Myst v

Good graphics. No longer the best for set-scene rendering, but good enough. Some levels were a bit bald, as it were, and you could see corners being cut here and there. There were a few oddly sparse flat lawns amongst the generally superior frill and rock textures, but everything was generally quite nice looking. Character design was better than average, but quirky as it was, I actually prefer the old video insertion of real actors to the animated characters in this version.

Adequate controls. Vastly superior to Uru. 3 UI modes, from old Myst through more or less free motion. Still not the most responsive controls in the world, but then, it’s not a shooter. My mouse had problems with the tablet-drawing mode, but then it’s a cheap dell wireless.

Decent puzzles. Nothing struck me as impossibly annoying or obscure. Mostly exploration puzzles, not brainteasers. Not as good as Myst III, IMO, but not bad. The high level puzzle structure for solving the intermediate ages was unfortunately rather formulaic.

Too short. Should have had at least twice the content. But I suppose they were having resource problems at the studio.

Lame story. Worst story of the series, unfortunately. Worst job of keeping the identity of the villain secret since the original NWN campaign. Dumb way to choose the “good” ending, I did it accidentally (!). Extremely weak denouement. Absence of any likeable characters was annoying.

Oh well. It was still Myst, and still managed to uphold most of the standards of the series. Far better in comparison to the rest of the series than, say, Ultima IX with respect to the other Ultimas. I’m just sad that Cyan’s farewell was relatively unimpressive. The messed-up Myst island level was especially sad: really it was very depressing.