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High quality, sophisticated and mature game which shows how adventure games are greatly missed now.

9.5

Editors' Choice
Difficulty:
Very Hard
Time Spent:
10 to 20 Hours
The Bottom Line:
"Instant classic"

Summary

Shame on me I didn't play the Myst games earlier. Back then I was a high school kid though, so I was more interested in video games with action plus I was a dedicated PlayStation (1) gamer. I'm older now so I want to spend my video gaming time to something that will challenge my mind and not my fingers, so I tried Myst. Before Myst, I had played other related games such as "Broken Sword" and "The Longest Journey" so I wasn't a stranger with adventure games, in the contrary I have the best of memories from them. I asked a friend who had played all Myst games to tell me which one is the best. Immediately he answered me "Myst 4". It's kinda weird to start playing these games from the fourth game, but I thought that at least I have to give it a try and see if it's worth its good name.

From the very beginning I was amazed from the quality of this game. The graphics are very realistic and full of details. For a 2004 game, indeed it had set the standards very high. The plot is very interesting and the game characters are very "loveable" and interesting. (The characters are real humans/actors and not paintings/3d models) The ambient music fits unbelievably well and it's full of class, adding a lot to the whole atmosphere of the game. Another great feature is that you can interact with objects in the background, for example you can touch the water in a bucket and listen the splash and see the ripples. Worth a mention because these little details add so much in the game plus it's not the most usual thing in adventure games to interact with the environment. Also I think that Myst 4 has the best cursor and overall controls in any adventure game I've ever played.

The places you visit are called "ages" and they are the reason which makes this game so memorable and unique. They are fantastic worlds, creations of the main character of the game called Atrus. That's his art and talent but also his curse. So as a good friend you have to help him and solve the mysteries and riddles each one hides. You can visit them only if you find and touch the page of special books, the linking books. Imagine something like touching a photo of the pyramids in Egypt and immediately teleported there. Cool eh? The ages varies from something that looks like the gardens of Eden, a tropical island inhabited from strange-ancient looking creatures, an isolated gothic sci-fi hell and an ethereal sacred place which looks like heaven. Not bad, especially when the design of them is so well done, you are going to forget that you just play a game. Very difficult but logical puzzles awaits you in these worlds to solve so it's not about sightseeing the game's art. If you can solve Myst's puzzles then you can easily finish every other adventure game, but that's another unique characteristic of the game, which I really liked.

All in all Myst 4 is a top game and one of the best (if not the best) in the adventure games genre. A mixture of science fiction and fantasy with Hollywood standards. I wish it was less difficult in some places (the Spire Age f.e.) and to be much longer though.





Monkey Island put it best: Yes Myst is pretty, but egad is it dull! Contains Spoilers

5.5

Mediocre
Difficulty:
Hard
Time Spent:
10 to 20 Hours
The Bottom Line:
"Disappointing"

Summary

Myst revelations is the fourth installment of the Myst game series. The plot of Revelations is directly linked to that of the first game, as it concerns the fates of Atrus' two sons Sirrus and Achenar.
Atrus once again invites you to one of his ages (The same one as you start on in Exile). It takes place a long time (about 10 years I think) after Myst, and Atrus' and Catherine's daughter Yeesha has grown up. Atrus has found a way to link back to the ages he trapped his sons in, and asks you to check on them to see whether or not he can release them. He goes to another age, Rime, Catherine is away, and naturally chaos ensues.

Unlike the previous installments, you start this game with tools. You have a camera and picture viewer, and later you get Yeesha's necklace that shows you events that have happened. This can be quite useful as you can take photos of the crystal viewer codes, and any maps that you find lying around. The viewer is slightly awkward, as it is hard to view your pictures outside of the game (some of the views are amazing, so this is sad) and it can be a bit laborious switching between the viewer and any puzzle you are attempting. I found it easier to copy down the information or code on to paper, as I used to with precious Myst puzzles, but this renders the picture viewer somewhat useless! The necklace is an interesting addition, as it shows you clips and fills in background stories, but on a pedantry note it is inconsistent in the way it works; for instance it shows Yeesha being chased but to preserve the story it doesn't show you who, but at other times it shows you from the perspective of the person carrying out the action, usually Yeesha as she is wearing the necklace. It is a useful storytelling device however, and enriches the storyline.

As usual, the scenery is beautiful, and the movement sequences blend much more seamlessly with the pre-rendered backgrounds. At some points you can follow Yeesha around the compound, and in some cases her actions change depending on your actions. The music is immersive and ethereal in places. I don't know if it is composed by Robin Miller as in earlier games.

