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Did DOOM's coverage cause people to miss the better First-Person action game, Ultima Underworld?

Which do you prefer?

  • Ultima Underworld: The Stygian Abyss

    Votes: 22 25.0%
  • DOOM

    Votes: 66 75.0%

  • Total voters
    88
D

Deleted member 17706

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I imagine I would answer Ultima Underworld if I played it back when it was new. Alas, I did not, so DOOM it is.
 

Shadowstar39

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Also, the GOG.com version is set-up like shit (the audio and mouse are configured completely wrong and require you to fuck around with a bunch of config files for half an hour until it works properly) and there's no source-ports with options for better controls, unlike Wolfenstein or Doom which are incredibly easy to set up to play like a modern video game and in far higher resolutions.
Is that the base version of the old game, or the enhanced edition? I think i have the enchanced and i haven't had issues that i remember.
Oh and a remake just called "System Shock" is coming out this summer , supposedly:

 
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apples and oranges , the game probably was equally appreciated at the time , by dungeon crawling , enthusiasts.
a book for instance , may still be appreciated years later , or grow in popularity , if good.

same with anything of quality.

did mario , make you miss sonic?? i doubt it. :)
 
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apples and oranges , the game probably was equally appreciated at the time , by dungeon crawling , enthusiasts.
a book for instance , may still be appreciated years later , or grow in popularity , if good.

same with anything of quality.

did mario , make you miss sonic?? i doubt it. :)

besides , didn't might and magic do a better attempt than ultima at it?
 
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remember that isometrically designed masterpiece , cadaver>? so many classic , to miss a good game , is to miss a good song.
 

IntentionalPun

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It just wasn't as accessible.. none of Looking Glass's games ever really were, and that's fine. It was pretty fucking janky compared to Doom.

Looking Glasses games were still popular with more hardcore gamers, Doom was just a game that broke through that barrier because it was more fast paced and shooting focused. System Shock was probably their first really big game, but still more hardcore.

People didn't miss it because of Doom, they missed it because not everyone was into RPGs.

But yes, it had looking up and down.. there were lots of engines out there one-upping each other.. from Looking Glass, iD, Apogee.. eventually Epic.
 
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Bragr

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Look, it's a fucking crying shame that Ultima Underworld's been largely forgotten. It's still a fantastic game, absurdly influential and still forward-thinking in a lot of ways. I mean, Zelda: Breath of the Wild was praised for features like being able to stick food, like an apple, near a fire and watching it burn and cook when 25 fucking years earlier Underworld let you shove a stick of corn into a fire to make popcorn. Shit, most modern games don't do locked doors anywhere near as good as Underworld, forcing you find a key or fuck around with some tedious lockpicking minigame, despite the fact that your character's armed to the teeth with a million different weapons that would surely blow the door off its hinges. And yet, in arguably the first ever real-time 3D, first person RPG, you could totally destroy any locked door in the game if you were powerful enough, or had the right weapons or magic.
There are 10 thousand systems involved with making Link burn an apple, whereas making popcorn in Underworld is like a day's fix by one dude.
 

cucuchu

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They hate single player games. Can't monitize it with mini dlcs and gold packs, microtransactions and predetory bullcrap like with all their mp games.
They need to give Garriot his baby back. WTF... That was his passion project for over 2 decades. Im sure he has the cash for it if EA has a price. They aren't using it.
At least Ubisoft does stuff with might and magic (we had a mainline game a few years prior after a decade of nothing).

Id love a new ultima game with it's creator involved.

Ask and you shall receive. Look up Shroud of the Avatar. It was Richard Garriott's latest project and suppose to be the spiritual successor to the Ultima series. And it failed horribly. (Quite an interesting story actually, and an interesting case study on what happenes to crowd funded games when developers cave in to the demands of their highest paying backers). I just don't think Garriott has the passion to create games anymore and is more concerned with activism/space travel/anything but game development.

