Ultima V (Origin Systems) Review | Commodore User - Everygamegoing

Commodore User

Ultima V
By Origin Systems
Commodore 64

Published in Commodore User #63

Ultima V

Many a moon hath passed since the advent of the fourth tome in the Ultima series. And now dawns the day of the long-awaited Ultima V, and well worth the wait it be.

It begins where Ultima IV ended. Mysteriously, Lord British (ruler of the realm where the game is set) has disappeared and all contact with his companions has been lost. In a desperate call to arms, you have been summoned to find Lord British and to defeat the evil forces which now inhabit the land.

Unlike other role playing games you do not have the choice of what character you want to play, you are automatically endowed with an Avatar (a magic user/warrior) whose status is determined by a series of eight questions at the start of the game.

Ultima V: Warriors Of Destiny

The first worrying thing I noticed about this game was that it came on four double-sided disks, though thankfully there is no need to make a character disk. More important even than the huge number of disks is their access speed, which is phenomenally slow, and proves to be Ultima V's only real stumbling block.

The graphics have been tarted up slightly, giving you recognisable characters and extra animation. Ultima V also still manages to retain the neat concise style that has always been a feature of the series. The people themselves are fantastic, everybody you meet can be directly communicated with and have their own genuine reactions when you question them. Believe me, this enhances the game no end.

Ultima V epitomises the true sense of computer role-play. You start off with a few companions and basic equipment, and then the rest of down to you. Ask questions, explore and generally do anything you think might help the situation.

The potential for creative thinking is well-nigh limitless. Ships, canoes, horses and more are there at a price. As well as a variety of shops, towns, villages, and people. In fact, I could go on for ages - and so can the game. One word of warning: Ultima V caters for the experienced RPGer. It took me a fair while to get into it, but once you're going it is very hard to drag yourself away.

Ultima V comes in a very nicely presented package with a bound book, lots of very interesting and helpful reference sheets, a silver (well, that's what they say!) pentagram and a map printed on cloth, which can be used as a reference aid, handkerchief, handy tea towel or an acid house bandana.

Mark Patterson

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