Firstly - if you have a vibrant social life, this is not the game for you. I can 100% guarantee that you'll never get a good night's sleep again, nor will you want to leave the cosy war,th of your keyboard once you have embarked on the epic that is UO! UO was the first real MMORPG (Masive Multyplayer Online RPG!) to take the world by storm, and is massivley addictive! Rather than starting with a mission and some weapons etc as you would in say - Baldurs gate, you start with only the tools of your trade - which you select at the start, be it magi, tailor, healer, cook etc, and then you work on becoming a mighty warrior or wizard, by training your player ina variety of different skills. You can go anywhere, be anyone and basically do whatever the hell you want! The game itself costs very little to purchase as it is just a map of the land you are living on and the monster files - everything else is based on a set of servers across the globe - called shards, as with evergquest you do pay a small monthly subscription to play - about $10 - which when you convert to stirling ends up at about £6.90 so its really very little! I played this game myself a while back and am looking to buy again as it was released when broadband was a new and very expensive thing - you can run quite well on a 56k modem, providing you are using an EU server. So if you want an addictive RPG that you never know whats gonna happen next then give UO a try. You get 30days free subscription, then you can cancel the account and never pay a penny again!
Ultima Online or UO as it is called to the gaming genre is one of those games that will never disappear. Its ideas should have revolutionised the gaming world. The game itself is a roleplay game where you play the part of a character who has just come into a new world. In this world you can choose three basic skills of your choice, and there are over 50 to choos from. You can then develop these skills making yourself either a crafter, warrior or magician. So you think, whats so different to other RPG's. Well say you want to be a crafter, what type of crafter? A carpenter? Blacksmith? Maybe a tailor? Or if your a warrior, what type of weapon would you choose? The elegant fencer, the powerful swordsmen, or maybe the robust macer? What im trying to illustrate is that this game is massively diverse. However it does not stop there. It is a purely online game, this means all the other players are real people which adds a massive extra dimension to the game. Just think about it, computer controlled enemies or friends are predictably stupid even in todays modern near to AI games. Real people are not, they may get you in an unguarded area and kill you and loot you. Or they may come to the rescue just when you need it. Next the map, to explore it all would take days, weeks and months and even then someone would mention a town or valley youve never heard of. And to help all us lazy gits get around the place there is a recall spell and recall books that instantly take us to a premarked location! Now here is the part that really does it for me. I dont know if any of you have ever tried scripting for a game that you play, but it is really hard. I once did some half life scripting and it did my head in. On UO the scripting is done in notepad! It is simple to learn and do and you can script anything from NPC's ie computer controlled monsters to menu's commands and items. That is a very brief overview o
f the game, and a written review like this from a science student could never do justice to the game. As a result i recommend you check the game out for itself. For a measly £4 you can get the game and play on free servers(which are the best). I am a GM on a shard called Mysteria. If you want to know more dont hesitate to ask me, and believe me this is a great way not to get bored!
Two years ago I installed and signed up for Ultima Online. You have to pay via credit card monthly after your first month which is a free trial period. At that time of course I was unsure whether I would stick with the game, but within a few days I was hooked !!! I have been playing regularly now for 2 years and the game is addictive as ever. So, whats it all about? Its a fantasy roleplaying game set in a world of monsters, dungeons, cities - infact it has everything you would expect in a fantasy world. You play a character that you have to decide what skills he is to train in. There are a choice of 40 skills but you are limited to how many you can have. Ultimately you wish to get to 100% in each skill, you can have 700% points so if you want skills at top level a character can have a maximum of 7 skills, but you can have more if you do not want them all to 100%. What you do in the game is up to you. You can have a crafter character specialising in woodwork, tinkering, smithing, fletching etc earning money from his products. A warrior who goes out killing nasty monsters with weapon skills to gain fame and fortune. Or a magician who learns magic spells to kill monsters. When monsters are killed you collect gold etc from the corpses. Cash is useful stuff obviously, collect enough and you can buy yourself better equipment and even a house in the lands (although houses are very expensive). Ok, thats the general game. The appeal though goes further than this. The other online players can talk to you onscreen and I have made many friends in this virtual world. Its an international community and on the whole most players are friendly and helpful. I have made friends in Ultima Online from all over the real world globe. The downsides, yes there are some sadly. The main one is that at peak playing times (weekends and early evenings) there are so many players online that the games servers slow down annoyingly. Sometimes its so
bad the game is totally unplayable but not often. OSI, the people who run the game have been promising for a while now that the servers will be upgraded to stop this slowdown, or lag as players affectionately call it. The other problem is from some nasty players who get a kick out of trying hard to make your game experience a hellish one. When this happens its best not to argue with them and move to another area in this vast virtual world. I play this game most days of the week and have not found another online game yet which comes close to its playability, addictiveness and vastness. If you are looking for an online adventure definately give this one a try.
Ultima online is a game with simple graphics and innovative play. The game gives you the feedom to progress however you like in the game, including which profession you would like to choose and there are various ways to earn money to buy better items in the game, inlcuding bartering with other online game players. The only setback would be that there is a limit to how many skills you can undertake and you must forget some in order to add more to your vault of knowledge. There are many areas within the game and there are many realms to explore, each suited to a particular level of character. There is even a special beginner's level so that you could get used to the game's interface. But, and this is rather a big but.... The game costs around £9.99 every month. Think about this wisely. £9.99 is really not that much, but when we think about it, the game can get VERY addictive and the ultimate goal would be to get your very own castle or house. This could take YEARS to progress and in the long-run, could amount to alot. To add to this, there is the factor of having to go online and pay a phone bill. However, we all know the enjoyment of interacting with other humans rather than the PC so for all those who have money to burn, I suggest going for this really addictive and enjoyable game.