It sucks but it kind of goes to show that these legendary game developers are often just products of their time. Their creativity compounded with where gaming trends were at the time and the technology available allowed them to flourish. But these things don't last and time moves on. On the bright side, their games still exist and may one day inspire new developers to create something just as amazing for the current times.
 
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Shadowstar39

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Ask and you shall receive. Look up Shroud of the Avatar. It was Richard Garriott's latest project and suppose to be the spiritual successor to the Ultima series. And it failed horribly. (Quite an interesting story actually, and an interesting case study on what happenes to crowd funded games when developers cave in to the demands of their highest paying backers). I just don't think Garriott has the passion to create games anymore and is more concerned with activism/space travel/anything but game development.

It sucks but it kind of goes to show that these legendary game developers are often just products of their time. Their creativity compounded with where gaming trends were at the time and the technology available allowed them to flourish. But these things don't last and time moves on. On the bright side, their games still exist and may one day inspire new developers to create something just as amazing for the current times.
OH crap, I forgot all about that. It failed, that sucks, I remember now when it was just a few tech demos. Wasn't that an online game though? He bacame so focused on online stuff and his own ego after ultima online. Him and a few people could dev out a new ultima single player but I don't think he likes single player anymore. Shame.

As for EA. Don't know what they are doing, waiting for us old heads to die off before the relaunch something? Oh no one will complain as they are all dead.
 

TheMan

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Ask and you shall receive. Look up Shroud of the Avatar. It was Richard Garriott's latest project and suppose to be the spiritual successor to the Ultima series. And it failed horribly. (Quite an interesting story actually, and an interesting case study on what happenes to crowd funded games when developers cave in to the demands of their highest paying backers). I just don't think Garriott has the passion to create games anymore and is more concerned with activism/space travel/anything but game development.

It sucks but it kind of goes to show that these legendary game developers are often just products of their time. Their creativity compounded with where gaming trends were at the time and the technology available allowed them to flourish. But these things don't last and time moves on. On the bright side, their games still exist and may one day inspire new developers to create something just as amazing for the current times.
This is a really interesting point and thanks for bringing this game up because I had never heard of it!

But yeah it makes sense that talents and skills that worked in the 80s would not translate to modern game development. Things are utterly changed from those days. Now that I think about it, none of those old-school development heroes are still big names. Carmack is an exception but he was never a designer and I don't think he even works in games per se anymore.
 
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Bragr

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Paul Neutath's account conflicts with this, he says Carmack saw it at CES in June of 1991, which would have placed it in between Hovertank and Catacomb 3-D.

So if the story is that he was working on raycasting 3D already and Underworld inspired him to add textures to the engine, that makes sense (Hovertank didn't have textures, Catacomb did).

Who really knows at this point, like Carmack said, his memory is fuzzy. Believe it or not, id Software shipped 10 games in 1991, despite only being 5 people at that point, so if some of the timeline seems like a blur, that's pretty understandable.

I tried to dig a bit deeper and he replied again, he seems rather adamant that it all came from his own works rather than anywhere else. Ultimately, even if he saw a demo, it doesn't really mean he was inspired, I think the Ultima connection to Wolfenstein is a bit overplayed. People absolutely love to take their favorite game and connect it to all sorts of shit because they love it. Big games like Mario, Doom, Ultima, and Zelda have been connected to every fucking game under the sun over the years by fanatical fans.

He said:

"Romero did talk with someone from Looking Glass about what they were doing while we were developing Wolfenstein 3D, but I don’t think it impacted the development — my technical path from cat3d to wolf to shadowcaster to doom had internal momentum."
 
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Is that the base version of the old game, or the enhanced edition? I think i have the enchanced and i haven't had issues that i remember.
Oh and a remake just called "System Shock" is coming out this summer , supposedly:

Ah, my bad. I should have worded that better. I was referring to the GOG release of Ultima Underworld, not System Shock. The Enhanced Edition of System Shock is fucking awesome and I have absolutely no complaints about it, other than the fact that even with modern controls the movement still feels a bit like you're controlling a remote-controlled shopping trolley with a gun mounted on it.

