You are the Avatar, returning to Britannia after 200 years of absence. Strange ritual murders are committed in the land while an organization known as The Fellowship is gathering a huge following. And there is this being known as The Guardian whose mockery follows you on your travels. Your old companions will join you on your quest through Britannia as you slowly discover the secret behind the Fellowship and the Guardian.
Ultima VII features completely revamped graphics and controls. The traditional Ultima top-down view of the world now fills the entire screen, with other informational windows overlaid on top of it only when necessary. Both world interaction and dialogue are fully mouse-controlled. The tactical combat system of previous Ultimas was replaced with a real-time system where only general strategies can be set and party members fight automatically.
The Britannia of Ultima VII is a large virtual world with lots of details: hundreds of NPCs can be talked to, virtually every object in the game is usable in some way and many side quests await the player.
The black stone starts to shine. You know what it means: Britannia needs you! As you run to the back of your house, you see that there is already a red moon gate open. "What could it mean?" you think to yourself as you heroically step through the red mist into another world...
And so starts another adventure in the land of Ultima. A long time has passed since your quest with the gargoyles concluded and things have changed quite a bit; the user interface being one of them. This time you have a glorious full-screen view of Britannia and its inhabitants as they carry out their daily duties.
The graphics in this game are superb, although sometimes it might be a bit hard to see certain objects as they can be very small (keys for example). The world is now even more alive as people carry on with their lives cooking, working and sleeping. Each person has their own personality and you will see that most of them are important in your quests in one way or another. The world is also a little more intelligent in this game. You will not be able to just steal anything as your party members could get annoyed with you. Also attacking people in town could attract the town guard and then you're in trouble.
It wouldn't be an RPG without spells of some kind, and there are plenty. As in Ultima VI, you need reagents and a spell book to perform spells.
The sound in this game is also very good. I'm always amazed when such simple music can sound so wonderful and deep and keep me mesmerized for hours on end.
The game itself is very large and will take a long time to finish. You will have a choice of many side-quests along the way to solving the main quest and each of them can keep you occupied for ages.
The one thing missing from the game, in my opinion, is the character creation; which was brilliant in Ultima VI. You get to choose a name, a gender and a portrait. This to me is not enough as I think character creation is probably the best part about RPG's.
People who downloaded Ultima 7: The Black Gate have also downloaded:
Ultima 7: Part Two - Serpent Isle, Ultima 6: The False Prophet, Ultima 8: Pagan, Ultima Underworld: The Stygian Abyss, Ultima Underworld 2: Labyrinth of Worlds, Ultima 5: Warriors of Destiny, Ultima IV: Quest of The Avatar VGA, Elder Scrolls, The: Arena
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