Review by Bkstunt_31
"A fresh look at a classic game."
Being 15 years old, Myst was THE GAME to play back in the day. That being said, I was just young enough for it to fly under my radar, but as a gamer, I feel I have redeemed myself by finally playing it through in the form of Real Myst, an enhanced remake of the original, which this review is for.
The story of Myst is very unique and imaginative, once you get into it that is. Initially you are given very little information as to what is going on or why you are suddenly on this island, only knowing that you found this book named Myst and upon touching its last page you were whisked away here. Upon further exploration of the island you soon find out that someone has spent a lot of time on the island, but that something has went wrong, leading to the absence of any of the islands inhabitants. You also find a set of journals written by a man named Atrus, along with two peculiar books, one red and one blue, which contain two brothers who beg you to continue finding their respective pages in order to release them from their books. As you explore the island further you will discover additional books which will whisk you away to different places where you will have to solve a series of puzzles in order to find the additional pages which the brothers need.
In order to not give the story away, I'll leave it at that for now, but suffice to say that the game is full of freedom as you are free to explore the worlds and discover the back story that Atrus left for you. After that you will have to decide who to believe or who not to believe in order to access the stories multiple endings.
The gameplay in Myst is a very standard point-and-click interface common to most adventure games. You can click on the environment to move around and interact with objects, and can easily look around by scrolling your mouse to the sides of the screen. As I've already mentioned, Myst is largely an exploration game, making it fairly simple to navigate, but it can be hard to get into since you really don't have that much information when you first arrive on the Island. Knowing what to do or where to go when you first start can be a very daunting task, but after the initial exploration and discoveries things become much easier.
The majority of the game, aside from the exploration aspect of it, is driven on by puzzles. Many of these puzzles are rather simple to figure out, or can be accomplished with trial and error, and there is almost always a hint to the solution somewhere in the level where you can find it. However, some of them can be tough, most notably a musical puzzle which requires you to input some tones in order to solve it, though it is extremely hard to get the right tone due to the handle's extreme sensitivity to your mouse's scroll function (you are pretty much required to turn down your mouse sensitivity just for this one puzzle). Overall, the gameplay is very standard, which helps to highlight the graphics and ultimately the story.
The graphics in Real Myst are nothing short of outstanding. Unfortunately, I never had a chance to see the original Myst, but I'm sure that Real Myst is an improvement. The only thing short of perfection on the graphics is the overall lack of an interactive environment. Yes, you can interact with the environment when you need to solve a puzzle of some sort, but that is the only time you are allowed to, which is unfortunate. Other than that, the backgrounds all look great in each place you will visit. You can tell a great amount of care has been taken in placing detail into each environment.
Music/Sound effects: 8/10
The music and sound effects are fairly average, but I gave them an eight for their significant use in many of the game's puzzles, where it is required to listen for various sound effects in order to proceed. In fact, it would be quite a challenge to complete Myst without hearing any music or sound effects at all. As far as background music is concerned, many of the tunes reflect the world that you are currently in, ranging from calm winds and birds to metallic sounds. The sound effects, apart from contributing to the game's puzzles, sound exactly as you would expect them to.
There is really no re-playability at all in Myst, as it is primarily an exploration and puzzle game, and if you've already beat it once, it will pose almost no challenge to you at all on a second play-through. It should be noted, though, that Real Myst added in an additional age to look around that Myst did not have.
Overall, a great game driven by a fantastic story and amazing graphics. I definitely think that this game is aimed towards the intellectual gamer, as many gamers today are used to the bloody beat-em-up titles and may find it hard to get into Myst. I should also note that Myst has multiple sequels that you can check out if you enjoyed this title, as well as the news that Myst is going to be ported to the Nintendo DS in the near future, so that may be worth checking out as well. Have fun and keep playing!
Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 02/26/08
Game Release: Real Myst (US, 11/14/00)
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