are those that swear by Myst, and there are those
that swear at Myst. Known for its complex and esoteric
puzzles as well as its stunning scenery, this point-and-
click adventure game has been an old-school, PC classic
for many years. Myst IV for the Xbox remains true
to its PC roots but it's been streamlined and upgraded
to make it more accessible for beginners while not
dumbing down the very elements that have made this
series so popular.
a point-and-click game to the Xbox can be a hit or
miss proposition. Console gamers are by nature more
interested in real-time action. It's reflex over cortex
for the most part. Console gamers don't want to think
too much. Myst IV requires a great deal of thinking
and focus. You'll be required to do a lot of investigating,
research, reading and trial and error.
puzzles are much more logical and intuitive than in
previous installments - but they will still smoke
your brain. Fortunately hints are provided which will
help put you in the right direction or solve the puzzle
for you altogether if that's what you want. For each
puzzle there are three levels of clues. The first
clue will give you a small hint which in no way even
comes close to revealing the puzzle. This first clue
might even confuse you more. The second clue gets
more revealing but still leaves you to discover the
answer on your own. The third clue is the spoiler.
It breaks down the entire puzzles for you leaving
you only to go through the motions. You don't have
to use these clues if you don't need them but they're
a great addition for beginners.
any Myst fan will tell you the game requires a different
approach than your average videogame. You have to
be relaxed and patient which typically requires that
you play the game in privacy which is one reason that
the PC version has always been the medium of choice.
That and because until the Xbox, there was no console
version that could do the game justice. You can thank
Myst for raising the graphics bar for videogame to
to plenty of cutscenes there's not as much text to
pour through. You'll be able to witness flashbacks
of activities which took place in certain levels instead
of just reading about them in journals. You'll also
be equipped with a camera so that you can document
your journey and have a visual record of all the cryptic
clues that you come across which may be used for solving
puzzles down the line. I'm sure that even Myst purists
wouldn't bitch at these new features.
a nameless and faceless protagonist, your adventure
begins as you prepare to help a family from another
dimension reunite with their offspring. Atrus is the
head of the family. As a D'ni, he's part of an ancient
race that has escaped the destruction of his civilization
by traveling to a series of worlds known as Ages.
These Ages are actually books, created by those that
have the gift known as The Art. The worlds are linked
together and may be visited by those that have the
power or can solve the puzzles. Atrus's sons have
been exiles to a couple of these Ages after they were
caught destroying some of the writings responsible
for the creation of these ages. Your task is to help
Atrus locate his boys and see if they've learned their
main method of control will be with the cursor which
you dart around the environment looking for hot spots.
If you roll over anything that requires more investigation
the cursor will turn into a magnifying glass. It's
not as easy to control as a mouse but since there
is no other choice there's no use in complaining about
it. The D-pad controls the camera which you will use
to photo-document your adventure. Not only will these
photos help you to solve future puzzles but you may
just want to view the spectacular scenery over again.
has always been an amazing looking game. The Ages
display highly imaginative environments that reflect
different dimensions of ancient civilizations. These
renderings used to be static but still looked incredible.
In Myst IV these worlds come alive with animated waterfalls,
windswept trees and various birds and other creatures.
It's still not a totally interactive environment but
it sure looks like it. You're confined to various
paths, ramps, walkways and boardwalks but the scenery
is always off in the distance so you don't really
notice that it's not interactive.
actors are used in the cutscenes. There are some corny
moments but it sure beats having to read all that
text. There is more than one hour of these scenes.
The soundtrack is a perfect compliment to the gameplay
and helps to get you into that meditative state required
to focus on the gameplay. The story will help maintain
your focus since it's very compelling and the puzzles-with-a-purpose
will help tie in all the elements.
is the best point-and-click adventure game available
on the Xbox. Rabid Myst fans will want to play this
on the PC but this is such a good port that, other
than improved visuals, you'll be experiencing the
Ages of Myst as they were intended to be explored.