March 16, 2010

Initial Impressions: Lord of Ultima

Lord of Ultima up and bit me in the ass. I didn't even know it existed until a friendly beta invite hit my mailbox. In the spirit of free gaming, I said "what the heck, it's got Ultima in the name so it can't be that bad". Plus, I long for my golden days of Ultima Online. Forgive me, I'm terrible at these sort of things.

Lord of Ultima, by anyone's visit to their home page, is a browser-based strategy game. Players are given a plot of land, which conveniently includes all needed resources, on which to build a city. Anyone that has played any number of RTS games or browser-based strategy games will feel right at home.

Build a lumber mill by the woods, a quarry by the rocks, and a warehouse to store all the materials. Build some more. Upgrade your buildings. Recruit troops. Fight. Rinse and repeat. It is all fairly obvious. The equation is solid and works.

As a browser and casual game, Lord of Ultima looks to prolong what was once an hour-long game of Warcraft (or insert your RTS de jure) into weeks of clicking on lunch breaks and hell, lets admit it, a few clicks during the work hours. Bars move, slowly. Resources pile up, slowly. Everything slowly plods along.

Sort of like this post just plods along. There is nothing to see in Lord of Ultima. It does the same job every other game of its type does. Its Travian with better graphics. Its dumbed down Command and Conquer. It's isn't unique and that's my problem. However, that just means it isn't for me. With god-awful millions playing Farmville, I am realizing some of this social/casual/browser gaming is passing me by.

Who cares, I'm going back to owning noobs in Battlefield: Bad Company 2.