The year was 1993. The CD-ROM format was expected to fail by analysts. There was no reason for most consumers to even purchase a CD-ROM Drive. Nearly every computer game was still being published and sold on floppy discs. Consumers NEVER had any files large than a few megabytes to store. Video on computers weren't really a thing. Nobody had digital camers or camcorders. There were no vast amounts of photos to store. Heck, the average hard drive at the time was smaller than a CD-ROM's 700 MB. Usually half that size. There were virtualy no reasons at all why a consumer would ever need a CD reader in their computer, unless they wanted to play music over their PC speakers. And who would want to do that? Most experts expected the CD-ROM to die as a format.
And then Myst was released.
Looking back at the original game, it looks primitive. It's barely anything more than a bunch of pictures you click through and interact with to solve puzzles. There were a few videos and the audio was ever present, but that was it.
However, at the time, this was amazing. There weren't many games that offered a beautiful first person view like this. Even though the game consisted entirely of pre-rendered pictures, the game really made you feel like you were there. The developers were forced to create wonderful ambient sounds and a deep enthralling theme and story to really suck you in. The game was met by critical reception and acclaim.
And it saved the CD-ROM format. After Myst, EVERYONE was releasing their game on CD. It was a truly successful game, even netting it it's own parody game in the form of Pyst, developed by Parrotty Interactive, starring John Goodman.
The year was 1997.
I was eight years old and my dad had purchase our first computer. I can still remember watching him play. He LOVED the game. I think he spent hours reading the in-game books, pouring over puzzles, and making notes in his little Myst notebook. I grew up playing the original Myst and all of it's remakes. However, it's been around 14 years since I last played the game.
realMyst: Masterpiece Edition is an excellent modern interpretation of the original realMyst that was an excellent then-modern interpretation of the original Myst. Unfortunately the original realMyst lags horribly on Windows 7 and the other Myst remakes crash a lot, so this is your only bet.
It's a beautiful game, with all of the original depth, originality, and puzzly goodness of the original Myst and realMyst. Except this games has Anisotropy! And grass!
Truly, the graphics are stunningly beautiful, I can't say that enough. And the day/night cycle really makes the island feel more alive than it did before. Now, if they'd just patch in some weather effects.
However, the optimization of the graphics and performance is a bit poor. My laptop is by no means a powerhorse, however I have no problem running Skyrim or GTA IV at medium graphics. realMyst ME doesn't do so well on my computer. Anything mid-range or higher causes my FPS to drop pretty quickly. However, the game is still beautiful and an improvement at the lower settings.
The story to this game is basic, as it is a product of it's time. There was only so much room on CD-ROMs! Speaking of which, the game is also a bit short. Your hour will vary depending on how clever you are or if you've played Myst before. I, surprisingly, remembered a lot more than I thought I would and I finished the game shortly under ten hours. But your mileage really may vary. It takes a while to really learn what to do when starting out. You have to read the in-game books and really get inside your head a bit to figure it out. Don't rush in and give up on each puzzle after a minute if the solution isn't apparent. Think about what you've seen or read and see where it might fit into the world or on each level.
This game is a classic and monstrously fun. If you enjoy it, make sure to look out for the Starry Expanse Project who are currently making realRiven, the sequel to Myst. Also, the original Riven is on Steam and doesn't seem to share the compatibility issues the other Myst titles do.
Really, it's not a bad deal for the price, especially if you own the original realMyst, giving you the 33 % discount. Enjoy the game!