Underworld Ascendant brought to you by Zombie Looking Glass


The public apology is certainly appreciated, but I just can’t get past this part.

"One example — shortly we will roll out a robust SAVE GAME feature, something many fans have asked for. "

Did it really require humble listening to realize that folks like to save their games?


You’d be surprised if you saw how out of touch not just with reality or their fan base some devs are, but also industry practices and standards it seems.

I distinctly remember Firaxis devs publicly stroking themselves off over their very basic building block inspired procedural level generation in Xcom 2, as if they had just invented the fucking wheel. And at the time I was like “Dude, fucking Diablo??? Not just 3, but 2, 20 fucking years ago???”

Not to mention the asshole who actually thought that human eye can’t see more than 30 fps, he worked on that shitty m-m-m-muh cinematic werewolf game. The name escapes me right now, with good reason.

It kinda makes you wonder how these people got to the positions they’re in.

(Note that the above is just some general bitching at the state of the industry, not directed at UWA team)


I hear ya, but I think doing it in 3d with models is more challenging. I mean, original X-com had it too, just not in 3d, and making it a space that’s coherent for shooting etc. Also, companies don’t necessarily share how they do things, so I’m sure they constantly have to reinvent the wheel. This is where having a common engine like Unreal is very handy, since the engines incorporate common technologies that don’t need to be reinvented, and can just compete with each other in these particular turfs.


That’s irrelevant when you’re just merging prebuilt pieces together, because those can and are individually designed to support whatever the game needs, from camera angles, pathing, etc. There are tons of games on the market use this tech, it’s not exactly some trade secret.


You should try Overload if you were ever a fan of Descent. It’s such a faithful sequel.


As mea culpas go I’ve seen worse, but they’re obviously still either straight-up lying or in pathological denial.

we wanted to try to move the genre forward with some new design thinking

For instance, we ditched the Ultima Underworld scripted conversation trees with NPCs, and instead told the story through a mix of character voiceovers and lore sprinkled about the world as graffiti carved into stone surfaces for the player to uncover

We also decided not to build an expansive, continuous dungeon to explore. Instead, we built self-contained corners of the dungeon that players would jump to through magic portals

Both these examples of “new” design thinking are clearly examples of very old design thinking. It’s beyond obvious that the real reason these design choices were made is because they were cheaper to implement. Dialogue trees are hard; scattering around readables is easy. Continuous worlds with persistent state are hard; self-contained dungeon instances are easy. But Otherside is still trying to convince people these were artistic decisions rather than economic ones. What the hell, guys? Just own up to it already.

Regarding scharmers’ rant above paralleling this with Night Dive’s System Shock remake, they’re really almost opposite situations. Night Dive tried to expand their remake beyond being just a remake—upgrading to current-gen graphics and more elaborate game systems—but lost publisher support, so now we’re “only” getting what they promised in the first place. Otherside, on the otherhand, scaled their project down from what they promised—from an open-world RPG to a mission-based physics puzzler—and then didn’t even manage to deliver on that.

At this point I don’t even know what to think about UA anymore. Even if it was patched to buttery-smooth perfection I doubt it would be a game I’d have much interest in playing.


I agree, and for all their mistakes, at least Night Dive informed backers about the substantial changes to scope they were going to make when Shock lost external funding. Maybe Otherside genuinely think they did an adequate job updating the community on the status of the game throughout development, but the reception makes it clear what most players expectations were, so any news of the paired-down design obviously failed to reach most backers.


And worst of all, this all means there’s no Ann Margaret


Missed this the first time around. According to this post by some guy who I guess was a beta tester, UA’s levels were originally planned to be much smaller ~15-minute affairs, so they thought they could get away without having to burn dev time on implementing save-anywhere. I can see the logic of this. It worked for AvP '99 after all. But then the levels got bigger and bigger over the course of development, and yadda yadda, the game we ended up with.

I am 99.11% certain they knew damn well that UA in its final state needed save-anywhere, and that the “we’ve heard the fans” is pure spin bullshit.


Wondered where this ended up on Metacritic…

38/100 , that’s abandon ship and let her sink territory.


Flashbacks to



Hey, so here’s a question for everyone - I guess Underworld isn’t going to end up being what I hoped, so what out there has come close? Anything sort of recent?


Prey, if you’re talking about “emergent sims” in general.

Not idea for “first person fantasy emergent sim”, though. Anyone?


Hm, I never played Mooncrash. I might do that.


Arx Fatalis wasn’t particularly recent and it had its issues, but it’s the closest thing to Underworld 3.


Would watch that!


When I first heard about U:A, I was thinking Arx Fatalis with upgraded tech and “quirky” art design and story, and the first few Dev updates it seemed they were heading that direction.


Arx Fatalis with Arx Libertatis mod holds up extremely well on modern systems.


Since we don’t have a System Shock 3 thread, and this is where we talk about all things Otherside-related

STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN (February 11, 2019) – Starbreeze and OtherSide Entertainment have mutually agreed to sell back the publishing rights to OtherSide Entertainment for “System Shock 3”. Starbreeze expects to be fully reimbursed for costs the company has had in connection with development of the game.

Starbreeze acquired the publishing rights for “System Shock 3” in 2017 and has since then partly financed the development of the game. The title owner OtherSide Entertainment and Starbreeze have now reached an agreement whereby Starbreeze returns the publishing rights for the game to OtherSide and will be able to recoup the development costs.

“I believe this is the best solution for us, although it is sad that we cannot complete the project with OtherSide. System Shock 3 is a fantastic title developed in cooperation with the industry legend Warren Spector and I am looking forward to seeing the game released”, said Mikael Nermark, acting CEO Starbreeze AB.

As previously announced, Starbreeze will focus on its core business of games development and publishing. Starbreeze holds publishing titles for “Psychonauts 2” and “Ten Crowns”.


That’s interesting. I assume Otherside must have some alternative financial backing that will allow them to complete development.