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Underworld Ascendant Update #31: Introduction to Marcaul

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Underworld Ascendant Update #31: Introduction to Marcaul

Game News - posted by Infinitron on Fri 9 December 2016, 21:29:44

Tags: Joe Fielder; OtherSide Entertainment; Underworld Ascendant

This month's Underworld Ascendant update was supposed to come out over a week ago, but was mysteriously delayed. Turns out OtherSide had to finalize Underworld Overlord, their bizarre Dungeon Keeper-esque VR spinoff title for Google's Daydream platform, which came out yesterday. Later that day, OtherSide finally released a new Ascendant update to backers, a tantalizing but disappointingly undetailed introduction to the Marcaul vertical slice scheduled for release in February. The update is now available to the general public on the studio's brand new website:

Our current efforts on Underworld Ascendant are focused on creating a tight, polished experience that demonstrates its core distinctive gameplay.

As you know, Underworld Ascendant takes place in a deep, dark subterranean realm, set into the caldera of a volcano. Life exists there – improbably – but, there are sights of wonder.

One of them is Marcaul, a Tangiers-like neutral zone, a key nexus point for the player throughout the game. As you start our current level, you glimpse it in the distance, a beautiful vista, but are barred from entry. The inhabitants there want you to prove yourself first — before they’ll allow you inside. You’re sent to perform The Challenge of Ishtass in the caves below.

This is how we introduce the player to The Improvisation Engine: the bevy of tools at your disposal that allows player-authored solutions to problems. It’s one of the key aspects that differentiates Underworld Ascendant from other games.

Later, we’ll get into the particulars about which Fighter, Rogue, and Mage-related skills and equipment are available to you and what the (secret, lore-related) goal of The Challenge of Ishtass is.

But, what’s barring you from your goal?
  • LIZARD MEN — Well-known and loved characters from Ultima Underworld, who were tied into some of the most memorable moments of the game. There are swordsmen and archers with behaviors — and magical weapons — that are clearly readable from a distance.
  • THE MIND CRIPPLER – It’s a horror…. A disembodied brain with stinging tentacles and a unique hunting technique: It uses a psychic attack that enrages other creatures and causes them to fight, then hangs back and eats the fallen.
The player enters this space from above and has an opportunity to observe the situation to formulate a plan first.

Each class has a different take on solving challenges and unique options, while the environment – and the creatures within it – present interesting opportunities as well.

That’s what The Improvisation Engine is all about: player choice. We present a challenge and a bevy of interesting tools, and the solution is up to you.

It’s one the distinctive, core elements of Underworld Ascendant and the next stage in the kind of player-authored gameplay that Looking Glass helped invent.

We’ll have more details next time and, as mentioned last month, intend to share it with backers early next year!​

Another month, then.

There are 13 comments on Underworld Ascendant Update #31: Introduction to Marcaul

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