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Riven

 

 

SCORE: 86

 

Riven 

 

First off, let me point out that this review will more than likely contain spoilers for those of you who have yet to finish the first Myst game. Spoiler warning aside, welcome to the review of the sequel to the CD phenomenon Myst. I, of course, mean Riven.

The game picks up right where you left off. Atrus told you he would signal for you when he needed you again. Now is that time. The book he was writing in at the end of the first game was a linking book to his father’s decaying Age V, dubbed Riven by Atrus. Your mission is to find Atrus’ wife, Cathrine, and to seal his estranged father, Ghen, in the trap book he gives you. Oh, and one more thing: “And maybe, if all goes well, we might can send you back where you came from.”

As with the first Myst game, everything in the game look completely realistic, right down the fictitious animals of the Myst world. Cinematics are improved a bit over Myst. Everything seems ready to move when you approach it. As opposed to the seclusion introduced in the original game, Riven doesn’t quite feel so lonely. You will occasionally find people around the various islands that make up Riven. Yes, islands, not Ages. But that’s beside the point. The people found in the game are dressed like they belong there and actually look as if they are in the game world. Call me biased but I think the visuals are fantastic.

Sounds play a very important role in this game. I won’t say why they are important but nonetheless, they are perfectly executed. All the music in the game has the same dark and dreary atmosphere to it as the first game, each one fitting the area perfectly. Animals have noises that fit them nicely. Even our friend, the Whark (a whale/shark creature that appears late in the game), has his own call that he makes. And the voices from the actors within the game flow perfectly.

Gameplay is exactly the same as the first Myst game. It is point and click and set up in a slideshow style of movement. There are several things in the game to click on and see what they do. Explore, find new things. It’s the whole point of the game. You must find things to allow you to progress. Getting stuck in these Myst games is half the fun.

As far as unlockables, there aren’t really any. But just like in the last game, there are multiple endings. I can think of five right off the top of my head. There might even be a few more.

Now it’s the Family Friendly Factor of the review. Remember how I called Ghen estranged? Well, he acts as a god to the people of Riven. But he has no care for his people. They are but servants to him. You’ll see shrines in his honor on occasion. Also, in a few of the endings, you will see people die. Of course, you won’t see them there for long. And along the lines of people dying, as you enter Riven, you see the guard who came to “greet” the new arrival knocked out by a dart. After being released from your cell, you can find him laying at the bottom of a small cliff. He’s not dead though; merely unconscious.

I personally recommend this game to anyone who could think their way through the first Myst game. It poses more of a challenge than the original and is really worth the time to track it down and play it. As far as availability, I don’t know. It’s almost as old as the original Myst. No word on if it is on GameTap either. Nonetheless, it’s a great game, with a great story and great visuals and sounds. Great overall.
- vernanonix

 

Graphics: 88%
Sound: 91%
Replay/Extras: 77%
Gameplay: 94%
Family Friendly Factor: 82%
System: Personal Computer
Publisher: Cyan Worlds
ESRB Rating: 'E' for Everyone

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