A stunning RPG based game, Ultima VI is top of the line. Best of the Ultima series!
This was my first Ultima game I've played and probably the first true RPG game with a 3rd person perspective. Ultima VI is one of those games that really embedded a significant influence on me that I will always regard as "the good ol' days".
A very user friendly game for those who have never played RPG games or the Ultima series before. It has a very good if not great story line. Ultima VI and probably other Ultima games kind of bring a sort of virtual reality where a kid and his computer game always wanted to be a hero of some sort...to actually be a hero in all those games he's been playing. The intro portrayed that fantasy, you in front of your computer being summoned out of know where suddenly being recognized as an Avatar - which means in Hindu Mythology the embodiment of a God in human form.
You really don't have to know much about the previous Ultima games to play this game. The story plot kinda gives the story where its been a hundred more years since your last return, so your practically a myth (everyone in Britannia are immortals in the sense that they don't die of old age) so some character from the previous Ultima games may recognize you.
The flexibility of the adventure gives you time to explore to your own leisure.
This game has numerous puzzles, most have nothing to do with the story line to finish the game, but those were probably the best ones.
Despite that the walkthrough is actually provided in the manual, it still doesn't stop you from playing the game if not only thrills you more. It's probably because everyone hates being stuck while playing a game. They trusted you enough to give you a detailed walkthrough of the game, considering that there's a lot of things you can do aside from the main plot.
The motto of Origin Systems is "We create worlds". That's one company I know that lived up if not more to that concept. The world of Britannia is astounding. It's not just background graphics when you walk around. You can explore (by foot) the whole damn continent. Every once in a while you find a cave or abandoned house with magical items and stuff which make exploring a top priority. Even great modern RPG's like Arcanum
or Baldur's Gate
doesn't come close to the freedom of game play. They're too much stuck with the main plot. In Ultima VI, the main plot is just a mini quest. It doesn't introduce you to a new story line that changes the whole story like modern day RPG's, Ultima VI totally depends on your discreation. When and where is totally up to you. There's no such thing as a wrong move or action that destroys the chances of a perfect ending. That reasurrance has a very nice feel of security.
One of the greatest features that made Ultima VI a game to remember is item management. I have never seen a game before that had the total freedom to manipulate items with so much freedom. Almost every item available can be used even though some are useless, like chairs. You can either sit or move them, but at least you can manipulate them, they're not just an immovable object in most games. The fun part of this feature is the puzzle solving that has to do with objects. The developers did they're best to try to hide secret doors by putting objects in front of them to hide. Everytime you see a room but see know door, your compelled to find out where the entrance is...moving objects around, practically re-arranging everything to find that one secret door.
The plot has one of the best moral embedded stories I've ever seen. It's about the evil of human ignorance and prejudice. Which is portrayed by the fear of the local populace towards the "demon-looking" gargoyles portrayed as the evil of the land. Even one of the best RPG games I've played: Final Fantasy VIII
lacks the "moral story", as it's more into romantice scenes.
I don't know how the developers did it, if there was one game that taught a child about everything to be a Paladin or champion of goodness. This game would be it. This game babysits kids better than most humans I know.
Besides the occasional "bugs", there were some puzzles that I haven't solved, which was kinda annoying - and was not in the manual (the prophecy).
The manual doesn't provide the non-story puzzles. Other than that, it was pretty much...perfect!
The Bottom Line
If you want to know the Ultima series better, this is a great place to start!
Say hello to Sherry the mouse for me, I'm gonna miss her!
This review is dedicated to Shamino, Iolo and Dupre. The best companions from UItima an RPG fan could ever wish for.
Thou art the Avatar. Thou shall triumph and good shall prevail!