Worlds of Ultima: Savage Empire is the first release in the short-lived World of Ultima series that was designed as spin-offs from Origin's lucrative Ultima games. Each game would take you, the Avatar from Ultima, into new worlds and time periods that are unrelated to Britannia. |
In Savage Empire, you are transported to the lost land of Edon, which looks just like Earth thousands of years ago... except that humans coexist with dinosaurs. Here, you meet up with several familiar faces such as Shamuru (who looks and talks the same way as Shamino from Ultima), and learn that you must help his village unite all tribes before you can go home.
The game is built on the Ultima VI engine with slightly different graphics to add to the ambience, and some modifications to tone down Ultime VI's focus on real RPG elements. For instance, Savage Empire has a lot more character interaction than the Ultima games, and unlike Ultima VI, characters will jump into conversations whenever they feel they have something pertinent to add. This greatly enhances the game and makes you feel like you are talking to real people with minds of their own. Spellcasting is also vastly simplified, with only nine spells and three reagents. In contrast to stealing as a way of life in Ultima VI, you are free to take whatever you want in your quest, although your pack is limited to sixteen items no matter how heavy they are. Since the game is more of an adventure than RPG, this limit is slightly annoying mid-way through when you want to carry more items.
As in Ultima VI, you are able to interact with the environment in a realistic manner: picking branches from trees, digging clay from riverbanks etc. Many puzzles are fun and require more brains than brawn (getting rid of the hungry Tyrannosaur is my favorite), although sometimes you need to trek all over the map to find one small item that you overlooked earlier. Overall, Savage Empires is a great and unique game that may not appeal to die-hard RPGers who crave complex RPG elements, but will be a lot of fun for everyone else. Two thumbs up!
Reviewed by: Underdogs