Ultima Underworld: The Stygian Abyss

Underworld strikes gold with its revolutionary engine.

Origin’s tour de force, the most influential RPG since Dungeon Master, turned the RPG field on its head when it was originally released in 1992 and, along with its more impressive sequel, continued to be the bane of rival RPG developers well into the mid 1990s.

7It’s a single character, first-person perspective dungeon crawler, using a 3D engine that was nothing short of revolutionary at the time. We must remember that this game came out mere months after Wolf3D, and compared to id’s graphics, Underworld’s scrolling engine looks like Wolfenstein on steroids. Supporting more detail, which includes textured surfaces, atmospheric lighting and higher color depth. Plus you get realistic movement in all directions and the ability to look up and down – you can even fly with the right spell.

What’s more, all this is achieved with an intuitive interface that’s incredibly simple to use. But the gamei s far from just a technical marvel – it combines superb atmosphere with a realistic, self-contained world complete with a captivating story. Combine all this with the huge levels, deadly monsters, clever puzzles, nasty traps and unique characters, and you’ve got one of the best RPGs ever, second only to its amazing sequel.

System Requirements: 80386SX 25 MHz, 2 MB RAM, DOS 4.0

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