Underworld Ascendant, the spiritual successor to the two Ultima Underworld games, has gone through a second major update. This update completely reworks the world structure so much that developer OtherSide Entertainment encourages players to start a new game to see what’s changed.
Ultima Underworld: The Stygian Abyss, released in 1992, was a revolutionary 3D dungeon crawler spin-off of Richard Garriott’s Ultima series of video games. After receiving a sequel less than a year later, the spin-off series went quiet until Underworld Ascendant, a sequel divorced from the lore of Ultima, released late last year. Unfortunately, the game received poor to mixed reviews, with PC Gamer’s review giving it a 25 out of 100 and calling it “…phenomenally bad, a catastrophic mess of poor design ideas, woeful execution, and bugs the size of buildings.”
OtherSide Entertainment has been working to fix the game’s various problems. A month after release, OtherSide announced two major updates for the game. The first, which went live a week after their announcement, allowed players to save almost anywhere, made combat more dynamic, fine-tuned player movement, and improved quests and levels.
In the patch notes posted on Steam a few days ago, the team describes just how much the game has changed in this new update. Originally, the game was made up of seven large, semi-open levels accessible through portals found in the stages, as well as a central hub where you could get quests from a notice board. Now, the levels are all interconnected via The Grand Staircase, which spirals down through the dungeon. Also at the Staircase is Haprukula, a companion who takes on the role of quest-giver and can take you back to the central hub via a portal if you want to buy items or upgrade your skills.
In addition, the game’s lighting has been redone, enemy patrol AI is remodeled, and new high-end weapons can be found as loot. You can read all about it in the patch notes, as well as hear the team talk about the update in the video above.