Underworld Ascendant - Paul Neurath Interview
Gameinformer interviewed Paul Neurath about Underworld Ascendant and immersive sims in general.
Let's talk about the immersive sim genre. Obviously, people you have worked with like Harvey Smith have carried it forward with games like the Dishonored series. I'm assuming you've kept up with immersive sims over the years as they have evolved and grown in their many permutations. Where do you feel that genre is at right now and what do you see as the possibilities?
I'm actually slightly disappointed that it hasn't gone further. The immersive sim category has taken some steps forward, but given the 25 or so years span that the category has been around, it's not leaps and bounds. You see areas, like the BioShock series, really pushed the linear narrative development. Deus Ex and Dishonored push more the "I can play stealth-like, I can be a fighter, I can use magic" – the three-triad approach to different gameplay. Broadly speaking it's been more incremental than I would have anticipated. What I want to do and what the studio wants to do is really push it and experiment. When we talk Underworld Ascendant it's not a sequel. It's not a retro kind of game. There are fictional elements, some characters from the Ultima Underworld games, it's set in the same place – the Stygian Abyss. But in terms of gameplay, the thing we're most honoring, which is the legacy that those games were innovative and trying to break rules at the time. So we're doing the same thing now. We're trying to push and see what works and what doesn't work in the immersive sim space. That's something that has always motivated Warren and me – to break the rules and see what happens. The industry needs that.
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