Myst, Riven and Myst III: Exile are three of my favorite all-time PC games growing up, and had a huge influence on my gaming preferences. I even collected a few of the accompanying novels, I was that crazy for the series. To be honest, I wasn't even aware of any other games in the series beyond Myst IV (which I have not played yet), until recently. I really wanted to like this game, from the very start. But I couldn't help but feel disappointed by Myst V.
The graphics are beautiful, like with any other Myst game. I couldn't help but feel the worlds were smaller somehow, though, and less explorative. Almost restrictive. I can appreciate how they are trying something different compared to the other games in the series; I just don't enjoy the outcome of it. For instance, full motion video had been used in the first four Myst games--and used very well. You rarely had contact with anyone within the games themselves, which added to the overall isolation and atmosphere of the games. And while Myst V only adds two characters into the mix, Escher and Yeesha, the impact just isn't the same due to predictable 3D rendered characters replacing the FMV. Their presence inside the game sort of ruins the notion of being isolated on some deserted world.Oh well.
Another small but vital complaint: the voiceovers used during journal readings. Just like the rest of the series, journals provide key insight and deepen the backstory of the game. I remember it being a very immersive experience in Myst, picking up a journal and reading and re-reading it to myself at my own pace. This time around, the journals are read for you, in the voice of Yeesha. Don't get me wrong, the voice acting of both Yeesha and Escher are very well done. It just ruins the experience of reading it for myself, and often ends up becoming an annoyance throughout the game.
My biggest problem with Myst V, though, are the puzzles themselves. When you think of Myst, you think of challenging, physics-based puzzles which require a good amount of patience. Even the hardest puzzle could be figured out eventually, as long as you paid strict attention to clues and weren't afraid to use a little trial-and-error. I never used a walkthrough for Myst, Riven or Myst III (and Riven was an incredibly difficult game). But I found myself breaking down for help several times in Myst V. The puzzles are frustratingly difficult, due to the fact that some of the clues are either misleading, or non-existent. I didn't really enjoy the use of the slate/tab mechanism, either, and found it frustrating as well.
If this game is part of some Myst/Cyan/Ubisoft bundle on sale, then by all means go for it. But I would not personally recommend this game by itself.