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Pre-Alpha of Ultima Underworld sequel Underworld Ascendant is live

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It’s been 25 years since the launch of the original Ultima Underworld: The Stygian Abyss and now players can finally get their hands on the latest sequel, Underworld Ascendant, albeit in the form of a pre-alpha build.

After a Kickstarter campaign that raised just shy of $860,000 over its original $600,000 goal, a pre-alpha demo of the new game is now available to backers who pledged $75 or more. This demo gives a taste of Underworld Ascendant and will be periodically updated with new features. Players who missed out on the campaign can purchase the demo for $5, although they miss out on the rest of the pledge benefits.

Promising a ‘dynamic, player-driven narrative’ and innovations in the sandbox concepts that inspired games like Deus Ex and the Elder Scolls series, Underworld Ascendant certainly has the pedigree behind it.

That’s because it’s being created by OtherSide Entertainment, a team made up of key developers (including original creators Paul Neurath and Warren Spector) that has a history of creating stone cold classics such as System Shock, Thief, Deus Ex and much more.

At its core, Underworld Ascendant is a first-person fantasy RPG that plunges you into ‘The Stygian Abyss’. As you develop your avatar, you begin to explore the vast, subterranean world and the rivaling factions that vie for its dominance.

OtherSide describes how players will be able to experience a fully realized world entangled in an epic story, invite friends to take part in some co-op dungeon crawling and even craft user-generated content for other players.

The other big selling point being pushed is the ‘Improvisation Engine’. Much like the games that were inspired by the original Underworld (and indeed Ultima Underworld itself), this new incarnation in the series is focused on choice. The example we’re given is a player trying to cross a stream. Do they chance a quick jaunt across and potentially face their watery doom? Or do they charm a giant cave spider to carry them across?

OtherSide is promising that this ‘Improvisation Engine’ will encourage players to experiment, potentially devising techniques to progress that even the designers hadn’t thought of. What they call ‘player-authored gameplay’ is a core theme running throughout and is easily the most intriguing aspect of the game so far.

This concept even extends to the combat and exploration. In melee scraps, timing and maneuvering outweigh spamming left click, whereas magic spells can be combined with each other or the environment to potentially greater effect. On the other hand, while you’re exploring you’ll have to improvise solutions to physics based traps and puzzles that threaten to slow your progress.

Time will tell whether Underworld Ascendant has been worth the wait. It’s coming from a team with a storied history but it’s early days. With this studio also developing System Shock 3, it could be a big time coming up for OtherSide Entertainment.

 

 

 

 

 

UK based gaming writer, raised on a diet of Street Fighter and Isometric RPG's. I enjoy playing every game I can get my grubby little hands on.

Gaming

Over 2,900 PS5 and PS4 games are now on sale at the Epic PS Store

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It’s that time again when Sony unleashes a flood of discounts, offering nearly 3,000 games and add-on packs to tempt your wallet. There is a wide variety of standout options available, such as Monster Hunter World, priced at just £7.99, and the Deluxe Edition of Lies of P, now at a reduced price of £44.99.

These are a few of the impressive deals we came across while exploring the PS Store:

  • Goat Simulator 3: £12.49
  • Insurgency Sandstorm Gold Edition: £35.99
  • Lost Judgment: £12.49
  • My Hero One’s Justice 2 Ultimate Edition: £13.19
  • Persona 5 Royal: £24.99
  • Resident Evil Village: £13.99
  • Riders Republic Skate Edition: £14.99
  • Watch Dogs Legion Gold Edition: £12.74

Several of these deals are at all-time low prices, and as you may have observed, many of these packages come with extra DLC packs and content. Kindly be advised that the article will be updated with US pricing once it is available.

Meanwhile, has anything piqued your interest? Check out the PS Store for any current discounts, and share your findings in the comments below.

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SMT 5: Vengeance Reveals Extended Trailer, Physical Pre-Orders Available for PS5

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The newly announced Shin Megami Tensei V: Vengeance will be available on PS5 and PS4 this June, offering PlayStation players the opportunity to delve into the demonic RPG that was previously only on Nintendo Switch. Atlus has unveiled the physical editions available for pre-order for PS5 (PS4 pre-orders will be digital only), along with an extended cut trailer.

The physical standard edition, priced at $59.99, will be offered in a SteelBook variant. Additionally, all pre-orders include two in-game items: a Gleam Grenade for dealing a small amount of damage and the Haraedo Bead for restoring a small amount of HP to all allies. Both have unlimited uses in combat.

Moreover, there will be a $69.99 Digital Deluxe Edition offered, featuring DLC aimed at providing a smoother start for players in this challenging game, along with a couple of Demon Subquests.

  • Shin Megami Tensei V: Vengeance base game
  • Downloadable Content: Mitama Dance of Wealth
  • Downloadable Content: Mitama Dance of EXP
  • Downloadable Content: Mitama Dance of Miracles
  • Demon Subquest: Sakura Cinders of the East
  • Demon Subquest: Holy Will and Profane Dissent

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What are your thoughts on SMT 5: Vengeance? Do you intend to purchase a copy? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section below.

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Tekken 8’s upcoming Tekken Shop will offer a variety of paid and free content exclusively on PS5

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Bandai Namco has confirmed that the Tekken Shop in the upcoming Tekken 8 will offer a mix of paid and free content. Premium items will be purchasable using a currency known as Tekken Coins. The Tekken Shop will undergo monthly updates, with the developer emphasizing that the intention is to enhance the competitive fighter with new customization items rather than solely for financial gain. However, there is no reason why it cannot be both.

Revealed in a recent Tekken Talk Live stream, chief producer Yasuda Esports shared some of the upcoming features for the Tekken Shop, seemingly aiming to address any potential criticism proactively. “It has been reported that certain individuals may experience an adverse response upon encountering the term’shop”; however, the focus remains on enhancing the game by introducing new customization options to maintain its appeal.”

According to Mr. Esports, the format will be similar to Tekken 7, and the focus is on improving the game experience rather than just making a profit.

Do you think Bandai Namco is establishing the Tekken Shop to maintain the game’s appeal, generate revenue from microtransactions, or perhaps a combination of both? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section below.

 

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