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Underworld RPG series returning with new game

Veteran designer Paul Neurath has a new studio.

Veteran game designer Paul Neurath is bringing the Underworld series back with a new game, Underworld Ascension.

He's set up a new studio in the Boston area, called OtherSide Entertainment, to do the honours.

Ultima Underworld: The Stygian Abyss.

Neurath's Ultima Underworld lifted a veil on what people expected from a video game. It was first-person, 3D and had you explore the ruins of a vast underground utopian civilization.

It would inspire The Elder Scrolls series of games as well as Ken Levine and his celebrated Shock games, among others.

Neurath would also go on to co-found Looking Glass Studios, the studio behind System Shock and Thief.

"With Underworld Ascension, we are excited to be bringing back the Underworld franchise, making it more vital than ever before," commented Neurath.

Exactly how he plans on doing that, so many years after Ultima Underworld made a splash, remains to be seen. We're to expect more details in the coming months. His old friends are keen, though.

Commented Ken Levine: "Underworld had a transformative effect on my understanding of what games were. It was the first time I ever felt 'inside' of an imaginary world. It was the game that primed all of my creative ambitions."

Commented Warren Spector: "As producer on the original Ultima Underworld games, I'll never forget the first time I saw a working prototype of the game - I felt as if the world had just changed. As the first fully-textured, real-time, first-person game, Underworld paved the way for every other first-person game that followed. If that doesn't qualify as 'changing the world', I don't know what does!"

Commented Richard Garriott: 'I went to space!' No no, not really. Here's what he actually said: "For those of us lifelong gamers that go back to the early days the Underworld franchise, created by Paul Neurath, represents a watershed event on what an immersive 3D true role-playing game can be like. In these days, where we are seeing many of these greats return, I personally am as excited about Underworld as any game I can imagine."

Finally, Chris 'rake-it-in' Roberts commented: "Ultima Underworld was truly revolutionary for its time - it was the first fully 3D textured first person game. As such it influenced pretty much all first person 3D games that came afterwards and could be truly called the granddaddy of first person role-playing games."

A known talent, a known series, testimonials - are we leading up to another nostalgic Kickstarter?

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