The GOG release of Ultima Underworld, and from what I gather also the official Origin version (so that's all versions available to purchase legally online), are incredibly lazy re-releases and are set-up like shit for modern computers. The sound is awful and the sound affects are configured wrong, playing as piano noises unless you mess around with the config files. That means that every footstep you make, sword-swing, enemy noises, pretty much everything except the music plays as out-of-tune midi piano noises. The mouse is also set up wrong, being configured for joystick control for some fucking reason and having the sensitivity cranked down way too low for modern mouse's, so vertical mouse movement ends up being laggy making the game almost unplayable until you fix it.

That's not the worst of it however. I can't confirm this and I've heard some conflicting info about this, but the original release of Underworld had a potentially game-breaking bug that occurred near the end of the game which deleted random items in your inventory, including potentially important items that you needed to actually beat the game. The infamous inventory bug was patched out on later releases and was even available to download on Usenet about a month after the games release. In 1992. Apparently this bug is present in modern re-releases of the game but I can't confirm this because I've only ever gotten up to the 4th level in the GOG version so far and the bug tends to occur very late-game, level 7 or 8-ish.

Point I'm trying to make is that anyone who's never played the damn game is going to face a complete, frustrating, fucking mess of a re-release and is going to have to fuck around for half an hour to get the damn thing to work properly. Meanwhile the steam version of Doom, while a bit shit, still fucking works okay and setting up a source port like GZDoom, Chocolate Doom, Crispy Doom, Zandronum, etc. is easy and takes about a minute thanks to Doom's easy to mod WAD file format and the fact that the source code's been available since 1996.

That's not to say Doom's better than Ultima Underworld (although it is fucking DOOM) just that if a newcomer wants to try out either game now Doom takes about a minute to set up and even the basic version with no source ports still will work fine out the box whereas Ultima Underworld is a fucking hassle to get working properly.
 
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SF Kosmo

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I tried to dig a bit deeper and he replied again, he seems rather adamant that it all came from his own works rather than anywhere else. Ultimately, even if he saw a demo, it doesn't really mean he was inspired, I think the Ultima connection to Wolfenstein is a bit overplayed. People absolutely love to take their favorite game and connect it to all sorts of shit because they love it. Big games like Mario, Doom, Ultima, and Zelda have been connected to every fucking game under the sun over the years by fanatical fans.

He said:

"Romero did talk with someone from Looking Glass about what they were doing while we were developing Wolfenstein 3D, but I don’t think it impacted the development — my technical path from cat3d to wolf to shadowcaster to doom had internal momentum."
I agree it's overstated. I was crediting it with, at most, the idea of adding texture maps to raycasted verticals.
 
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BigBooper

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I've never played UU, though I want to.

Some small advice though, if you want an active topic, pitting games against each other works great. If you want to extoll the virtues of a more obscure game with discussion, it's best to only talk about that game.

I've been replaying Doom on the XSX and it's still excellent. The saving and restarting levels system is weird though. If you die in a level, you can lose your weapons and restart the level. Or you can just load your save at any time. Maybe that was a technical limitation.
 

Hawks Eclipse

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Yes, it leans super hard into the immersive sim thing, and strips back the RPG stuff.

In some ways it does it really well because it really does feel like a sandbox of "just figure it out" rather than giving you a few different options all curated by the developers like in most modern immersive sims. But that also means there's a lot of awkward fumbling and trial and error trying to kludge your way through. Like all of these creative solutions "just work" but none of them work super well, if that makes sense.
I'm assuming the RPG aspects were dialled down to accommodate the immsim (forgive me, lol) aspects cause the reactivity of the former might get messed up hard by the openness of the latter. Think I'll go search for some portmortem stuff on the game sometime.

I actually do like the sound of what you described, not sure how I'd feel about it when I eventually get round to playing it myself one day, but IMO the more the game rewards outside-box thinking, the more rewarding it is when you un/intentionally figure out how to get the systems to solve the problem.

