Anthony's Film Review
(Video Game, 1993)
Despite the great things people say about Myst, I find this game to be quite dull...
Though I like most genres of PC games, the one that I literally grew up with is the adventure game. You know the kind I'm talking about. The kind of game where you take on the role of a main character, explore a world, solve situational and cerebral puzzles, and be part of an exciting story. Such an intellectual game is a great way to balance other game genres that require more quick reflexes. And if you're familiar with adventure games, two companies were essentially the titans of the genre: Sierra On-Line and LucasArts.
Of course, other companies have just as much potential to deliver great interactive adventures. One such company was Cyan, which created the acclaimed game Myst. Upon hearing such praise, I got a copy of it and played it. At least, I TRIED to play it. To my dismay, I wasn't sure if I was even playing an adventure game. It's not similar to what Sierra On-Line and LucasArts were known for.
Let me explain. The first screen of the game shows a closed book against a black background. Click on the book and you'll see it open to a page with a picture of a dock. Click on that and you'll teleport to this dock. Once you take the time to explore your surroundings, you find that you're on a mysterious island with some rather interesting technological features. The gameplay simply involves a first-person perspective as you interact with objects in your sight, such as machines. In few instances, you take an item and use it elsewhere.
So here's the problem with Myst. There's no clear story. You don't really know who you are and why you are in this particular world. You're just there with no background info or any kind of context to clarify things. As you explore the worlds that are connected to this island, you still have no idea what's going on. In fact, you pretty much interact with no other characters most of the way through. You are exploring a world entirely alone.
The last part of the game involves a conflict among three characters. There is barely any information available about who they are, not enough for you to even care. If you want something climactic in this game, you'll be disappointed for sure, because there is no sense of accomplishment after doing what you're supposed to do at the end. And when you finish the game, you still don't know what the point of Myst was.
Yes, it's true. I didn't like Myst, and no statement by people who love it will sway me one bit. Now, I will be fair by saying that the graphics are pretty nice for its time. But that's about it. Overall, Myst is a very dull game. If you want a real adventure game, one with an actual story, look elsewhere.
For more information about Myst, visit the Internet Movie Database and Moby Games.