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Customer Review

on 22 March 2002
Did you fall in love with the original game? Well you're gonna love this even more.
For the UK fans of the Myst series, this game has meant sheer tingles of delicious excitement ever since the very first information was announced, and we've all been patiently waiting for this masterwork to hit the shelves on this side of the Atlantic for far too long. And so the days of drooling into the keyboard as the teaser movie trailer plays on loop are now finally over. realMYST - the re-worked realtime 3D version of the original Myst - is here!
So it runs in realtime, which basically means it almost plays like Goldeneye007 or Quake - you can actually move around and look all over the place as freely as you like, slowly taking in the astoundingly beautiful and stunningly realistic environments of this fantastic game. It's like the 360' panning interface we saw in Myst III: Exile, only with the same freedom backwards and forwards, too. Original Myst gamers will delight at being able to sentimentally inspect objects more closely and see the same landscapes from hundreds of new and exciting angles - you obsessed people are all going to get a tremendous kick out of this. The original Ages of Selentic, Channelwood, Stoneship, Mechanical and D'ni are present as before, but in addition is one extra, named the 'Rimes Age', that serves as a stimulating reward for Myst addicts. The best part of this new way of playing is that it's so much simpler to understand where you are in the 3D space, unlike the old static image 'slideshow' point and click style of gameplay we had to learn to comprehend in the original Myst and Riven. This makes it more approachable to first-time Myst adventurers who I'm hoping will get pulled into the huge world-wide fan community and go on to try their hand at Riven and Exile, too.
The Ages of Myst are now living, breathing places with swaying trees, rippling water, roaming wildlife and changing weather conditions. The sun even moves across the sky and sinks behind the horizon causing a striking starry sky to emerge above you. The game also boasts larger, higher quality animations than before, new sound effects and a digitally re-mastered soundtrack that simply makes the game as gorgeously immersive and atmospheric as it is.
The reason these games are so popular is their surrounding story line that gradually unfolds as you solve the numerous riddles and puzzles. Everything in the game has a fictitious historical background to it; all of the objects and machines have a purpose for being where they are. On completion of the game, you will feel a terrific sense of achievement, and call me weird if you wish, but like me you'll probably want to go back and just stroll about in the different worlds for fun.
However, all that praise just can't exist without a few points of criticism.
A certain amount of patience is needed for playing this game, and if you can't tolerate getting royally stuck every now and then, you won't enjoy this too much as the solutions to the puzzles are sometimes quite obscure. Logic and keen observation will get you through this game only, throwing a tantrum and shaking the screen in annoyance will not I'm afraid.
Also, the game is a meaty one, and unfortunately this really tests your computer - I mean, take a look at the system requirements. Most of us don't possess this kind of specification, and even if you are able to run it, you'll notice it skips and judders a little too often. Finally seeing Myst the way the Miller brothers originally intended comes at the price of expensive hardware, you know.
But this is the vision of Rand and Robyn Miller realised in all it's initially intended glory (that couldn't properly exist with the level of technology back then in the mid-80s), and it is going to be a massive hit without doubt. For adventure gamers, this is a must-have if you do have the equipment. The cost is nice and low, so even if you're not enormously into this kind of mental gaming, why not have a go?
The adventure becomes real and you'll adore it. realMYST.
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