Friday, October 07, 2005

Myst the mark

I recently picked up the limited edition Myst V: End of Ages and I have to say, I'm disappointed.
Myst, Riven and Exile were so amazing. The animation was stunning, the character's were compelling and the puzzles and the journeys were stimulating. I still play them and get a more out of them than any other games I've played before or since.
The landscapes were so visually spectacular that they almost seemed real, their beauty was enough to get you lost in the game. The animals created for the different worlds were fantastic, watching them interact with the environment around them was nothing short of amazing.
I always loved that the characters were real people, the film of them that was put in the games were well used and most importantly, not over used. Computer animation of humans has come along way, but with the realism of the game environment the addition of real people made everything that much more believable.
As you can see, I can't praise the games enough. That's where the disappointment comes in.
This latest addition to the series almost seems like some sort of distant relative the family is embarrassed to talk about. The game, visually, falls way short. It looks flat and, well, computer generated. The characters have been replaced with video-game quality, blocky CG characters. The characters also show up every ten minutes to talk at length and any relevance in what they say is lost because they're boring to the point that you tune them out. The little things, too, have been lost. The first games were littered with items of interest that you could inspect closely, pick up, move around, play with - each made to look shockingly real. This game has none of those things.
The only addition seems to be the personal Myst journal that you are free write in as you go along. If this feature is a trade off for all that is lost, I would happily give it up.
I'm sad to think that this is how such a great series is leaving and shocked at the lack of... well... everything.

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