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Friday, 14 September, 2001, 11:10 GMT 12:10 UK
Myst III is best yet
Myst III has the usual high standard of graphics that gamers have come to expect
The Myst games are the most successful ever
By the BBC's David Gibbon

For avid adventurers, the name Myst may well bring forth some wonderful memories.

This computer game series first kicked off way back in 1993, with a sequel named Riven released in 1997.

Collectively, these two titles have sold over 10 million copies worldwide officially making Myst the most successful computer game ever.

When looking at the gameplay of Myst, one of its main attractions was its air of tranquillity.

The static environments were brought to life with simple adventure-style gameplay that made it easy to play.

Myst III
Photogenic graphics capture the imagination
These were fuelled with intricate puzzles that give frustration to some but pleasure to many.

Dreamt up by American brothers Rand and Robyn Miller, the lush, photogenic graphics are what really caught most gamers' imaginations and this element has now become synonymous with the series.

Now, however, with this third incarnation, it is clear that stunning graphics are not the only thing to attract players.

So many games these days have excellent visuals that, in order to become another best-selling adventure, this will need some compelling gameplay too.

Adversary

Thankfully, Myst III: Exile doesn't disappoint. Bringing back the surreal world of the previous two outings, this new game offers five new ages to explore and a new villain - played by Academy Award nominee Brad Dourif (of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest fame).

To put things simply, Myst III: Exile is all about chasing this villain. It involves exploring worlds and navigating puzzles until you eventually meet the main adversary.

The visuals - as before - are truly stunning throughout. And thanks to some creative programming by its creators, players now have 360-degree sight.

This allows the player to stand almost anywhere and be completely free to move the camera and look wherever they wish - including the sky.

While Myst - according to both fans and critics - has always had that something special embedded into its gameplay, this new release is easily the best yet.

Patience

From the beginning, players will find themselves immersed in its depth. Although the puzzles keep you thinking, it is that human need to find out what is just around the corner that really keeps you playing for hours on end.

The interface used in Myst - as before - makes playing a very relaxed affair. Figures from Myst's publisher Ubi Soft reveals that 40% of its fan base is female, proving the theory that women do like to be taken to another world - just not one filled with car chases and shoot-outs.

Although many of today's gamers may find this a little too slow, those prepared to invest time, brain power and patience will be rewarded with one of the most involving adventures around.

Myst III: Exile is published by Ubi Soft for PC and Apple Mac

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