Ultima 8 Review in PC Games Plus

Courtesy of Deckard (who maintains the Ultima Codex’s Ultima Online Gateway), the Origin Gallery is pleased to present these scans from the August 1994 edition of PC Games Plus, a now-defunct gaming magazine. The scans represent only a portion of the August issue, and include the cover (which features some excellent Ultima artwork), a review of Ultima 8, and some coverage of other then-current or still-pending Origin Systems games.

What’s amusing about the cover is that it contains a typo; it lists Ultima 9 as one of the topics covered in its pages, and features artwork associated with the game on its cover…but only features a review of Ultima 8. Which, granted, is a very comprehensive, screenshot-heavy review that is in general very positive (although it does note the difficulties in the game’s controls and jumping system as a negative).

Also found in this issue of the magazine was a full-page write-up about the then-still-to-be-released Wing Commander 3. The piece drips with excitement and anticipation, eagerly anticipating the arrival of what was, indeed, a truly excellent game. PC Games Plus’ short review of Origin’s Wings of Glory, however, was much less positive, as can also be seen in the images above. Though the game’s sound effects were (rightly!) praised by the reviewer, most of the rest of it was given a sound “thumbs down”.

The other page that Deckard scanned was a one-page article from the magazine which gave short sumamries of various pieces of gaming news of the day. One noteworthy item mentioned on this page, in the lower-left section, is The Lost Vale, the never-released expansion to Ultima 8. What’s amusing — and perhaps unfortunate — is that PC Games Plus treats The Lost Vale as a sure thing, given that Pagan sold “100,000 units in its first week of release”.

(Which, by the way, also gives us some rough idea of just how successfully Ultima 8 sold, at least initially.)

Anyhow…the images here, all of which are JPEGs, are quite large. When a thumbnail above is clicked on, the image will open in a lightbox overlay, but may take some time to do so.

Regardless, enjoy. Pull up each image and have a read of what PC Games Plus had to say about various Origin Systems games. Check out the included screenshots, the speculations about what was to come, things which came to fruition and things which never did. The Origin Gallery is deeply indebted to Deckard (and the memory of PC Games Plus) for this brief glimpse into the history of Origin Systems and their formidable presence in the gaming market in 1994.

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