I was introduced to Ultima Online by two friends who were already addicted. I, personally, did not see the appeal before I had the game - I had played Ultima 7, which I found to be fun but no great shakes, and imagined that Ultima Online would be more of the same. I couldn't have been more wrong, honestly. In fact, in a way, I'd almost like to shy you away from this game - the addiction it provides will remove you from society as your social life goes down the pan. Unless you are somehow able to play it without getting horribly addicted, in which case I envy you. Perhaps I just have an addictive personality. Mcdonalds would certainly testify to this effect. Ultima Online, is, in a word, superb (I know I use the word a lot, but bare with me). The Quake Players amongst us, interested in nothing but where the next frag comes from, will find the game a lot of fun, as they can play many different types of warriors to combat the hundreds of different monsters in the game. Or, alternatively, the fragster can go down the Dark Path and become a PK (In Online RPG-speak, a Player-Killer), a murderer who preys on other players in the game to make a living. However, UO (Ultima Online) also makes room for those players who don't even want to fight monsters, but rather fulfil a useful position in an online world. Thus, players can practise normal professions, such as baking, ironmongering, animal taming, or bowcraft. This is what really seperates UO from the rest of the online RPG's out there, such as Everquest - Both hardcore RPG players and those of the Quake generation are all welcome, and can happily co-exist. There are problems, however. When I began playing UO, I was a very happy man. The only problems that actually annoyed me were the frequent PK attacks on my character; But I accepted that there are certain areas that a player can conduct business where they cannot be attacked by PK's, and also areas
where PK's generally do not frequent. PK's are prohibited from entering towns in UO, and are not likely to be encountered in sparsely populated areas such as dense forests. That was before the UO boom really took off, while the connection rate was still acceptable. UO can be very annoying to play nowadays, because there are so many players in the game, and although Origin have seen fit to provide us with our own European Server (Which was not always the case) the server runs extremely badly at the best of times. Unless you are playing during the weekday (When the majority of the European Server's players are at work) or very late at night, you may find the connection rate unacceptable. These problems get even worse when you consider that many free-access ISP's are not at the best speed in any case. I myself use an ISP which allows me free access but only in evenings or weekends, which means I can only play UO really well during the early hours of the morning at the weekend. Despite these problems, UO is an excellent game and well worth the money. In fact, since buying UO a year and a half ago I have not bought a single PC game since. If you can find a way to get around the connection rate you will have a whale of a time. Highly recommended. NB - I do not believe that UO in this form is available, anymore. There have been several patches since UO was released, and several large updates that have been actually released for purchase (Including 'The Second Age', which also has reviews listed for it in the same area you'll find this review). Those that have an earlier version of the game may sometimes find that they are not allowed to access the later versions of the game; For instance, when 'The Second Age' was released, those that did not get the patch did not have access to the new areas 'The Second Age' provided. This is a moot point, since as far as I know Origin are now always offering full upg
rade to the latest version of the game. They have learned from their mistakes.
A Game or a Life? This is the question I asked myself after playing this game. Ultima Online, by Origin, is considered to be an online role playing game. However, this little 'game' has a much larger scope and depth than any other game on the market. It combines elements of a classic RPG, with activities found in our every day lives. Unlike most role playing titles, UO can be enjoyed fully, without even killing a monster. It is also important to note, that Ultima Online takes place in a persistent world. Basically, this means that the world is always present and active in real time; you can join it whenever you want to. In the beginning of your journey, your main goal is to find a profession that you would be happy with for a while, and carry out associated tasks to earn money. I personally chose to be a blacksmith/miner type character. I earned my money by mining for metals, that I can then refine into ignots, which can be made into useful objects. I got my first few coins by selling some low quality armour and equipment to computer controlled store owners, and of course, other players. At this point, you may think that this is very boring, but just like in real life, there is a lot of interaction with other players, which makes the experience a lot more exciting. Sometimes people try to help you, steal from you and even kill you. After your wealth increases, you have the choice of buying a variety of houses or ships, which you can then use for what ever purpose you want. The easiest way to survive and to get along in such a world, is to make friends. The experience becomes a lot more enjoyable when you accomplish tasks in a group. There’s nothing like going on a big adventure to some far away island with a group of friends on a big treasure hunt. Ultime Online has become the best selling graphical online role playing game of all time, which should be no surprise to anyone that has played it. Even years after its release, it still
has a huge and friendly community. It is hard to review a game such as this, because the enjoyment you get from it depends on what you make of it. But I am sure that no one will regret buying this masterpiece. Official site: http://www.owo.com Pros: Too many, you should just check out fan sites to see some of its features Cons: Pay to play; check website for details Lag may sometimes be a problem
While the Ultima Collection does not necessarily promise to give you every Ultima ever made, its failure to include the Underworld and Worlds of Ultima games makes it feel painfully incomplete for the fan hoping to get his hands on a complete archive of Garriott's work. But it does contain several of the best role-playing games of all time. It's a package worth owning for any number of reasons, not the least of which is that half of these games are still perfectly worth playing for the first time, or playing all over again.