Ultima X: Odyssey announced

Origin Systems announces that the next game in its Ultima series will be an Unreal-powered MMORPG. First screens inside.

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Electronic Arts' Origin Systems development studio has today announced that the next game in its Ultima series will be a massively multiplayer online role-playing game powered by the latest version of the Unreal Engine. Ultima X: Odyssey will boast a number of features not found elsewhere in the genre, the most intriguing of which is the "Odyssey Adventure System," which will deliver customized quests to players automatically, and will also allow players to request private adventure zones so they're not interrupted by uninvited troublemakers.

"Ultima X: Odyssey takes the genre to the next level through its innovative new Odyssey Adventure System, ensuring that players experience a greater sense of adventure and reward from both questing and combat," said Andy Hollis, vice president and COO of Origin Systems.

Ultima X: Odyssey will feature fast-paced strategic combat in which players' actions will play as big a part in determining the outcome of a battle as their characters' strength. Players will be able to choose their level of aggressiveness and a variety of combat styles, and while individual combat will be the most common, rival player guilds will be able to challenge each other to gladiator-style duels in privately created zones.

As they progress through the game, players will be able to customize not only their character, but also their inventory, party, and guild--in ways never before possible. Examples given in today's press release include players enhancing their weapons and armor using virtue abilities or experience points, and the existence of magic items and weapons that actually gain experience and level up in the same way players do.

Players who manage to master any of the eight virtues in Ultima X will gain the ability to use special powers and, eventually, create disciples for themselves. Upon mastering all the virtues, players will attain the ultimate status of "avatar."

Ultima X: Odyssey is currently scheduled for release this winter. We'll bring you more information on the game as soon as it becomes available.

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