After putting its surprisingly well-featuring Tiger Woods PGA Tour Online in your browser for no charge whatsoever, EA’s now allowing anyone with an internet connection to play Lord of Ultima, a real, proper, build-and-bash online fantasy strategy game. Tip: don’t start playing if you want to do anything else today.
Lord of Ultima’s a resource-based city game with quests, tons of buildings and units and a world full of other players. You start life as a “sir” and work up the ranks to “emperor”.
You can either choose to be confrontational or diplomatic, a la Civ. A nice lady leads you through a tutorial (forsooth) then cuts you free to do what you like on your server, which in the first instance is building your city, which is free from attack for a week.
Time-scales for “doing stuff” quickly jump up from seconds to hours. You’re in for the long haul. Your city has a score, so you can see how strong you are compared to the rest of the surrounding players. Plenty of crushing to be done.
Seriously, it’s cool. It’s a proper game. It’s completely free. You’ll need an EA account to play it, but getting one takes about a minute, so that’s no chore. It’s “open beta” but it’s all working.
Back in a tick. Just upgrading our town hall to level five.