realMyst review

General discussion about realMyst.

realMyst review

Postby Sat42 » Sun May 26, 2019 2:44 am

My review of realMyst (2000), in case anyone is interested.

Comments welcome, obviously, since this is a discussion forum :)

realMyst is the best version of Myst

Overall, 4.5/5 - Excellent!

OK so hear me out: I never got the chance to play the original Myst (1993) on the Mac, but I did see how it looks like via short videos online (that showed off the game without spoiling the puzzles) and I did get to try Myst: Masterpiece Edition on the PC and let me tell you - the game in that form is far from a masterpiece; I understand its historical significance, but make no mistake: without nostalgia goggles, the original Myst is probably a good game that still looks above average generally speaking (dipping to less than mediocre on occasion, for example when looking at the sea from the starting zone, but also rising to good in some places, for instance in the planetarium), in other words nothing to write home about, if not for its impact in video game history. You want to play Myst today for the first time? Go with realMyst!

Why? Easy:
- realMyst actually has a game engine, allowing for fully fleshed out 3D environments for the player to explore, and it still looks excellent generally speaking (oh yeah the sea is SO much better! and you even get a day and night cycle, weather effects, etc.); this is a far cry from the previous interactive slide show experience
- The real-time 3D environments are easier to navigate than the collection of largely static screens from before, which also helps the player’s immersion into the universe of Myst
- you get some exclusive content: one more Age to explore! The story is also expanded a bit, fleshing out the link between Myst and Riven

As for the puzzles which constitute the core of the experience, they can be challenging and initially you will struggle to make headway on the isle of Myst. Taking notes is mandatory. Do that, and you should eventually be able to beat the game without resorting to a walkthrough (as I did - it took between 10 and 15 hours). The story is good (hinting at greater things to come) and well worth discovering. The soundscape is very good. Excellent sense of atmosphere throughout.

“Hey, what about realMyst - Masterpiece Edition?” In my humble opinion, the newest version of Myst is not worth it the first time round, mainly because visual consistency (and therefore, immersion) is hurt when recycled old low-res video sequences (FMVs) are overlaid on high-res 3D graphics. Perhaps, if you become a fan, it’s worth checking out, but you should not make it your first experience with Myst.

[Note: played on Windows 7]
[Coming soon: Riven review!]
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