The puzzles are fiendish in some places, particularly in Sirrus' Spire age. I have to admit that I gave up on his crystal resonance chair. I looked at several walkthroughs and couldn't get it to work for the life of me. If a puzzle isn't doable even after you see how it is completed, I think that counts against it. Generally the puzzles were more arbitrary and difficult to work out. On Exile it was obvious how the puzzles worked, and they had a kind of logic to them (it was a teaching age), but here buttons weren't obvious, some viewpoints were difficult to reach. The hand grasps at air or taps, but it doesn't obviously change when you can interact with something. This makes the game tedious and frustrating. The same for where you can walk to. It seems arbitrary where you can and can't walk, and its only because they made the backgrounds pre-rendered again. Zip mode only works in some places, particularly on the home age, which again, is very frustrating. You can't zip from the observatory to the linking books for instance, despite the fact you can walk from one to the other at all times. It makes no sense at all, and the snapshots that represent the zip locations are unhelpful at best.

The story is about as in depth as any of the Myst games from Riven onwards. You find out more through journals, and by looking at the ages as you walk around. The necklace also adds depth to the characters, but honestly it wasn't necessary in the previous games, and I don't think it added anything here. One of the selling points of Myst was the strange emptiness, and while I appreciate that it was because video footage looked terrible at the time, and made files huge, it didn't need to be made into a weakness just because the games are more advanced. The acting in Myst is fairly hammy, particularly from Rand Miller, so I think the less the better. The necklace just made it feel like they couldn't put across the story of the game as well as they used to. It is a minor issue however, as by and large, the game is the same as all its predecessors. The story has closure, and if you are a big Myst fan, especially of the books and surrounding world, then it is well worth playing. It is not a user friendly game, and parts will leave most people frustrated, but there are many well written walkthroughs, and failing that, the endings are on youtube.




Be redy, to explore a fantasy world, like you've never seen before...

9.0

Editors' Choice
Difficulty:
Very Hard
Time Spent:
40 to 100 Hours
The Bottom Line:
"Masterpiece"

Summary

The game is a total masterpiece, and who says different hasn't played it or just hasn't the nerves to complete it.

I was first introduced to myst playing the III part, and soon after that, I bought the collection of all the 5 parts.

I played all of them, but only completed the 1st 3rd and 4th part, and the IV part is the best in the series.

Not only the life-like graphics but also the story, that unfolds trough the game. If you played the first part, this one is a must, becouse it reveals so much more, about Artas' two sons, and doughter, wich is about 10 years old in the time of this part.

One bad thing in this game is, that the puzzles are in humain hard, and I guess, that the game cannot be completed under 100 hours, if you do not look the walktrough, or the tips, that are allready in the game this time.

If you played one part of myst, and liked it, you will absolutely love this one, so I sugest you pick it up, becouse it's totally worth it.




Surreally immersive

10

Editors' Choice
Difficulty:
Hard
Time Spent:
100 or More Hours
The Bottom Line:
"Immersive"

Summary

Back in 2004, after starting playing this game, it was a wow - how could a geme be like this?
Graphics, ambient sounds, music, real actors playing. It was my second game on the PC, so I was hypnotized by the graphics, and the surreal ambients that the game creates. It showed how far computer graphics could be in a game. And thre's too the ambient music, always fitting right. The highlight Ages were Achenar's prision and Sirenia. Sirenia was great, with all the strange effects, and the bubbles.
The gameplay is different from several point-and-click games. You could rotate, and there's much more interaction than other games of the genre.
Overally, the best and sole point-and-click game I ever played. I don't like any other point-and-click games, besides Myst series, especially this, Myst IV. Even if someone isn't a point-and-click fan, this game deserves a look.




The most immersive first person puzzle game you'll ever play.

10

Editors' Choice
Difficulty:
Hard
Time Spent:
20 to 40 Hours
The Bottom Line:
"Amazing"

Summary

This Myst game is certainly a vast improvement from the first Myst game, and lives up to the Myst saga extremely well. The world is detailed and looks amazing, the blending between the CG backdrops and the live-action characters is flawless. The interface with the 360 degree free look and controlled motion of leavers makes one feel like they are actually in the world, interacting with objects and solving puzzles. The puzzles themselves are fiendishly difficult, and some of them, specifically those in the Spire age, are nearly impossible to solve without help. Fortunately, the Myst IV team had the foresight to implement a hint / walkthrough system to the game menu. As a result, if a puzzle proves too difficult, one can simply jump into the options menu to find either a vague hint or a full-on walkthrough. Which ever they prefer. In addition, the story is compelling and draws you in quickly. In implementation of a device that reads journals to you vastly improves the story telling, since journals are a primary way of story telling in Myst. The only downside I can think of is that some of the longer puzzles tend to slow down the action, sometimes breaking the hold the story might have on you. Still, this game is amazing and is certainly a must buy, even if you have no interest in the Myst series.
8.5

Superb
8.2