Last month we learned that a new online Ultima game was making its way to the PC and iPad soon thanks to EA and Bioware Mythic. It’s called Ultima Forever and although there weren’t a ton of details at that time, but we did find out several key things. First, it would be based on the 1985 classic Ultima IV, where your chosen character quest his heart out in an effort to embody 8 virtues and become the mighty Avatar.

The next big feature in Ultima Forever is its cross-platform play, meaning you can team up with buddies whether they’re on desktop or iPad. Finally, we learned that the game will be free-to-play, but that the developers are very keen on not limiting the free experience for their players. Monetization will come in the form of decorative items for you character or speeding up some of the progression if you’re the impatient type.

It all sounds pretty good, and our resident Ultima Online advocate Eli Hodapp seems to be bursting at the seams to get in on some Ultima Forever iPad action. Over the weekend, IGN once again got the scoop on some early details about the game from an interview with executive producer Jeff Skalski.

A few of the highlights include how Ultima Forever is being produced with the touch screen in mind first, then seeing how to adapt things to a mouse and keyboard for the desktop. That bodes well for iPad gamers as typically the translation of a computer game can be cumbersome on the touch interface in terms of UI. Also, fans of the original Ultima IV should be able to recognize certain characters and significant events making their way into Ultima Forever, though the actual storyline is taking place 21 years beyond Ultima IV.

One of Skalski’s more interesting answers has to do with your character and the moral choices you will make throughout your journey. These aren’t the typical “black and white, good guy-bad guy” moral systems, but stuff that’s a bit more ambiguous. One example was taking a quest from a wife whose husband went missing after going to explore a cave. You check it out, but discover the man dead and find evidence that he had been unfaithful to his wife.

When you return to her, you’ll need to choose to tell her the truth, which will be even more upsetting on top of the news of his death, or hiding his transgressions since he’s already passed and it will only make the whole situation worse. Either choice is a right one, but it will shape what kind of personality your character has during the game.

Be sure to check out this latest interview for even more insights into Ultima Forever, including a bit about the change to real-time combat and information on the first playable classes that will launch with the game, which you can see pictured above. We’ll be hanging out and waiting for any more news on Ultima Forever over in our forums and of course are anxious to get our hands on it hopefully sometime soon.

[Via IGN]

  • Rainier

    An Insta-Buy if I ever saw one!

    • tootiegooch

       I will also "buy" this on release day! One thing I haven't seen discussed in any of the Ultima Forever previews/reveals: will it replicate the Ultima "real-world" feel? Day/night cycle, usable items, npc's that had daily routines, that kind of thing. That was always the best part of Ultima to me (I think it's why it died too, Ultima was very different things to different people).

      • Hey man, remember the 80s?

        They've already said the NPC routines won't be part of the remake, sadly.

  • Vince

    "speeding up some of the progression if you’re the impatient type." When this is implemented in an single player ios game you can call it optional but in a can essentially pay to win and dominate over other players. It is not uncommon in free to play MMORPGs and I don't think it will deter anyone from trying it out.. I is a freaking Ultima game!

  • paulishuku

    Dangit no iPhone release?

    • Shooks

      Yeah. Kinda "Bleh" about that myself. But, it does make sense for this game. I don't think it'd work even close to well (or as well as it would on the iPad) if it were on iPhone/iTouch.

      • xDyNaMiiCx

        What's the point porting games on iOS when your not porting them to iPhone/iTouch wtf lol, Order and chaos and gameloft only smart devs.

      • mikesiny89

        If they don't make it so iPod touch/iPhone users can play then I definitely won't be playing this game. I'm not too fond of sitting at my PC and don't own that expensive piece of crap tablet and wouldn't dare use that big bulky thing in public. I think all iPod and iPhone users will agree that it's not fair and inconvenient to only allow it for iOS and Windows. Multi platform is what spacetimestudios did with their games. I'm looking forward to Arcane legends. Ultima, I was at first but now I'm not.

      • Vince

         @@. Wow... self-conscious much ? So much hate on the iPad too

      • REkzkaRZ

        I don't hate iPad, but I don't understand why I'd want to spend $500 on a bigger touchscreen cellphone that won't make calls when I can get a bigger screen computer for about the same price...?

        I understand the iPad is a 'data services consumption' device, but some of us still want to be producers as well.I remember being at a programming event and a programmer guy was sitting next to me w/his brand new iPad (after initial release).  I asked him how he liked it, and he said, "It's amazing.  But I'm not sure what to do with it."
        Which explains a lot about the product -- good for 'casual data consumers', but seriously weakened for hardcore dev's.
        My understanding was iOS was supposed to allow people to develop from inside the OS, which makes so much sense to me -- ie build on your phone/pad, run on device, & post to market for distribution.  But that ain't how it works.That said, I think my iPhone is a pretty amazing smartphone (w/amazingly short battery life).

      • Vince

        "Which explains a lot about the product -- good for 'casual data consumers', but seriously weakened for hardcore dev's."

        It is clear you have a good understanding what tablets are for and which consumer base Apple is why complain about not being able to develop on your ios device? =p

        Tablet/tablet PCs have always been popular with wide range of consumers. It is easily integrated into lifestyles/routines be it using it for note taking/presentations/e book reading/gaming/ general entertainment etc...and with higher portability and a battery life much longer than that of a laptop it is easy to see why they are so popular.

        At the end of the day... Tablets/iPads are luxury items... just like your iphone. Surely you can find cheaper why bring up the price?

  • mikesiny89

    Is it me or was my comment deleted? It took me like five minutes to write that

  • Briker Ed

    Meh, no iPhone/iPod touch. . . . Pass. I wanna play it on something that can fit into my pocket, on the go, and store it away just as easily. Don't want to haul the iPad with me, bag or w/e if I absolutely don't have to, and as much as I loved Ultima, it's not a "have to" situation for me. 

    • mikesiny89

      Agreed with briker. And I'm not sure how that makes me self conscious? I rather have something I can easily carry, take out of my pocket and play when I'm on the train or bus. I do travel back and fourth frequently.

  • Huy Ngo

    I'm gonna stay skeptically alert on this one.  I'd rather have an iOS port of Ultima 6 and 7.  Hell even Ultima Online for iOS client would be a safer gamble.

  • regkilla

    no iPhone support and I signed up for the Beta?!

  • Quickmix

    Im a Big Ultima Fan since the first Release 🙂

  • Adams Immersive

    I’m all in favor of selling purely decorative stuff. I’ve bought that to thank developers in the past, and even because I wanted it if I was into the game enough!

  • lunch trolol

    'Change your personality' based on in-game choices? I've read a lot of the Ultima Forever coverage, and I haven't seen anything to suggest that. Taking a bit of artistic license here, TA? Doesn't have to be true if it makes for good copy I suppose. 

  • REkzkaRZ

    Oh yeah, I would be psyched if Ultima was available for iPhone.  Not likely going to play on PC unless it's browser only, and not an iPad owner.

  • Paul Clark

    Well, Im a 14yr vet in UO, and personally aplaud this new addition, if only I could transfer my character , skills, banks and castles into the new version....