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Ubi Soft



Presto Studios



E (Everyone)



Q2 2001



- Graphics are of very high caliber

- Good sound design

- Puzzles that make you really, really think

- Easy interface and navigation

- Operate really cool machines

- Save your game anywhere

- Acting is above par

- Immersive



- If you didnít play the previous two games, good luck understanding the story

- Some puzzles very aggravating



Review: Syberia II (PC)

Review: Leisure Suit Larry - Magna Cum Laude (PC)



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Myst III: Exile

Score: 8.9 / 10

Myst III: Exile (MX) is the first Myst game Iíve played all the way through. I started playing the original on a bet, but lost interest so fast that Iím still trying to remember where I put the CD. There just wasnít enough to hold my interest. Things like characters and interesting things to do were totally absent. Which is why I approached MX with a dose of cynicism.

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As it loaded up I said out loud, "This is going to be craó Woah!" To say the graphics are striking is almost an understatement. Itís actually difficult to describe the experience of interacting with the worlds in MX. Itís not real-time 3D and itís not photo realistic but it stays away from being cartoony. The graphics are intriguing to say the least. The characters in the game have been filmed then inserted into 

the scenes. And itís integrated seamlessly with the surroundings. Even when viewed from slightly different angles. The visual impact is immediate Ė and the sound helps to totally pull you into the game. The sound is subtle at times with ambient noise of water or wood creaking. Other times, music crescendos to heighten tension and point you in the right direction. The art and sound departments deserve raises.





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All the graphics and sound in the world canít save a game that lacks things to do. Thankfully, MX has loads of stuff to do. If youíre familiar with the Myst series youíll know whatís expected Ė operating seemingly nonsensical machines without really knowing what they do or how they operate but knowing that you have to solve it to proceed. There are puzzles and contraptions to figure out just about everywhere. And if there isnít anything to do you should be taking note of any clues that could be lying around. Of course, you wonít know what 


clues to collect because you have no idea what puzzles are in store. The best example of this is when you are presented with a puzzle in the pinball world of Amateria. Youíre tasked with getting a ball made of crystal past a mechanism that has to be perfectly balanced. Thereís a counterweight to create and a fulcrum to position to solve it. Through trial and error youíll get it Ė eventually. Itís far easier to take note of a few things in the in the abandoned living quarters of the villain Saavedro (and a couple in Amateria) and apply a modicum of logic to just plow through the puzzle. There are some obvious puzzles that are practically spelled out in journal pages or can be overcome by a few quick lever pulls. The other side of the coin is that there are some damn hard puzzles. Puzzles and machines that require a lot of thinking, diagramming, and note taking. Itís these puzzles that really bring down the score. Any puzzle that can keep me second-guessing myself for five days is a hard puzzle. (I really hated Voltaic. Getting current flowing and fiddling with circuits should be left to electricians!) But there is a real sense of accomplishment when they are finally beaten into submission. And because the graphics are so good, I didnít really mind watching the same animation over and over as a machine ran its course.

The next drop in score comes in the story. Itís in-depth, itís intriguing, and if youíve never played Myst, youíll wonder what the hell is going on. After a few hours with MX I felt like I had opened a book somewhere in the middle. If could read the text, it wouldnít be so bad but itís written in Greek Ė backwards and upside down. This is a definite piece of Myst history and those that played the first two games wonít have a problem understanding whatís going on. For those that start at zero, itís like watching Return of the Jedi without any knowledge of Star Wars. The setup for the story in MX is fairly straightforward: Atrusí latest book, Releeshahn, gets stolen and itís up to you to get it back from the guy that stole it (Saavedro). Straightforward and to the point. Through the game you learn more about the characters, but I feel like Iíve missed something by not playing the previous games.


Navigation and interaction has been stripped to the bare bones Ė itís been made as simple as possible. Getting from point A to point B is easy. You just click the hand where you want to go. (If a "whiff" sound is heard, you canít go there from where youíre standing.) The hand can be stationary in the middle of the screen, which means you have to be looking dead-center on whatever youíre working on. Or you can moved the hand independently, so you donít have to work with everything directly in your line of sight. Switching between the two is only a click away. Most 


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importantly it doesnít get in the way of playing the game. Inventory is very limited, but there isnít much to cart around anyway so itís not a problem.

Obviously, people looking for hardcore 3D alien-shooting action wonít be drawn to Myst III: Exile. As a series, itís the most popular computer game ever and hardcore crowds tend to shun popular or "for the masses" games. If you want to really think Ė to stretch, twist, and challenge your gray matter Ė Myst III: Exile is an excellent game, no matter that some of puzzles are very hard and you might feel lost as to whatís really going on. Exquisitely detailed, satisfying, immersive, and challenging Ė worth buying.

- Omni

It's highly recommended that if you can afford the space to do a complete install of all four CDs.


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