And so we have another edition of the best-selling game of the 90s. I must say I like the fact that 20 years after initial release of Myst, we can play it again as a new, fresh game (kind of). But can we call it a good, modern game, up to today's standards? Let's find out.
Notably, realMyst from 2004 got rather low ratings, so let's also compare the Masterpiece Edition with its predecessor.
When you look at the Myst Island, first impression is very good. Textures have been updated. Water looks great, which makes for amazing landscapes, not only on Myst. When you go into other Ages, however, they seem much less polished.
Probably the worst thing are in-game videos, which are very low-res (they are just the old ones). Models are also dated, prepare to see lots of simple polyhedrons - probably that's why the game's description only mentiones updated textures. But, well, you'll also find low-res textures.
All that is to say - realMyst: ME is still an old, refreshed game, not a completely new one. It doesn't look bad, I enjoyed the views, but don't expect miracles. Also, lack of edge smoothing is disturbing.
I dare to say, there are no new games like Myst. People spent a lot of time here, trying to figure out how stuff works. It could be fascinating in the 90s to explore the Ages for months (I wish I was playing back then). Nowadays people just want quick gameplays. Frustration could be a source of realMyst's low ratings.
In this edition, some puzzles got much easier. Hard to say if it's good - they say almost nobody completed the original Myst. So maybe now people will have a chance. (Wish I didn't look at spoilers so early playing Myst for the first time, duh!) For those who know the game well (spoiler alert):Scheme showing how to turn fortress in Mechanical is now in the journal on Myst. Receivers in Selenitic are much easier to set now, and they only have to be set roughly.
Finally, what stands between us and the Myst Ages: the interface. People were saying that realMyst's 3D environment made stuff just more annyoing. The solution came in this edition - we can now choose Free Roam mode, or classic point-and-click. I must say, clicking to walk in 3D is annoying for me, so I went free. Controls are not perfect, but I got used to them after a while.
Overally, realMyst: Masterpiece Edition is not a miracle, but definitely worth playing. If you don't know Myst yet, this edition is great for finding out what's so special about the old bestseller. If you've already been there, this visit will certainly be great.
And if such a game would be released now as a new title, without its predecessors... Nah, that couldn't happen. Nobody makes such games nowadays. Maybe that's why I love Myst so much.