Review by ColCrazySwords
"So much missing"
Don't get me wrong, this is a wonderful game from a wonderful maker of a wonderful series in a wonderful genre but the game is just so NOT spectacular it sickens me.
In the final installment of Myst the story get's completely wrapped up, no loose ends, complete satisfaction. There may be a few loose ends but I'm a very avid Myst player and I don't see any glaring ones. But as this truly is the final Myst game you come into it seeking something spectacular, something new, something different. A long challenging game that not even under the best of circumstances could be completed in under 2 weeks. What you get is something old, things you've seen before, and a game that I completed in about 4 days (over the course of a week, I only played every other day or so for an hour or so at a time). I'm not even the most masterful Myst player out there, there are many that could've finished it in a few hours. Enough of my semi-bias summary, how does it really break down? Graphics, sound, story, etc.
Myst has always been renowned for having the highest quality renders and most beautiful environments, this installment doesn't miss a step in this category. The scenery is beautiful, there aren't as many animals running around as I like. In the jungles of Myst IV alone there must've been 50 while this game doesn't even hit 10-20 throughout the entire game, that just makes the world feel a little static. But that's unimportant. The only thing that really stopped Myst V from receiving a perfect score in this is the characters. In all other Myst games the characters were real actors put into the game, ala mortal kombat. This time around the body's are renders while the mouth/eyes seem to be real people's. This would work in a way except of one glaring flaw, NONE OF THE CHINS MOVE! You don't think you'd notice it but when you see it in action it really puts a damper on cut scenes when every bodies faces are only half expressive, I feel like I'm looking at stroke victims....
Hands down, the ambiance is wonderful, but it's not perfect. There isn't enough of it for one, where it is noticeable it's great, the sounds of moving gears and tearing winds have never been better, but if you're not actively pushing a button you hardly notice much of anything. Also surround sound isn't supported, not a problem for alot of people but if you're looking for an immersive experience there is nothing better than surround sound and the fact that Myst doesn't support it is almost a slap in the face.
I love this story, I've always loved Myst's stories since so little of it is told through cutscenes, most you have to pick up intuitively while playing through journals and pictures and cave paintings and the like, it's an accomplishment just to know what is really going on in the game. Myst V is no different, it doesn't leave you wanting more, which is exactly what a final installment is supposed to do.
In a word it's too easy, once you figure out the basic idea thats constant through every age most of the game falls in place. That one unifying theme that connects everything gives you a goal that simplifies everything and let's you see straight through the flak to the puzzles. The difficulty is probably on the level with Exile if that gives you any idea. Though alot shorter.
Replay it? It's Myst, there is no replayability. Unless of course you forget after a few years and go back to play it then, personally I still remember the key to the rocketship from the original Myst.
As you can see Myst V is less than the sum of it's parts, the whole idea of this game is to give you something to remember Myst by, something to make you really love the series and make you REALLY want cyan to come out with their new "myst" type game. This game doesn't do that, it gives you less than decent amount of playtime that you go through so quickly it hardly feels like you accomplished anything. I love Myst, and as I said earlier I really do like this game but it's just so sad to see Myst go out like this. Maybe we should've quit at riven?
Reviewer's Score: 6/10 | Originally Posted: 10/25/05
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