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.