Review by Talonfire
"Return to the Myst Universe to save the Future of a Magical People"
After Riven the Miller brothers decided they wanted to work on a more interaction oriented Myst adventure that is known to us today as Uru: Ages Beyond Myst. However, fans wanted to continue the original Myst saga, so while Cyan was busy with Uru Presto Studios started development of Myst III: Exile, the third chronicle in the life of Atrus.
A decade after the events on Riven, you return to Atrus (How and why is up to your imagination) and he wishes to show you the world he created for the D'ni called Releeshan. Before you can get there however, a mysterious man links into Atrus' study and steals the book, you quickly follow him and once again find yourself putting your life on the line for Atrus. As you travel through Atrus' ages meant to teach his sons about the art of exploring different worlds, you must unravel the stories of the tormented soul Saavedro. For all of you movie fans, you'll recognize the actor as Brad Dourif who is known for playing villains and psychos.
Exile follows the same basic formula as it's predecessors, nothing new here except how you can look. Looking now is more advanced, while you still travel through 2D pre-rendered images, you now have the ability to look in full 360 degree angles, so you can view in any direction from where you're standing. Other than that, everything else is the same old puzzles and clicking to get from point a to point b and manipulating objects.
The usual 2D pre-rendered backgrounds that are well accepted by adventure gamers are what you'll find within Exile. This time around, we don't see quick time used for the acting or animations, but smacker technology which actually makes the videos seem a bit... fuzzy... but I suppose it's more clear than the quicktime videos from Myst and Riven.
As come to be expected in the Myst series, Exile has a perfect ambience as well as a superb background score composed by Jack wall that fits in perfectly with the overall themes of the worlds. The music is really memorable and my current favorite soundtrack out of all of the Myst games.
Once again the controls are simple, except now you have to right click to switch between hand mode and turning mode. Other than that, it's the same old click to navigate and manipulate we all know and love from Myst and Riven, what fun.
Myst and Riven fall short in this area, and Exile is no different. You'll find yourself having little reason to replay it. If you like adventure and a good story though, you may find yourself popping in the four CD set again in the future to experience the tale of the exile once again.
Exile is often said to be inferior to it's predecessors by hardcore Myst fans, but it is my personal favorite of the series so far. Any self respecting adventure fan should give Exile I shot, I doubt you'll be dissapointed by this one.
Reviewer's Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Originally Posted: 04/06/04
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