By the way, which game/s did you have in mind when you mentioned the curated options? Would like to hear your thoughts on one or two of those games.
 

SweetShark

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Did you write this review?

I haven't played Ultima and maybe it's "better" than Doom, but there were more games in that vein and none of them were (afaik) as popular as the more straightforward shooters like Quake, Duke, Half-Life. I really doubt Underworld would be significantly more popular had Doom never existed.

To be fair, a 7 is a good score on Edge.
 

Alexios

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To be fair, a 7 is a good score on Edge.
The visible text is pretty damning for the reviewer though, considering people go back and play it almost 3 decades later, or even play it for the first time and have fun almost 3 decades later, when it clearly no longer looks as amazing as back then. Two weeks, lol. Talk to the monsters xD
 
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Hawks Eclipse

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I don't remember any fullscreen graphics with underworld. Of course I haven't played it in full in almost 30 years.. As for screen ui, yeah it took up the rleft and ight side and bottom if I'm not mistaken there was a screen in the middle. Left side was commands like pickup, look, talk, use , etc... The bottom had a compass a gem (I forget what the gem does) and dialog and dice rolls scroll. The right has your paperdoll and if you flip it around your stats. The middle is your gameplay screen with dragons who i think would do something when danger was near (its been so long).

Yeah at the time i think fullscreen would of been a bad idea. I had a 16mhz 386sx pc though so I wouldn't of been able to run it even if i could try at fullscreen (the sx cpu only had 16bit data bus and no math floating point coprocessor). I remember having to run doom and wolf32 in small screen mode too. The smaller it was the better the performance. Kinda crazy that that is how you changed graphics settings back then. Instead of lowering effects, the effects and textures stay the same you just lower the size of the screen, in essence the resolution really. It made a world of difference though.

NO never played underworld ascendant is that a remake or mod for something?
Heh, hope that was a good trip down memory lane (RAM DOUBLER!!).

Obviously I can't speak for UU but I seem to remember that I couldn't even get Doom to run optimally on...probably a 486/33? I definitely remember using the PC speaker (beeps) for the audio cause I didn't have a soundcard that was compatible.

Haha I remember experimenting with the various screen sizes though realistically I think the 2-3 smallest sizes were probably unplayable in any era.

I apologise for defaulting to Wikipedia but I don't know enough to say too much: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Underworld_Ascendant
 

SF Kosmo

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By the way, which game/s did you have in mind when you mentioned the curated options? Would like to hear your thoughts on one or two of those games.
When I say curated options, a classic example would be like, modern Deus Ex, where we've given you an air duct you can crawl through, a door you can hack, or a key you can find, so you have freedom but you're not really doing a lot of things the designers didn't think of.

Underworld it almost feels like there is no right solution, but also maybe like every solution is wrong? It's an interesting game, it's really an experiment on what happens if you take the guard rails off a game and try to do things 100% through simulation. You don't realize how much of games are fudged to make them feel good until you play something that isn't.
 
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Hawks Eclipse

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It just wasn't as accessible.. none of Looking Glass's games ever really were, and that's fine. It was pretty fucking janky compared to Doom.

Looking Glasses games were still popular with more hardcore gamers, Doom was just a game that broke through that barrier because it was more fast paced and shooting focused. System Shock was probably their first really big game, but still more hardcore.

People didn't miss it because of Doom, they missed it because not everyone was into RPGs.

But yes, it had looking up and down.. there were lots of engines out there one-upping each other.. from Looking Glass, iD, Apogee.. eventually Epic.
I'd say out of their catalog, Thief and its sequel were actually very accessible. Garrett's entire toolset made sense, the HUD was minimal and mouselook was available by default. It wasn't Quake but I don't think it was that much more complicated from a control standpoint.
 

ClanOfNone

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Doom was amazing when I first played it. Underworld was equally amazing for completely different reasons.

I prefer Underworld, bit this is kinda an apples/oranges kinda scenario.
 

