Review by M4tokill
"Beautiful worlds, nonsense puzzles"
The small stuff:
The Uru worlds are beautifully designed, with some incredible texture work and some very high quality sounds. If we're talking about the look and feel of a game then this game gets a 10/10. There are some slight issues with controlling your character but they are small enough that they don't distract from the game. The game character creation system also has some very nifty options which allow you to customize everything from the clothes you wear to the size of your nose. But as we all know this is a puzzle game and as with all puzzle games the only things that really matter are the puzzles.
Here is where Uru really let me down. I'm a big fan of adventure games and I have played and enjoyed all previous installments of the Myst series, with Riven being my favorite, but Uru was just not a satisfying experience. Many of the puzzles in this game just did not make any sense. Even now after solving them I still don't understand why that particular thing was the solution. I constantly got the feeling as I was playing, that the developers came up with some standard logical puzzles but then realized they were too easy. So in order to make them harder they removed most of the clues for them, they made the clues that they did leave really hard and difficult to understand, and they added components to the puzzles that serve no purpose other than to confuse you, and misdirect you from the right solution. My breakdown after I had finished this game was this: 40% of the puzzles I solved by myself, 30% I solved by luck (meaning I tried something and it worked... ?), and the other 30% I solved through the use of a walkthrough. I would never use a walkthrough to solve a game, and I would much rather not finish the game than result to that, but I had to with Uru because I was convinced my solutions were right. I was stuck on a puzzle and I was 100% sure that my solution was right because it made perfect sense. So I went online to see if maybe this was a game bug. I looked at the walkthrough and I realized that the solution was something completely different. This was the case with a few of the puzzles of this game. Many of them don't seem to follow any common sense, or reasoning. The other problem with the puzzles is that there are very few of them. 2 out of the 4 worlds have only 3 decent puzzles combined. The rest of the time you're just running around looking behind rocks to find your objectives.
This game looks great but that does not make up for the fact that the puzzles are illogical. I think the developers should've spent less time on the graphics and more time on developing some better puzzles. If I were to grade this game on the puzzles alone it would get a 2/10, but nevertheless the worlds are very highly polished so I cannot ignore that aspect of it. I don't care much about the Uru Live side of this since the core game did not please me very much. I would only recommend buying this game if you have money to spend and don't care. If your gaming budget is a little thin, then I would avoid it and go with some other better title. Of course if you're like me, you only read reviews after you've finished playing the game but oh well.
Reviewer's Rating: 3.0 - Fair
Originally Posted: 01/26/04
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