Most gamers have heard of Myst and Riven.
If so, you undoubtedly know how Myst broke all kinds of sales records for
computer games, and how Riven didn't do so bad either.
What you may not know is that a new
sequel to Myst and Riven has just been released in the UK (7th September
Below is a quick review of each game, links to cheats and a general overview of the gameplay, graphics and sounds used in all 3 games.
When you start on Myst-island you haven't got the slightest idea what you must do. As you progress in the game, bits of information are given to you. You discover that the two sons of Atrus have been captured in books that can be found in the Myst library. Your job is to find books that were written by Atrus, which will lead you to other worlds. Remember that you came to Myst by reading a Myst-book and touching the last page and thus be teleported to Myst-island. In these worlds you'll have to find red and blue pages, which will free the sons little by little. Maybe, only maybe, then you can help the man who so desperately wrote the letter...
You arrive on Riven inside a barred cell - Gehn apparently has little love for visitors. A masked man soon frees you, but in the process you also lose Atrus’s book, and with it, your only means of catching Gehn. With more questions than answers, you must explore an alien world, find and rescue Catherine, neutralise Gehn, and then escape to tell the tale.
Riven doesn’t have much of a developing plot. The game cannot be fundamentally altered by your actions, and it doesn’t go to any pains to explain itself. Players must instead work for their story by piecing together diverse clues, finding journals, and meeting talkative NPCs. Surprisingly, the game keeps up its end of this deal - everything in the game has a purpose, and a history. Unfortunately, most revelations seem to come in the final hours of the game; leaving you guessing for quite some time, and packing an awful lot of discovery into a small portion of the game.
Myst III: Exile
is set some ten years after Riven. Atrus and Catherine, whom you
rescued in Riven, have moved to a new place called Tomahna and have
a baby daughter, Yeesha. However, their lives will be upset by the arrival
of a man bent on revenge. His home was destroyed by Sirrus and Achenar, Atrus's two sons
whom you stopped in Myst. It will be up to you to learn this man's
history and discover how to stop him.
You control the game in the most easiest way there is. It completely relies on the Windows point-and-click system. This means that you control your movements with a single click of the mouse. When you can manipulate an object in the game e.g. move a lever, take an object etc. the movement-hand changes into a grabbing hand. You then can use it on the object and depending on the fact that this is the right time to use it the object will respond. The game is a sequence of mostly non-moving pictures, so when you want to go forward you hop a little forward. There are a lot of pictures however so this hopping isn't irritating. Another feature is that you can change into the next picture gradually. This means that this picture you're looking at will fade into the next one. You can also turn and depending on the situation you'll turn 90 or 180 degrees (360 degrees in Exile) thus allowing you to move in any direction, providing that the program allows it. Sometimes you can also look up or down to see things that are either above you or on the ground.
All the graphics are rendered pictures. This means that they look very realistically. The process of making the pictures is the following: First a wire-frame-model of the object is made in a 3D-modelling program, then the texture is added to the object and it is placed in the background which is made exactly the same way. Finally some light sources are added and the virtual camera is positioned. Then the picture is rendered.
The Sound and Music
The sounds of the game were created when the graphical artists had finished the game. This way the sound-artist knew exactly what kind of style the graphics were, so that he could make the sounds that fit with the picture. I think that he has done a good job in adding to the atmosphere of the game. Some sound-elements are creepy and this adds to the desolate world in which you play. Others just fit to the game. This means that you don't really notice them, because they just sound so natural. A good example is the howling of the wind in some stages or the sounds of the water.