Riven is a sequel to Myst, an old school click adventure game that revolves solving intricate puzzles and exploring surreal worlds created from linking books.
First off let me tell you that Riven is not revised for modern hardware, as such, some feature set is very archaic. The save menu operates like a word document save menu. The resolution is stuck at a piddly 640x480 resolution, this makes playing the game on modern monitors an absolutely awful visual experience. To makes matter worst, the game cannot be set to windowed mode without some major .exe hex coding voodoo. That set aside, the game is still worth playing. After all with the limitation of Riven’s game engine, which is essentially one huge powerpoint slide, it’s not too strange that the game is limited in resolution. The game is a little over 3 gigabytes and it’s 33% of 1080p. Keep in mind that this game was created in 1997, which equates to a 5 CD game. Had this game release at 1080p, it would’ve been around 15 CD’s. Have fun switching and keeping track of that many disk while playing!
Low resolution doesn’t necessarily mean the graphics in Riven are at all bad. In fact, Riven’s pre-rendered graphic looks awesome! It doesn’t look plastic like you would expect from a game from this era, but fairly photorealistic. The graphic looks crisp, and the surreal architecture of the buildings and environment in game brings a sense of wonder and mystery. Very few games in 1997 can blow you away graphically, Riven is one of those games that will leave you in awe at the beauty of 1997 technology.
The music and ambient track in Riven is absolutely amazing on a beefy surround sound system. Visually I was put off by the gigantic black bounding box on screen but the sound immersed me enough for me to overlook the huge dark void surrounding the game. The sounds from a water creek would fade in and out as I get closer or farther away from the source. The sound of machinery is so crisp I could believe I have such machinery in my house.
Riven isn’t for casuals or the easily frustrated. The puzzles in this game are one of the most mind bending and complicated in any game I have ever played. This is probably the first game ever that I got lost even with the assistance of a walkthrough. It’s not that the puzzles are too obscure to figure out, it’s because the logic behind them and the reference to them is sometimes hard to pick up. The map and locale of Riven is also massive so backtracking for clues can become a headache. With the limited screenshot capabilities of the game, it’s even harder to remember specific details about clues without jotting down rough notes to what you see. For casuals and unclean masses who have never played an adventure game before, this game is a deathwish. Veterans of the point and click genre will definitely be challenged.
Riven regardless of it’s age is still well worth playing for veterans of point and clicks. It aged relatively well even with it’s hideous resolution. If you’re itching for a masochistic slideshow adventure game, you won’t find a better one anywhere on steam. http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=212209116http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=191597405http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=185754315
Posted: February 4th, 2014