High Programmer > Alan De Smet > Rants > Reviews > Video Game Reviews > Myst III: Exile

Myst III: Exile

Rating: 7/10 - A solid addition to the Myst series
Platform: PC

(My Myst series reviews: realMyst, Riven, Myst III: Exile, Myst IV: Revelation, Myst V: End of Ages)

Exile begins with a visit to your friend Atrus from the previous games. Things start well, but soon someone uses a linking book to teleport into Atrus's home and steal something important. Once there you discover that the thief has lost the world he came from due to the machinations of Atrus's sons. The thief doesn't know that Atrus has already imprisoned them for their crimes and thinks Atrus was complicit. So the thief planned to lure Atrus after him. Unfortunately he got you instead.

Once there, you learn that the thief expects Atrus to explore several Ages, or alternate dimensions or worlds, that Atrus originally designed to teach his sons. The thief has modified them to share his message to Atrus. Now you must solve the puzzles left by Atrus and the thief before eventually finding and confronting the thief.

Compared to the previous two games, this plot line is very pedestrian. It is simply an angry man lashing out at the person he blames. However, it works. The thief may be a bit insane, but he is believable.

Graphically Exile is a step forward from Riven. You still face static scenes, but instead of showing an entirely different scene when you turn, instead each location is a full 360 degree panorama. The game looks great. The freedom to look around makes the game yet more immersive. While there are perhaps fewer "steps" between locations than Riven I was never confused about the relationship between locations.

The core game play is unchanged. Again there is no inventory. You explore the world and interact with it. The puzzles are more artificial this time, but because the Ages are explicitly intended to be instructional this works fine. In a pleasant return to the first game we are alone for the overwhelming portion of the game, allowing one to feel like a lonely, thoughtful explorer. The addition of characters, especially at the beginning and end, is great. The beginning sets up the stakes, while the end provides a sense of your decisions impacting real people.

Again, you have happy and unhappy endings. There is even one grey ending. All provide satisfying closure to the story.

The game's puzzles are quite as well integrated as Riven. The game isn't as dreamlike and immersive as Myst. But it is a good balance and a pleasure to play. Highly recommended to fans of Myst and Riven.

(My Myst series reviews: realMyst, Riven, Myst III: Exile, Myst IV: Revelation, Myst V: End of Ages)

Contact webmaster - Copyright © 2008 Alan De Smet (2008-09-06)