Dungeon Siege (2002) was an ok-ish game. I liked the free form class system - where characters would specialize according to the ways they used their abilities. The mule for carrying extra equipment and loot was an inspired invention. The music and the landscapes were well done, as were the goblins with machine guns and flamethrowers - except that there were too many of them. But it was ultimately a generic and repetitive hack and slash game with a threadbare plot.
But today I am extremely glad that I have a copy of it, because it enables me to play Ultima V: Lazarus (which I'll be referring to as just Lazarus), which recently been finished for the Mac.
The original Ultima V was published in 1988 on the Apple II. It was not good timing for a game's posterity, because at this time people were already replacing their Apple IIs and Commodore 64s for Macintoshes and PCs.
One of the developers of Lazarus explains the reason for re-making the game:
We're doing Ultima V specifically, rather than, say, IV or VI, for three basic reasons:
First, U5 is old enough that its technology is completely obsolete. Ultima VI-IX are still "playable" with today's computers, but V and those that came before it are very outdated.
Second, no one has ever created any patches or upgrades for it. Ultimas I, III, and IV have all at least been patched, if not completely remade.
Finally, I feel that Ultima V has the greatest potential for expansion of all the early Ultima games--its story is rich, its characters are interesting, and its environments are begging to be seen in modern graphics. [official u5lazarus.com web site, in the FAQ section]
Lazarus is actually a mod for the Dungeon Siege game. It's a very inspired combination - mixing a 2 dimensional turn-based game with well-written characters and a rich story into a 3D real-time game engine.
Lazarus is freeware, but a copy of Dungeon Siege (not Dungeon Siege 2) is needed to use the mod. It is definitely a labor of love. It must have been a massive job. I feel that it's unfortunate yet understandable that it took so long to finish, seeing that Dungeon Siege has been superseded and might not be so easy to find these days. I have only just started exploring this game, but have been impressed by the music and interactions between the different characters. It compares very favourably with modern games, and seems to have a maturity which many of them are lacking.