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Underworld Ascendant's Linux port has now been released

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Get ready to dungeon crawl! After many delays, the sequel to the classic Ultima Underworld games has finally seen a Linux release.

First off—to address the elephant in the room—Underworld Ascendant was absolutely savaged during its initial release. There were bugs aplenty and I saw complaints that it felt like an unfinished product. It’s been about nine months since its original release and, since then, there have been several major updates to the title. I haven’t followed development closely enough to assure you that all of these concerns have been addressed but the patch notes since read like rather major changes across the board.

From the hour or so that I’ve spent with the game, the Linux port seems to be a solid one. Performance was steady and there were no stability problems. The only real issue I’ve noticed is that the brightness slider doesn’t seem to do anything. Judging from forum posts, however, that may well be a cross-platform issue introduced in this latest patch and will hopefully get sorted out soon.

Underworld Ascendant is otherwise a first-person dungeon crawler that sees players deal with all sorts of obstacles and enemies. There’s a heavy emphasis on lateral thinking with the physics and elements of the areas being possible ways to deal with adversity. As an example, wooden doors can be burned down or bashed in lieu of using a key and enemies can be coaxed to walk into traps.

I haven’t played enough to be able to tell you more than just the basics of the system but I did notice that the AI reacts to things like illumination and how stealthily you approach it. There’s also a robust magic system and no preordained classes when it comes to character building so you can build up the kind of character that you prefer as you go along. From what I’ve seen thus far there’s plenty of room for experimentation in how areas and enemies can be approached.

That said, I did notice a few less-than-stellar issues with combat and the AI that make me think that not all the issues have been sorted yet. Combat feels a bit clunky and not as smooth as I may have liked, judging from my first couple of encounters. It’s not sufficient to turn me off from the game yet but things like silly clipping and enemies attacking from the other side of a closed door certainly haven’t left a particularly positive impression upon me.

I’m cautiously optimistic about what I’ve seen so far and look forward to sinking in more time with the game in the coming days and weeks. It’s an ambitious game for sure and the long wait we Linux gamers have had to endure may be well worth the price for all the balance and polish the game has gotten since launch.

You can pick up a copy of Underworld Ascendant on the Humble Store or Steam.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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toor 20 August 2019 at 10:00 am UTC
This game has one of the worst rating I have ever seen. Everybody spit on it, critics, players.
scaine 20 August 2019 at 11:55 am UTC
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toorThis game has one of the worst rating I have ever seen. Everybody spit on it, critics, players.

Its launch problems crippled its rating, bit it's had nothing positive reviews since hotfix 3 came out. I'm looking forward to trying it.

Shame that the tutorial is apparently still very buggy and prone to crashing though.


Last edited by scaine at 20 August 2019 at 11:56 am UTC
Eike 20 August 2019 at 12:04 pm UTC
scaine
toorThis game has one of the worst rating I have ever seen. Everybody spit on it, critics, players.

Its launch problems crippled its rating, bit it's had nothing positive reviews since hotfix 3 came out. I'm looking forward to trying it.

43% positive overall,
66% lately.
It seems it at least got less bad.
g000h 20 August 2019 at 12:39 pm UTC
Probably will pick it up when it's on discount. I've had it in my wishlist for a while, waiting for the eventual Linux release. Glad that it is finally here, and also pleased that the game has been receiving numerous improvements and isn't as bad as the earlier offerings.
14 20 August 2019 at 2:11 pm UTC
The style of the game is pretty appealing to me. It reminds me of another really old, first-person, fantasy, action game that I can't remember right now. Ah! I think it was a Might & Magic game. It's going to bug me until I figure it out.

EDIT: Found it! I really liked the gameplay feel of Dark Messiah.


Last edited by 14 at 20 August 2019 at 2:14 pm UTC
scaine 20 August 2019 at 2:21 pm UTC
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I recently replayed the whole of Might and Magic Dark Messiah as I'd just used the initial Proton to play Dishonored and I just love Arkane Studios and everything they do. Dark Messiah shows its age a little now, but honest only a little and you could see some of the Dishonored promise even back then. Incredible experience.

As for the rating being only 'less bad', it looks like the 'recent' rating on Steam includes reviews from before Hotfix 3 which was where the game turned something of a corner.
Shmerl 20 August 2019 at 3:40 pm UTC
What's the story with GOG release?
drlamb 20 August 2019 at 11:20 pm UTC
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I bought this one and have been enjoying it. I love this style of game and my appreciation only grows with the fact that it's running natively.

Runs 100-144 fps (vsync for freesync) maxed out at 2560x1440 on Mesa.
bird_or_cage 22 August 2019 at 12:56 pm UTC
I will not buy this game, because by doing so I would (unfortunately) support the publisher 505 Games, who decided to cancel Linux and Mac release of Bloodstained and denied kickstarter backers the refund.
scaine 22 August 2019 at 5:20 pm UTC
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bird_or_cageI will not buy this game, because by doing so I would (unfortunately) support the publisher 505 Games, who decided to cancel Linux and Mac release of Bloodstained and denied kickstarter backers the refund.

Ha, just noticed that today when I went to look into buying this - I got the "Excluded publisher based on your preferences" message from Steam. Goddam. I didn't even lose anything in that Kickstarter, I just blacklisted the publisher based on principle.

Maybe I'll play this through the Humble Monthly one day in the future. Plenty more fish in the sea, I reckon.
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