EA Mythic has just launched their latest endeavor to the gaming world in the form of Ultima Forever: Quest of the Avatar. This title is notable for two very important reasons: It is an open world, MMORPG for Apple’s iPhone (4s and newer) and iPad (2nd gen and newer). Secondly, this title, the first RPG bearing the Ultima name in, well, forever, harkens back to the legendary Ultima IV which put the players on the path not to kill, but to master the eight Virtues and become a shining example to the people of Britannia.
While there is still a good bit of monster thumping to be had, the goal of Ultima Forever is to become a role-model. Mastering the eight virtues of honesty, compassion, valor, justice, sacrifice, honor, spirituality, and humility will take players on a trip around the fantasy world to save folks with traditional ‘hit-with-stick’ methods as well as moral conundrums to challenge your ethics. Your mastery of the Virtues in turn drives character advancement. In Ultima Forever, the path to power lies with being a good person. And free-to-play microtransactions.
It’s great to see an RPG emphasize something other than mayhem and bloodshed. Although the original morality-based goals of Ultima IV: Quest of the Avatar originally appeared back in 1985 on another famed Apple platform, the Apple II, its emphasis on being a model citizen rather than a thug is something very, very few games have attempted (perhaps the only recent example being the Fable series).
Ultima Forever is available for free from iTunes.