Hawks Eclipse

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I always wondered about how much Ultima Underworld influenced Carmack, and it just so happens that I asked him yesterday on a whim about it on Twitter, and it appears he didn't see it until release. When I asked him if Ultima Underworld inspired him he replied:

"I don’t trust my memory of things that distant, but I believe that hovertank and catacombs 3D were already done when we first heard about underworld, and we didn’t see it until release."
Offtopic but for me Carmack is one of the gems of Twitter, even if I mostly don't understand tech talk.

Always love reading his tweets when I check it out.
 

LazyParrot

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I'd say out of their catalog, Thief and its sequel were actually very accessible. Garrett's entire toolset made sense, the HUD was minimal and mouselook was available by default. It wasn't Quake but I don't think it was that much more complicated from a control standpoint.
Thief is definitely an outlier among late 90s games when it comes to controls, especially considering its complexity and the fact that it was the first game of its kind. Most of the other games from around that time that still feel fine to play 20+ years later are ones where all you have to do is move and shoot, like Quake or Half-Life.
 

Hawks Eclipse

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When I say curated options, a classic example would be like, modern Deus Ex, where we've given you an air duct you can crawl through, a door you can hack, or a key you can find, so you have freedom but you're not really doing a lot of things the designers didn't think of.
Hah yea, the air ducts are a DX trope, even if I think it sometimes takes away from the immersion. I'll give Eidos the benefit of doubt and assume they included them (like with 0451) because it's essentially tradition.

Underworld it almost feels like there is no right solution, but also maybe like every solution is wrong? It's an interesting game, it's really an experiment on what happens if you take the guard rails off a game and try to do things 100% through simulation. You don't realize how much of games are fudged to make them feel good until you play something that isn't.
Can't help but smile at that description. It sounds like the goal of lots of CRPGs in a way; to not have any absolute solution, more shades of gray that work out.

I remember reading a dev anecdote about BOTW, when they were play testing it they sometimes were baffled as to why some arrows previously on the ground went missing. Turns out the wind would blow them away so the devs tweaked it to not have that happen.

Edit: away -> a way
 
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Hawks Eclipse

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Thief is definitely an outlier among late 90s games when it comes to controls, especially considering its complexity and the fact that it was the first game of its kind. Most of the other games from around that time that still feel fine to play 20+ years later are ones where all you have to do is move and shoot, like Quake or Half-Life.
The interface for interacting (grabbing a key off a guard, opening doors etc. ) was rather inspired and intuitive when you consider how things had to be done in System Shock. I think mouselook definitely changed how things could be designed.
 

SF Kosmo

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Can't help but smile at that description. It sounds like the goal of lots of CRPGs in away; to not have any absolute solution, more shades of gray that work out.

I remember reading a dev anecdote about BOTW, when they were play testing it they sometimes were baffled as to why some arrows previously on the ground went missing. Turns out the wind would blow them away so the devs tweaked it to not have that happen.
Yeah, but the flip side of that is that we normally rely on a certain amount of response feedback when we play a game, it's what let's us know we're doing the right thing, and makes the moment to moment actions feel satisfying. Underworld Ascendant totally lacks that kind of feedback.

Like I said it's not a flawed game, but it's interesting. They had a lot of ambition with it, but it's not very polished, even if it is worlds better than it was at launch.
 
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Captive, was another one.

I still play Dungeon Master in all it's versions, that was just epic design, and a first.
yeah , i used to master up(dm1) , using the spawn room full of the tree monsters , on level 2? you exit room , close gate , go back up to level one , or was it 2? back downstairs , kill , repeat...

dungeon master 2 also , the dragon fight , through invisible walls ;)

fkin awesome. mithral plate , etc , all great armour classes and design.
 
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Hawks Eclipse

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Yeah, but the flip side of that is that we normally rely on a certain amount of response feedback when we play a game, it's what let's us know we're doing the right thing, and makes the moment to moment actions feel satisfying. Underworld Ascendant totally lacks that kind of feedback.

Like I said it's not a flawed game, but it's interesting. They had a lot of ambition with it, but it's not very polished, even if it is worlds better than it was at launch.
Initially I was reading the lack of response feedback to mean something like hitting a wall with a sword and it not making any tangible contact (in whichever sensory aspect).

