When I talk about old games, it may sound that I wish to turn back the dial to relive those times. But what I am actually doing, or attempting, is present the shocks and value a game should do and ought to do. Origin’s games were always radical and so forward thinking that you literally had to build a new computer just to play the game.
When a new RPG comes out today, there is new ‘adventure’ but the formula we have all seen. Ultima never stayed with the same formula… ever. Each game, it did something extremely different. This always infuriated fans of the previous Ultima. When was the last major innovation we’ve had in the RPG? It would be the MMORPG… which Ultima also created. And, bizarrely, some of the innovations of Ultima still haven’t been able to be duplicated by today’s RPGs. Why can’t someone surpass Ultima VII? It’s been TWENTY YEARS ALREADY.
To attempt to give a taste of all that an Ultima did, look at this review of Ultima 6. The reviewer sounds amazed at all the massive detail and size of the game because he is amazed. These were very extraordinary games. And keep in mind the game came in a jewel box with an actual cloth map, multiple booklets, and a trinket. Each Ultima game had better packaging than the best Collector’s Edition games do today.