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Underworld Ascendant Update #31: Introduction to Marcaul
Game News - posted by Infinitron on Fri 9 December 2016, 21:29:44Tags: Joe Fielder; OtherSide Entertainment; Underworld Ascendant
This month's Underworld Ascendant update was supposed to come out over a week ago, but was mysteriously delayed. Turns out OtherSide had to finalize Underworld Overlord, their bizarre Dungeon Keeper-esque VR spinoff title for Google's Daydream platform, which came out yesterday. Later that day, OtherSide finally released a new Ascendant update to backers, a tantalizing but disappointingly undetailed introduction to the Marcaul vertical slice scheduled for release in February. The update is now available to the general public on the studio's brand new website:
As you know, Underworld Ascendant takes place in a deep, dark subterranean realm, set into the caldera of a volcano. Life exists there – improbably – but, there are sights of wonder.
One of them is Marcaul, a Tangiers-like neutral zone, a key nexus point for the player throughout the game. As you start our current level, you glimpse it in the distance, a beautiful vista, but are barred from entry. The inhabitants there want you to prove yourself first — before they’ll allow you inside. You’re sent to perform The Challenge of Ishtass in the caves below.
This is how we introduce the player to The Improvisation Engine: the bevy of tools at your disposal that allows player-authored solutions to problems. It’s one of the key aspects that differentiates Underworld Ascendant from other games.
Later, we’ll get into the particulars about which Fighter, Rogue, and Mage-related skills and equipment are available to you and what the (secret, lore-related) goal of The Challenge of Ishtass is.
But, what’s barring you from your goal?
- LIZARD MEN — Well-known and loved characters from Ultima Underworld, who were tied into some of the most memorable moments of the game. There are swordsmen and archers with behaviors — and magical weapons — that are clearly readable from a distance.
- THE MIND CRIPPLER – It’s a horror…. A disembodied brain with stinging tentacles and a unique hunting technique: It uses a psychic attack that enrages other creatures and causes them to fight, then hangs back and eats the fallen.
Each class has a different take on solving challenges and unique options, while the environment – and the creatures within it – present interesting opportunities as well.
That’s what The Improvisation Engine is all about: player choice. We present a challenge and a bevy of interesting tools, and the solution is up to you.
It’s one the distinctive, core elements of Underworld Ascendant and the next stage in the kind of player-authored gameplay that Looking Glass helped invent.
We’ll have more details next time and, as mentioned last month, intend to share it with backers early next year!
Another month, then.