…

Underworld Ascendant game overviewSo originally looked like many texts in the Russian localization.

Save the world. Another

In fact, content, level design, atmosphere, concept and potential wealth of possibilities inherent in the game, everything is fine. Most Underworld Ascendant in this sense, resembles a mixture of Thief: Deadly Shadows and Arx Fatalis. We play for a certain man out of the world miraculously moved in an underground region Stygian Abyss — the one where the unfolding events of the original "Ultima".

He faces a monster named Typhon, which is then going to eat and the home world of the protagonist.

To save both universes, have a radish and Typhon, respectively, to destroy it, but to see him work to get, only if you collect the seven keys of the Abyss in seven different locations. There we performed the task three factions that are of different races — for example, the deep elves. Only with their support, we will get the final key.

Well, other preferences like access to unique equipment.

The task is clear — kill all the slugs, get rid of the ghosts, gather knowledge, find the armor of the Minotaur, for example, or a stolen wagon. Around — the intricacies of staircases, corridors, locked doors and traps. And, naturally, enemies that with each new outdoor location is becoming more dangerous and more interesting.

The levels alternate Jogging in the open area with the ruins and study of all kinds of buildings and temples, where we then climb up somewhere high, then down even deeper into the earth. Underworld Ascendant game overviewAgree, just remember the third Thief.

Three in one

In such circumstances, we may act freely, doing the job conventionally, as a mage, warrior or thief. For each of these archetypes has a separate skill tree. A thief prefers to travel secretly as possible by shooting torches with water arrows, familiar to all who played Thief, ambush from behind, wielding daggers, and open some locked doors without a key.

There is even a skill that slows down time, if you rush the enemy out of hiding.

Warrior relies on attack with the sword, the constant increase of health and strength to be treated, even when you eat (the hunger factor here, of course, present), and powerfully throw the heavy objects. Well, a magician with magic wands capable of restoring health, enchant undead, to lift objects into the air and do other magical wonders. For spells, he creatively mixes up the runes in his book — it is just part refers to Arx Fatalis.

But do not think that we are talking about different classes. The player can alternate magic, the same arrows and objects to lift and throw. You are free to explore creative and blend a variety of skills, pumping one or creating a universal hero, and the magical wand to use effectively, and doors to open without the key, and health restored by food. Underworld Ascendant game overviewMany of the cards turned out really atmospheric.

The experimenter!

Examples of creative freedom a lot. If you want to get down, but no stairs to set fire to the wooden floor. And the same is done with a wooden door. If you do not know how to get to the chest of the good stuff (and they've always cleverly hidden), located somewhere high, put boxes on top of each other. Does not work?

Then make magic to levitate these boxes and proprygat on them.

If you run out of arrows, throw enemies in different (better or heavy discounted) items. Or drive them into the traps. In the same way, for example a well-aimed throw any pitcher, it is possible to actuate the levers.

After each mission, we returned to base where we receive the reward, choosing a new job, trade, buying more cool gear, and special masters and learning new skills. And all this — framed by a wide range of graphics and stringy audiophillia (when you hear the voice of Typhon, always unconsciously perivesical).

Damp dungeon

But wait, after reading all this, buy the game. She is now a paid alpha or beta. It is full of different bugs, forcing the hero to get stuck in the textures and the puddles, a strange, broken even, the system saves (you can sanitise anywhere, but if you download still have to start passing the level from the beginning), poor optimization, long load, unsightly animation. Russian localization for the release was of such a level that the text to parse in many places it was simply impossible. With the first update it a little trimmed, but the key word here is "almost."Underworld Ascendant game overviewHere you can create your own spells.

Really need the runes very rarely come across.On the local level the AI is the fact that the enemies often do not react to getting arrows in the face, or looking for a fun and long run, resting his face into the wall. Or after death loud and angry growl, lying on the floor. All this makes what is happening in the creepy horror-Comedy.

But if such things happens over time, fix patches, it remains global, conceptual problems. For example, the authors reason, for a very long time we marinated on the same map. We carry out there mission, return to base, and there is a choice of four missions, forcing you to return to have studied along and across the area where the "respawn" enemies and chests.

And it should be repeated several times before will open a new location. Why not make the player were immediately available, several regions with missions of varying difficulty and he chose where and what task to perform?

Annoying and the fact that trunks are often either does nothing, or the same equipment is low quality, and zero values. This lost all desire to find such "treasures". And that, you know, disastrous for any "need-crawler".

Underworld Ascendant game overviewEnemies it is possible to arrange such traps.***All this is very sad because many, including myself, connected great hopes with The Bard's Tale IV, and Underworld Ascendant. But if the reputation Brian Fargo has long been tarnished something from the game, which was done by former employees Looking Glass myself Warren Spector, I must admit I was not expecting. You begin to worry for the fate of System Shock 3, which is now working OtherSide.

It is clear that still indie, little money and great ambitions. We will, of course, optimists hope, after some time Underworld Ascendant will result in a sense and it will bring a lot of joy to fans of atmospheric non-linear adventure. In the meantime, it should not waste time, nerves and money.

Pros: great potential for creative research levels and nonlinear tasks; perfectly conveys the atmosphere of the dark underground adventure; expressive sound: nice looking picture.

Disadvantages: the game is at the moment openly crude from a technical point of view; much time spent on the same cards; a lot of repetitive, unnecessary loot.

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