Ultima's Kingdom is Reborn

EA releases graphical overhaul on eve of venerable MMOG's 10th anniversary.

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The trolls are now uglier than ever!
The trolls are now uglier than ever!

In 1997, legendary game designer Richard Garriott transformed the online gaming space with Ultima Online. Though it was initially panned by critics for its myriad of technical issues, the game managed to persist and improve, releasing seven fully featured expansions and winning over hundreds of thousands of players.

Now, a month shy of its 10th anniversary, Electronic Arts has rolled out the game's most drastic overhaul yet with Ultima Online: Kingdom Reborn. The update is free to download for existing subscribers of the game, and Ultima Online requires a $12.99-a-month subscription fee.

While not considered an expansion proper, Kingdom Reborn primarily offers a reengineered graphics engine that enhances the game's visual aesthetic, as well as a retooled user interface. Kingdom Reborn will also introduce content geared at easing new players into the storied massively multiplayer online game.

Ultima Online is rated T for Teen. EA is currently offering a free 14-day trial of the game for players to get a first-hand look at the update. The game's latest full-fledged expansion, Ultima Online: Stygian Abyss, is expected to go live later this year.

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