Myst V is plagued with the same two things that made Myst URU unplayable: puzzle sadism, and bad dialog. First, the sadistic puzzles. Here's an example (spoiler!): at some point you come across controls for a cable tram connecting two points. One switch controls the direction (point A to point B, or point B to point A). A nearby lever gives the tram a push in that direction. When you discover these controls, you are at point A and the tram is at point B. Point B is so far away you actually don't know that the lever is doing anything, but 37 (seriously) 5-second pushes of the lever later, the tram is at point A. You get on the tram and discover a floor lever...that doesn't work, because the tram is powered from the other side. Fine. After more wanderings you get to point B via a completely different route, only to discover that the tram has to be in point B's dock in order for you to proceed, which requires you to go back to point A and hit that leverl 37 more times. What was the point of this puzzle, Cyan? To waste time on a mindless clicking goose-chase? What part of this did the design team sit down and decide would be fun:
- that the tram is not in the screen when you're pumping the lever, so you don't know what it's doing?
- that it takes *37* lever pumps to get the tram across the gap?
- that the tram doesn't actually work when you finally get it to point A?
- that after all that, the tram actually needs to be at point B to proceed, so the player has to run all the way back and manually reset it?
Similarly, there are more "guess-and-run-for-a-while-and-check" puzzles -- things that require you to try random combinations and then spend a substantial amount of time running somewhere to see what, if any, effect it had.
The dialog also greatly detracts from the game, because most of it is vague, stream-of-consciousness wistful regret that's not related to the puzzles.
Overall, I'm very optimistic about the upcoming Obduction game, because Rand Miller specifically said they're trying to harken back to the days of Myst and Riven. Those were good games that had far more puzzles than sadism. As for Myst V, I gave it my best shot, but the poor design of that tram puzzle warranted nothing less than a rage-quit.