Review by Nathan
"A Decent Game, Shown Up By Its Incredible Predecessors"
The moment I read online that this game was coming out, I knew I had to have it. Yes, I paid $45 for it. Was it worth it? That depends.
Gameplay--9/10 It's Myst. You point, and you click. Then you point again, and click again. Pretty simple, right? Well, except for the mildly distorted, ugly 3D free-look format that's the default setting. Still, the now-classic and widely-loved slow, easy approach to gameplay is attractive and simple, once you get used to it.
The Myst games, this one in particular, have a quality that you don't find very often: you get deeply involved. Because of the simple, intuitive method of maneuvering, it's extremely easy to get immersed. The puzzles...well, they'll have their own section. They deserve one.
Story--7/10 Well, it's a little thin. The connection between the end of Riven and the beginning of Exile is totally unclear, so it leaves you feeling a little unsettled, especially if you're a long-time devotee of the series. But! You can't usually expect an incredible plot from the 3rd game in a series, right? Well, you can, but you won't often get one...at any rate, yes, the story is certainly workable, and the main villain plays his role exceedingly well. Basically, to paraphrase the back of the box, this is a rather complicated story of vengeance and betrayal (not necessarily in that order) that only a great thinker (and reader of FAQs) such as yourself can successfully comprehend. Informative, huh?
Audio--10/10 The saving grace of this game. Since the graphics were disappointing (they should really be able to do better than that, in this day and age), it was a relief to hear decent music in a game, for once. The music and sounds of Myst 3 were expertly written and dubbed; they serve excellently by themselves, but while you're playing, they heighten suspense, tension, triumph, or whatever other emotion you're supposed to be feeling. True, it's blatant manipulation, but what isn't, these days?
Puzzles--8/10 I don't know why I love this series so much, the way I hate puzzles. Basically, puzzles are all you get to do, here. The human interaction is minimal, so you deal primarily with machines and gimmicks. If you aren't prepared to push and pull levers and wheels and switches and other little gizmos until you need a new mouse (or a new clicking finger), stay away from Myst 3. But if you like to be challenged by enigmatic, often repetetive puzzles that will have you pulling your hair and searching for ''Myst 3 Hints'' at UHS or GameFAQs, well shucks, this is the game for you.
Bugs/Crashes--2/10 Happened waaaaaay too often. Don't try and alt-tab out of this, it'll freeze. If you have any kind of normal video hardware/software, go download the patch. When it asks for a CD-change (too often) you have about a 25% chance of another attempted crash. Did they purposely release this with the bugs? I hate that...
Replayability--6/10 Maybe a year or so later, when you've forgotten how tedious it can be, you'll play Myst 3: Exile again. But don't bother to let it waste space on the hard drive, because odds are, you won't care when you're done.
So was it worth my hard-won $45? Umm, I probably ought to have waited for the price to go down. But it's too late now. If you're considering buying it right now, don't--wait a few weeks, when the market settles a little, and pick it up for $30 or something.
Overall--7/10 Quite good, really, with several minor problems. Hopefully the crashing and the flaming death and the horror, the horror will be fixed relatively soon.
Reviewer's Rating: 3.5 - Good
Originally Posted: 06/03/01, Updated 06/03/01
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