Review by Daveman424

""A world beyond your imagination awaits""

I've been a huge Myst fan ever since the original came out. Every time I see one come out, I jump at the chance to get it. Why, then, did I wait months after Uru came out to go and buy it? Because I had been told that the game was an online game, and would require a monthly fee to play. The words "monthly fee" strike fear in my heart, and remind me of the big empty space in my wallet. So I decided I could pass on this one.

But I, too, felt the calling.

Myst Uru is a different sort of game from Cyan. For those used to the Myst franchise, the game will seem very different at first, and yet oddly familiar. The most obvious change is that Uru is a third-person game. Instead of pointing and clicking where you want to go, as in the past games, Uru forces you to move around with the arrow keys and face objects in order to use them. While uncomfortable to use at the start, it quickly becomes second nature to use the new key configurations, and you can even set your own for ease of play.

Uru does play differently than the past Myst games, in that instead of having to solve puzzle after puzzle that challenge you mentally, you now must figure out ways to physically solve puzzles. This means that the game has become a little more action/adventure oriented. Jumping over huge crevasses becomes second-nature, but a slip of the finger can cause the avatar to go falling into a void, forcing him to link back to his "safe house", a.k.a. Relto.

The "Relto" is a great new gameplay feature. It is the player's home, and can be customized by finding pages to add to the Relto linking book. Inside the house, there is a bookshelf that contains any linking books to worlds the player has already visited.

Now for the actual ratings:

Story: 8/10
The story is not a typical Myst storyline, seeing as anyone you talk to has been dead for over 200 years. Only recordings exist now, and while they eerily connect to what you are doing, it is just a one-sided conversation. However, it still is there, and always nudges you to move on so you can find out what happened.

Controls: 6/10
I happen to find the third-person controls very annoying. Many times I will click on a spot on screen accidentally, and the character has to turn to face it. Turning is not one of the strong points in the game. I find the easiest way to move around is in first-person view, however, it is very easy to miss things while walking around that way. I much prefer the first-person point-and-click that is so common in all Myst games.

Graphics: 10/10
Many times in the game I will stop just to look around at the scenery. The worlds are beautiful. Amazing detail is involved in every little spot in the game. In the desert, at the beginning, it is impossible to tell where the foreground starts and the background begins. Everything is so well drawn that I don't even need to play the game through to enjoy it completely.

Difficulty: 10/10
The level of difficulty in this game is much better than in previous games. I find the puzzles to be on a very nice level. Not too hard, but they do make you think for a while on how to solve them.

Overall: 9/10
This game is a true piece of the Myst franchise. Although it takes the game in a new direction, it stays true to what Myst fans love about the series. I look forward to Myst IV: Revelations coming in the Fall.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 08/16/04

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