by Ewan Wilson
Underworld descendant Kickstarted
Although long-deceased, developer Looking Glass Studios’ impact on games is almost unparalleled. Their first-person RPGs – Ultima Underworld, Thief and System Shock – inspired countless classics: Deus Ex, Bioshock, Dishonored and Legend of Grimrock, to name but a few. Looking Glass founder Paul Neurath returns today in an attempt to Kickstart a new game in the Underworld series: Ascendant.
With a shot of nostalgia straight to the heart, Neurath and his new team, OtherSide Entertainment, are asking for a whopping $600,000 in order to return to the Stygian dark and build labyrinthine dungeons for you to wander.
The influence of the original Underworld is hard to quantify; its three dimensional corridors and first-person perspective preceded both Wolfenstein 3D and Doom, and yet it was altogether more intelligent. It may not be as well known as Looking Glass' other games, but its DNA is everywhere. Of course, over twenty years has passed, and it seems unlikely that a new game will have the same kind of widespread technical and cultural impact. However, given the chance, Ascendant may well continue to build upon a fantastic, evolving genre that traces its legacy all the way back to the original work of Neurath and Looking Glass Studios.
If anything is worth a punt, then this may be it. Check out OtherSide’s Kickstarter pitch below.