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Lord of Ultima Review


Lord of Ultima review

Free to play MMORTS

Browser based MMO

Publisher: EA

So apparently EA didn’t just let the Ultima brand sit quiet, gathering dust for all those years. Lord of Ultima was released in 2010 and is a free-to-play MMORTS set, apparently, in the world of Lord Britain and friends, a world oft-visited in first the Ultima series and then in the archetypal Ultima Online. I say apparently because the links to the Ultima world is nominal and it seems that it’s just an attempt at enticing old fans back to a new sort of game. Seeing as how it’s an MMORTS, rather than one of the traditional RPGs that was the basis for Online and all of the original games, my guess is that most of those original fans were disappointed.

Lord of Ultima Gameplay Video - The Review

With the news that Ultima Forever is on the horizon – another game that is on several levels failing to live up to the Ultima name – we thought we’d take a look back on Lord of Ultima and see how it weighed up to our expectations, and how popular this secret, semi-forgotten Ultima game remains.

Lord of Ultima - Positives

Welcome to Lord of Ultima – An instant positive in my book: if you already know the basics of the MMORTS genre you can skip the tutorial. It’s not always a given in these games and is far, far more important that genre newbies may think. Personally I never want to see another tutorial again.

Ease-of-Use – One of my favourite things about Lord of ultima is just how easy it is to use. A lot of MMORTS games bog you down in menus and small details to keep you distracted from the fact that there’s not a huge amount of meat to the game. Lord of ultima does away with all that, offering instead a two click build menu (once in the place you want, once to choose the building type). It doesn’t get rid of that pesky waiting, but the process of doing anything in this game feels more streamlined than in other games.

Pastel Painting – The graphical style is absolutely stunning, the least you’d expect from a game backed by EA. The colours are rich and the textures a joy, the whole thing is a like a painting but with the sort of minute detail not often seen in something comprised of brush strokes. It might not be an Ultima game in the strictest sense, but you can’t complain about the way they’ve tried to represent the world in-game.

Lord of Ultima review

Quests – After you’re done with the tutorial, you’re offered quests. Unlike many MMORTS games, these quests aren’t designed to lead you by the hand indefinitely, but to give you goals that will help in your quest for power. Expect to see more general things like “Get a Farm to Level 5,” over a continued “Level up Your Farm.” It’s a small difference, but an important one.

Lord of Ultima -  Neutrals

MusicThe music in Lords Ultima sounds epic, it sounds like the beginning of an adventure. It reminds me somewhat of my first trip out of Midgar in Final Fantasy VII -  the main theme in that game being something that gently teased the difficult times ahead but also was full of a sense of adventure. To begin with this was definitely one of the positives, but it’s on a constant loop and within thirty minutes you’ll be asking whether you can turn it off.

Lord of Ultima - Negatives of the game

Lords of… What? – EA haven’t really looked after the Ultima brand in recent years, releasing their last expansion to Ultima Online in 2009 and then working on spin-offs that had little to do with the original IP. Anybody who read about Lady British on the Ultima Forever website probably felt like banging their head against something. Lord of ultima is no different and the link to the original series is a little difficult to see at times (who am I kidding? It’s invisible…)

Waiting, Waiting, Waiting – It’s an MMORTS, so expect far too much sitting around doing nothing. This is a problem with the genre and it makes it difficult for somebody to enjoy if you’re planning to play it constantly. Every time you build something it’ll take a few seconds for it to construct. This can be a few seconds or minutes, although it all adds up and the slow pace will be far too off-putting for some.

Refer Friends via Facebook, My Lord – There’s nothing more annoying in an MMO than to be constantly reminded of the option to refer friends to the game. You can just be getting into it and then the reality of the game is blown by a casual mention of the game’s official website, of Facebook or Twitter. It’s more annoying that there’s a quest dedicated to it.

Lord of Ultima


Lord of Ultima is a fantastic example of the MMORTS genre, but it still suffers from the same ups and downs as any other game in the genre. With support from EA, the developers have created something that definitely deserves to be more popular than it is (I’ve hardly even seen any reviews for it), especially when compared with other, more steadfast members of the MMORTS group. If you’re looking for something with high production values, nice ideas and good old fashioned polish, take a look at Lord of ultima right now. It’s unlikely to convert you, but you might get an hour or two’s enjoyment out of it.

Similar Games to Lord of Ultima

Ministry of War, 1100AD, Call of Gods

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