But rereading it and your past comment it seems that you're talking about the emergent solutions not providing enough feedback? Hence it feels like all solutions are right and/or wrong?

One thing's for sure, I'd have to experience it for myself some day. In the meantime I'll go check out some videos of it.
 

SF Kosmo

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Initially I was reading the lack of response feedback to mean something like hitting a wall with a sword and it not making any tangible contact (in whichever sensory aspect).

But rereading it and your past comment it seems that you're talking about the emergent solutions not providing enough feedback? Hence it feels like all solutions are right and/or wrong?
Yeah it's the latter. Nothing ever really "clicks." It's like when you're trying to break a game and get on top of a roof you know is out of bounds in a game, except the whole game sort of feels like that.

Also, everything is simulated, but that means stuff can get buggy or weird, too.

Like I said, wishlist it and get when it's $10, it's not a great game but it's got enough interesting ideas that I think it's worth a $10.
 

Hawks Eclipse

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Yeah it's the latter. Nothing ever really "clicks." It's like when you're trying to break a game and get on top of a roof you know is out of bounds in a game, except the whole game sort of feels like that.

Also, everything is simulated, but that means stuff can get buggy or weird, too.

Like I said, wishlist it and get when it's $10, it's not a great game but it's got enough interesting ideas that I think it's worth a $10.
Ah okay, that puts some of your earlier descriptions into perspective.

Anyway, I'm afraid it won't be anytime soon but I'll make sure to experience it for myself one day, thanks!
 
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Yeah I looked a little deeper into this and from what I can tell Ultima Underworld actually outsold Wolfenstein 3D, selling around half a million units while Wolfenstein only sold around 250 to 200,000 copies. Obviously Wolfenstein used the shareware model, so its demo was likely on a hell of a lot more computers than Underworld but it needs to be said. Wolfenstein 3D did not bury Ultima Underworld.

Doom came out nearly two years later, December 1993. Underworld first launched in March of 1992. Doom's popularity did cause System Shock, Looking Glass's follow-up to be ignored, as many people wrongly assumed it was another one of the Doom clones flooding the market, but that's a completely different topic.


Did you write this review?

I haven't played Ultima and maybe it's "better" than Doom, but there were more games in that vein and none of them were (afaik) as popular as the more straightforward shooters like Quake, Duke, Half-Life. I really doubt Underworld would be significantly more popular had Doom never existed.

You're more right than you know. Here's the original Edge review in all its glory. He spends the whole time bitching about how Doom isn't anything like Ultima Underworld.
 

Hawks Eclipse

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You're more right than you know. Here's the original Edge review in all its glory. He spends the whole time bitching about how Doom isn't anything like Ultima Underworld.
Thanks for digging up the archive, it was interesting to read and the angle of "shareware model propelled Doom" is very similar to "F2P propelled Fortnite"; both ignore that there are others who also used the same distribution models but have not had the same success.

In other words they are seeing and/or placing too much importance on one out of a bunch of contributing factors.
But the gameplay is as narrow as it gets: you run along beautifully parallaxed corridors and through stunning 3D rooms shooting at a near endless supply of green lizards. That’s it. Still, we're not going to deny that there is a worryingly addictive fascination in watching the frantic despatching of those little green guys.
Did he unwittingly predict Hexen or is "green lizards" some little known slang from his time and place?
 
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Thanks for digging up the archive, it was interesting to read and the angle of "shareware model propelled Doom" is very similar to "F2P propelled Fortnite"; both ignore that there are others who also used the same distribution models but have not had the same success.

In other words they are seeing and/or placing too much importance on one out of a bunch of contributing factors.

Did he unwittingly predict Hexen or is "green lizards" some little known slang from his time and place?
I think he was just being a pretentious critic. There's a great old review of The Terminator where Gene Siskel complains about how he didn't care about The Terminator and how he didn't care about the alien planet the robots came from. And It's just like, what the fuck dude, they're from the future? The movie made that really, really clear within the first 2 minutes. Did you just not watch the movie?

