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Ultima IV: Quest of the Avatar

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Name: Ultima IV: Quest of the Avatar
Year: 1985
Publisher: Origin
Developer: Origin
Platform: PC
Genre: RPG
Total rating: 91.7% - rated 6 times
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Submitter: Disthron
Score: 10 points
Added: Feb 28 2006
Warez status: Freeware

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Game review

Author: Oammar
Date: Aug 02 2007 - 08:57
Score: 45 points
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It's actually been five years since I last played this game. Yet I can still remember every single part of it and can still feel my tearducts welling at the bold and devastating ending.

This is in the truest sense of the term an adventure game. You are thrown into an entire world which you can navigate and explore. There is an overarching quest to free Britannia from the evil crushing the goodness from its people, but there are also innumerable sub quests that in their own way relate to the greater aim. There are villages, cities, dungeons, ruins and lairs. It's immersive in a way that games regularly attempt to be but rarely succeeds.

At it's release there was talk of it being one of the more remarkable games ever released (a statement to which I whole-heartedly adhere). However, the release was also coincidental with indications of bugs ravaging the gaming experience. Without conducting research, I can't verify this next statement, but I believe it to be true and that's what really counts. I don't know if there were bugs as I never experienced them and I bought my copy very close to the release date (hardly leaving enough time for a fix to be issued and released). I sometimes feel few people played this game as I have never had a conversation with anyone who has played it and lost themselves in it. I hope that I am wrong as everyone should play this game.

The story is excellent and somehow - even though it sits at the end of the series - does not require you to have played the previous games. It does however, make you aware that there is a history in this world and that the avatar is crucial to the history.

Above all features of the game are the graphics. At the time of release the fidelity of the image was remarkable in its own right. Coupled with no loading times, but a vast world (you can occasionally see the join, but its a momentary change in shading) the game offered something I hadn't seen before - an apparently functioning world. To be honest - I have not felt this since. Day changes to night in a realistic transition; the world takes time to travel; the effects of your work can be seen in the changes in NPC behaviour and dialogue. It can be convincing at times.

You have quite a few options to take when you want to kill something and there are plenty of things trying to kill you so you'll get a chance to exercise these skills often. You can use lots of weapons and the combat system was smooth and sophisticated enough to make it worth while. The bow is particulary fine and it's use in some of the puzzles in the dungeons was well thought out and executed. There are many spells and different types of magic level. You can use scrolls for one shot spells or choose to bind them to your spell book. To bind your magic you must first find ingredients and perform a ceremony in a pentagram (not as satanic as it sounds). Once this is done you will have access to that spell repeatedly.

On top of this, but when you buy it you get a cloth map of the world and information in the form of a spell book and a journal. The thought and time that went into this game is enourmous and it really should be remembered for its excellence.

I have never played the earlier games or gone onlie for Ultima Online (I think through fear they could never live up to this experience) but if you cannot get this game - then at least try those - if the same people are working the online version it must be vet impressive indeed.

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By Dangerous450 - Jun 28 2008 - 10:14
perfect i have always loved games like this :-p lol
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By Rastoper - Mar 12 2008 - 12:41
this was one fav game when i was younger :)

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