Neither the beautiful sights nor the simple controls of Myst IV withstood the translation to the Xbox without incident.
- Offers a unique experience on the Xbox
- Imaginative scenery and puzzles
- Impressive presentation, especially the audio.
- Sluggish controls aren't as simple as pointing and clicking on the PC
- The static presentation can be pretty, but it looks dated
- Incredibly difficult puzzles made harder by sometimes-blurry visuals.
Graphical adventure games don't have much of a history or an audience on consoles. But on the PC, they've long been a standard. Even if you don't play these types of games often, though, chances are you've heard of Myst, the 1993 adventure game that revolutionized the genre with its artistic visuals, compelling story, and clean, simple design. The latest in the series continues the traditions that started more than 10 years ago. Like its predecessors, Myst IV Revelation is a deliberately paced first-person-perspective adventure game whose controls are almost instantly intuitive. And yet its incredibly complex and challenging puzzles are about as far from instantly intuitive as possible. When it was originally released last year for the PC, Myst IV lived up to its subtitle thanks to a mesmerizing presentation. But neither the beautiful sights nor the simple controls withstood the translation to the Xbox without incident. Myst IV still offers a one-of-a-kind experience for the Xbox, and it's available at a budget price, for good measure. But you'd be better off playing the PC original if you have the means.
Before we get into more specifics about the game, for those who don't know, it's important to note that differences between the PC and Xbox versions are fairly subtle. However, they do have a significant impact nonetheless. The actual content of the two versions is the same. However, the game's stunning scenery is neither as sharp nor as colorful on the Xbox as on the PC, and the loading times between areas are just long enough to be aggravating. The occasional fits of slowdown you'll see as you look around in each environment are particularly unsightly, but the real problem with the downgrade in visual fidelity is that it makes it harder to spot essential elements onscreen. You need a keen eye to spot some of the details that are crucial to making progress in Myst IV, and though this task is already very difficult in the PC version, it's even harder on the Xbox. The game's 480p support clears things up a bit, but it doesn't make a dramatic difference.
What's more, the PC version's simple mouse-driven interface doesn't translate well to the Xbox, where you need to use the left thumbstick to move your perspective and your viewpoint around. By default, this motion is very sluggish, and while you can adjust the speed, you can't adjust the acceleration, which is slow. Consequently, it's kind of a pain to perform actions that are supposed to be trivial, like throwing a switch or pushing a couple of buttons. These distinctions between the PC and Xbox versions are enough to make the PC version much better overall, and they prevent the Xbox version from being a great game on its own merits. It's not hard to tell this was originally a PC game that was forced to accommodate a console-style control scheme.
Though your familiarity with previous Myst games is not necessarily assumed by Myst IV Revelation, its storyline is heavily intertwined with previous entries in the series. Longtime Myst fans will catch numerous references to earlier games, and they will most appreciate the ability to gain a lot of new insight into Myst's main characters, including the Da Vincian scientist Atrus and his scheming sons, Sirrus and Achenar.
Even if you aren't already familiar with these characters, there's a good chance they'll readily endear themselves to you, thanks to the game's use of live actors in its full-motion video plot sequences. The actors portraying these characters do a particularly fine job (some of the other performances aren't quite as strong, but they're OK), and they help give Myst IV a personal touch and a surprisingly distinctive personality, seeing as very few games feature live actors anymore. At any rate, though the story loosely ties together the events of Myst IV, it's mostly just there as a setup for you to explore a series of wondrous, otherworldly locales. If you've played a Myst game before, then you know not to expect a lot of dialogue or character interaction here. At the least, you can look forward to discovering and reading through the various main characters' journals during the course of the game, in addition to discovering their ambitions and secrets, along with some important clues. These journals are lengthy, but they're expressively narrated and packed with interesting detail.
- Player Reviews: 4
- Game Universe:
- Myst III: Exile (XBOX, MAC, PC, PS2),
- Myst IV: Revelation (PC, XBOX, MAC),
- Myst (JCD, PC, PS, MAC, SAT, 3DO, AMI, PSP, CDI, DS, IP, 3DS),
- Riven: The Sequel to Myst (PC, PS, MAC),
- Myst V: End of Ages (PC, MAC),
- Real Myst (PC, MAC),
- Myst 10th Anniversary Collection (MAC, PC),
- Uru: Ages Beyond Myst (PC),
- Myst Trilogy (PC),
- Myst: Masterpiece Edition (PC)
- Number of Players: