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December 18, 2000

Ultima Online: Third Dawn (PC) New Screens And Details

Gamespot recently posted this article about Ultima Online: Third Dawn, the original of which can be found here.

Ultima Online: Third Dawn (PC) New Screens And Details
The new 3D Ultima client revealed.
We have 9 pix
check them out...

Announced at the inaugural Ultima Online World Faire, UO: Third Dawn was paraded to the press yesterday with, if not a fanfare, then a certain degree of pride.

At heart Third Dawn takes the old 2D client software (the software that gives you access to the Ultima worlds) and gives it a new interface, improved functionality and most importantly, a new dimension.

Gone are the old 2D sprites, trees, texture tiles and lighting and in come fully 3D rendered avatars, monsters, vegetation and animals to give the game a look more appropriate to 2001 than 1996.

Origin has created nearly 200 different character models for the new 3D client but they are keen to make sure that it is reasonably accessible to most users, aiming for a minimunm spec of a 8Mb video card.

Ultima Online users with low-end machine needn't panic though - the old 2D client will still work perfectly well, the only downside is that 2D users won't be able to access the new land that is being launched with Third Dawn. This features a number of new buildings and monsters that are simply incompatible with the older 2D client.

The new land will be roughly equal in size to the land that was launched alongside Ultima Online: Renaissance, the previous 2D client iteration.

Origin claims the new interface is much more user friendly and better designed than before, and certainly the screen looks alot less cluttered. Where the old interface was a blank page to be filled by the user (often daunting to the new user, says Origin) the new interface has everything a user needs right there, although elements can be moved and removed with ease.

This all fits with the philosophy of making the Ultima Environment challenging for hardcore players but also enticing for the new user. As such the release of Third Dawn will also mark the launch of a new help channel to aid newbies get started.

Ultima Online: Third Dawn (which will include the 2D client) will be released by EA Games in the UK in March 2001.

Click the link above to see the new screens and join us next week for more info and screenshots.

Julian Boardman for GameSpot UK

The screenshots begin here.

Posted by Nobody at December 18, 2000 12:30 AM

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