Myst IV: Revelation Feb 23, 2006

Just finished playing through Myst IV: Revelation, with some serious aid (of course) from a walkthrough. Review behind the cut…

First, some positive points about the game:

  • This is a very, very pretty game, even compared to earlier Myst titles (very nice-looking games in their own right). They've added a whole bunch of new, GPU-intensive effects like depth of field, lens flares, variable lighting, composited-on 3D animals, water effects, fire, etc., and it really adds to the feel of the game.
  • Through the liberal use of journals and flashbacks, this game feels a lot more "charactery" than previous Myst games. As a result, the ending is a lot more satisfying than the one in (say) Riven, because you really got to know the principal characters through the course of the game.
  • The writers and actors did a pretty good job of making the player wonder who to trust, right up until the last. Yeah, I picked the right one without the walkthrough's help, but I did wonder.
  • For once, Peter Gabriel actually makes a positive contribution to the soundtrack.

And some negatives:

  • This game is HARD. Even by Myst standards, and that is really saying something. I would NEVER have made it through this game without my trusty walkthrough.
  • Although most of the game is pretty interesting, I felt like Spire (Sirrus's prison age) dragged quite a bit, mostly because it all pretty much looks the same, which is both monochromatic and dull.
  • In order to get the game to run on my Intel iMac, I had to search for a workaround on the web. UbiSoft claims the game won't run at all on Intel Macs, but hey.

Overall, I actually think it was my favorite Myst game of the ones I've played (Myst, Riven, most of Exile, a little Uru, and Revelation). Kudos to Team Revelation, this really looked like a labor of love on their part.

Now on to Myst V: End of Ages…