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developer: Cyan Worlds
PII-450, 64MB RAM, 75MB HDD, 3D card with 16MB
|ESRB rating: E
release date: Nov 14, 00
|» All About realMYST on ActionTrip|
Nikola "Bunny" Zakic
It became clear that there was not much space left for revolutionary gaming breakthroughs when Hasbro started publishing remakes of old arcade blockbusters, and the resurrected Cinemaware declared it was working on a contemporary remake of the original Defender Of The Crown. Publishers justify these moves as gifts for trusty fans, or their wish to introduce the younger players (those who hadn't been born before the eighties, or at least spent them trying to suck on that juicy joystick as toddlers) with the golden age of 8-bit machines. It is clear they just want to use their existing potentials and sell titles that will do well on the market at least because of their name.
Cyan and Mattel were lead by notions like these when they started adding the third dimension to the one of the best-selling games from the first days of CD-ROM titles. The original Myst sold several million copies and is considered to be if not the founder (some older text adventures had similar concepts), then surely the best representative of puzzle-adventure games genre. realMyst is regardless of the authors' pretensions, only an improved original, and nothing more.
The very title will disclose what we're dealing with here. The prefix "real" should state that this "sequel" is actually no more than an enhanced original with real-time motion. The entire Island and it four ages have been well depicted (Chanelwood Age, Stoneship Age, Selenitic Age, Mechanical Age), and together with the fact that you can freely move anywhere you like, it was supposed to make you spend those thirty bucks and run through the well known areas.
I'll just run through the basic plot in case any of you are unfamiliar with it. The story begins when you find a book with a photo of a mysterious island. You soon get to be teleported to the island, where you find out that its inhabitants retreated before some unknown peril. Your goal is to solve a load of puzzles in order to find pages of the book written by two brothers and scattered through four ages. Once you found the whole book, you'll know what happened on the island and how to return home.
The game uses the first person view. The original game would let you explore through a series of pictures, and this "sequel" will give you the full liberty of a FPS. Then, there are the features specific for the genre: loneliness and lack of characters to talk to, inventory limited to one item only, and hosts of logical puzzles, most of which come down to writing down what you saw on one location, and then using that on another location in order to make progress. This concept can prove to be very addictive. The satisfaction you get from completing a task is sufficient to hold you glued to the screen, but the huge tracts of land you have to cross in solving a single puzzle can be very frustrating, and make you wish you never ever played games like this (at least until you pull yourself together by shooting hosts of weird looking enemy Martians from your favorite shooter).
6.5 Above Average
The atmosphere of the original Myst brought to all the youngsters who missed it. Great graphics. New world;
A four-year-old game is still incapable of achieving modern standards.