I just think the Edge reviewer didn't care enough for Doom to even notice what little plot Doom has. Which is amazing because Doom's plot is so thin it could be tattooed on a foreskin and still make sense.
 

Hawks Eclipse

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I think he was just being a pretentious critic. There's a great old review of The Terminator where Gene Siskel complains about how he didn't care about The Terminator and how he didn't care about the alien planet the robots came from. And It's just like, what the fuck dude, they're from the future? The movie made that really, really clear within the first 2 minutes. Did you just not watch the movie?

I just think the Edge reviewer didn't care enough for Doom to even notice what little plot Doom has. Which is amazing because Doom's plot is so thin it could be tattooed on a foreskin and still make sense.
I did a search for the Siskel review earlier and could only find a video on YouTube, apparently it was when he reviewed it with Ebert who praised it quite a bit.

Siskel's comments were probably meant to be dismissive (ie. from the future or another planet? Same difference.) and he said he'd have preferred it if it was a more developed love story instead of "sci-fi action".

And thanks to your anecdote, I'm starting to think the Edge reviewer could have been doing a similar thing, since the rest of his review is indicative of having experienced the game.

Or maybe it was just shrooms, hah!
 

Ladioss

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Oct 21, 2018
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Both games are fantastic and completely changed the face of gaming forever.

Looking back to my memories of 1992, I'm astonished by the lackluster reception UU got at that time. Most reviews were triumphal, but I don't remember the game triggering the same cultural phenomenon than Doom did. Funnily enough, I think ShadowCaster and Hexen even enjoyed a much better public reception than UU - while far from being as revolutionnary.
 
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Havoc2049

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Legends of Valour is better
Now this is a legit comparison, as they were both free roaming first person RPGs, released around the same time. Legends of Valor had a whole city to explore and the dungeons below, but I feel the smaller budget and the Amiga and Atari ST ports held it back. Ultima Underworld had high dollar production values, in-game music and a smoother engine.
 
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I tried to dig a bit deeper and he replied again, he seems rather adamant that it all came from his own works rather than anywhere else. Ultimately, even if he saw a demo, it doesn't really mean he was inspired, I think the Ultima connection to Wolfenstein is a bit overplayed. People absolutely love to take their favorite game and connect it to all sorts of shit because they love it. Big games like Mario, Doom, Ultima, and Zelda have been connected to every fucking game under the sun over the years by fanatical fans.

He said:

"Romero did talk with someone from Looking Glass about what they were doing while we were developing Wolfenstein 3D, but I don’t think it impacted the development — my technical path from cat3d to wolf to shadowcaster to doom had internal momentum."

I know this reply is two weeks late and no gives a shit about this thread anymore but I knew I'd read about it somewhere and found it in Masters of Doom:


Well worth the read by the way. And it does somewhat confirm what you've said. Carmack's path to Wolfenstein and Doom came from him and him alone. But there is a connection to Underworld, although it's unsurprising that this has slipped his mind over the years.
 
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tassletine

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I was there at the time. Underworld was recognised as a good game but Doom was a gameplay phenomenon.
At work they literally bought PC's for people to play it on, and we weren't even software developers or anything -- The boss was just so impressed by it and realised it's potential as a teambuilding / unwinding exercise.
 
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Hawks Eclipse

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I think he was just being a pretentious critic. There's a great old review of The Terminator where Gene Siskel complains about how he didn't care about The Terminator and how he didn't care about the alien planet the robots came from. And It's just like, what the fuck dude, they're from the future? The movie made that really, really clear within the first 2 minutes. Did you just not watch the movie?

I just think the Edge reviewer didn't care enough for Doom to even notice what little plot Doom has. Which is amazing because Doom's plot is so thin it could be tattooed on a foreskin and still make sense.
I know I already replied but I recently (continued) watching this video and reached this timestamped section which I think you might enjoy as well, cheers.