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Underworld RPG franchise returns with Underworld Ascension

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It's hard to overstate just how good Ultima Underworld was. Its connection to the Ultima continuity was perhaps tenuous, but as a story-driven dungeon crawl it was, and is, unparalleled. For years, it's been my go-to answer to the question, "Which old game should be remade for modern systems?" and so you can imagine just how tickled I am about Ultima Ascension, a new project headed by original Underworld designer Paul Neurath.

Neurath, a co-founder of Looking Glass Studios , will oversee the development of Underworld Ascension as the founder and CEO of new indie studio OtherSide Entertainment. "With Underworld Ascension, we are excited to be bringing back the Underworld franchise, making it more vital than ever before," he said in a statement.

Neurath will be joined on the project by Looking Glass fellow Tim Stellmach, who announced his participation on Twitter . "I'm pleased to announce that the @OtherSide_Games team working on Underworld Ascension includes the lead designer of Underworld 2. :)," he wrote.

The website at othersideentertainment.com acknowledges that there's "little to see as yet," but the mere fact that this is happening is very exciting. Not sure why? Spend a few minutes with our look back at the original in Reinstall: Ultima Underworld for a little taste of what's (hopefully) in store.

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.