Ultima Online gets makeover

Kingdom Reborn out now.

EA has released the new Kingdom Reborn update that will completely revamp the ageing graphics of Ultima Online.

If you're an existing subscriber you won't have to dip into your pouch of gold for it either, just simply download it from the official vendor by the guards bank. There's even a free 14-day trial for those of you who aren't, so you can taste the vintage riches of what is widely considered to be the first mainstream MMORPG.

Next month marks the game's 10th birthday, and EA has developed this patch to prove to all of you lot with your fingers up your nose that it still believes in Richard Garriott's original creation.

Under the hood, the old, spluttering Ultima Online engine has been subtly replaced by EA Mythic's Warhammer Online juggernaut. But you will barely notice. It's still all isometric, see, although spell effects and smooth-skinned enemies will eventually give the game away.

The user interface has been in surgery too, sporting a much more up-to date feel and implementation - you'll even be able to play with friends who haven't upgraded, for a year or so until EA weeds out the old client and stops supporting it.

"Kingdom Reborn represents EA's ongoing commitment to MMOs and Ultima Online's dedicated and loyal community, some of whom have been playing the game since its launch almost ten years ago," said Mark Jacobs, big cheese at EA Mythic.

Later this year Ultima Online will get its eighth expansion pack, Stygian Abyss, which will let you play as Gargoyles and introduce the largest dungeon the virtual world has ever seen. There will also be new skills, items, pets and a home for the Gargoyle race. You will need the Kingdom Reborn update to be able to play it, though.

We had a chance to play Kingdom Reborn earlier in the year, and were very impressed. Pop over to our first impressions of Ultima Online: Kingdom Reborn for more information.

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