Myst: Uru Complete Chronicles review
A Great Game Just Got Better
- Path of The Shell puzzles
- An all new adventure to add to Uru
- To D'ni Puzzles
- System Requirements for older computers (not so much a problem now)
When I first reviewed the original Uru, there were several things that I was tempted to put in the review but couldn't because they weren't in the game. I finally decided to review the Complete Chronicles collection. Please note that this is a review for the two expansions, and not the original game.
Uru was a great game, and a large technical leap since Riven. It was an amazing game, and the 3D was marvelous. With the cancellation of Uru: Live, Cyan Worlds made it up by releasing two expansion packs with ages from Live. These expansion packs are To D'ni and The Path of the Shell. I will review these separately later on.
There Are Now More Books
First, we must look at what is most obviously new. Starting the game puts you in Relto just like it did. The new thing is that there are two new books on the shelf, with the respective logo beneath the book. There are also several new slots for new books that are accumulated throughout the ages. These expansion packs add several new features, such as reward clothing, avatar animations, creature interaction, and an upgraded KI. There are also a few more subtle implementations, but more on that later on. For now, we'll begin with the first expansion pack, To D'ni.
D'ni for the First Time Ever!
To D'ni offers exactly what the longtime Myst fans had dreamed of - a chance to actually see and visit the legendary city of D'ni. It is definitely an interesting place to see. A large part of the game is simply exploring the place and learning about it. There are hidden things just like in any other Myst game. You even get a chance to see someone else's Relto very early on. With a few subtle changes to a few other ages, this is the expansion we have been waiting for.
This is all well and good, but a sharp Myst fan will be quick to point out that I didn't mention any puzzles. Well, as far as puzzles go, I have to say that these are pretty bad. The most interesting puzzles are the very first one where you get to the other Relto, and one for unlocking a special room in D'ni. Aside from that, I have to say that I'm disappointed. Aside from exploring D'ni for the first time, a large part of this game is exploring D'ni for the second time. At one point in the game, you must collect markers hidden around D'ni. And things hidden in D'ni are hard to find and require an extensive search of the huge area. Granted, you do have something that tells you when one is near, but it only appears when you are five feet away from it. So as far as puzzles go, this one is unimpressive.
To D'ni has some amazing backstory to the D'ni civilization. There are note books detailing almost everything in D'ni culture. There is clothing to pick up all over D'ni. The game includes a written account of each of 26 kings of D'ni. In Gahreesan, there is a new suit to get. The avatars can now do different animations. So as far as that goes, this game is set.
D'ni looks great, and even better than the original.
Very good music, but not as good as the The Path of the Shell.
Again, third person controls are quirky.
A potentially great game hurt by the puzzles
The Path of the Shell
The Path of the Shell
By Far the Best Yet
As the title suggests, this is easily the best in this collection. I feel this game has the best sense of mystery in pretty much any Myst game. In fact, one of the ages from it is my favorite age of all time. This game is about the past, present, and future of the D'ni. That is really the only way I can think of to describe this game, as it evades all other attempts.
A Journey of D'ni
This game is centered around Kadish Tolesa, a very powerful D'ni man that claimed to be the Grower, a kind of savior for the D'ni people. We visit two ages that he used to show that he was the grower. There is an island age and an industrial age. Without giving anything away, these ages are used by him to demonstrate his power as allegedly being the Grower. The story is set, now it's time to see how this game plays out.
The game takes place within two (well, technically four) ages. The first one is called Er'cana, and it is a desert age of industrialization. The second age is Ahnonnay, and it is a simple island age. Er'cana was used by the D'ni to produce lots of things, as a large part of the age is a huge industrial plant.
Ahnonnay shows Kadish's power of time travel as the alleged grower. No, I will not go into any detail at all. In the end, both ages are great, and definitely worth replaying. They are both more confusing than other ages in Uru, so I recommend taking lots of notes. Oh, yes, the other two ages. Well, one is a hub to both ages and also has the final goal of entering a tree, and the other is a beautiful cathedral that serves as an entrance to Ahnonnay.
This game has the hardest puzzles in all of Uru. You will spend a large amount of time in one age just trying to figure out what the heck is going on. Unlike To D'ni however, you will not technically need to go back to other ages, but it will be helpful to pick up a picture-taking KI in the original Uru. The puzzles detail on Kadish, and I believe that this is a great idea. You will slowly learn about him and his ways. It's also pretty fun to operate the industrial machines in Er'cana, and ride a giant tram. So as far as that goes, this game is great.
Yes, this expansion pack deserves an entire section devoted to graphics. In a word, they are amazing. Cyan Worlds has created some beautiful water, and they knew it because it is a huge part of Ahnonnay. The textures appear to be higher resolution, but I don't know. However, great graphics usually comes with glitches, and this game is no different. The usual glitches are present, such as seeing through walls at certain camera angles. But every once in a while there are worse ones. In Ahnonnay at one point I was riding a tram like those in Riven and I simply fell out of it. Very far. I saw my avatar a tiny dot against the void with the very small tram and the backgrounds in the sky. I will say that when this happened I was very scared because Ahnonnay already makes you slightly mad and jumpy. At least the game designers put in a piece of code that makes the avatar link to Relto if he falls for too long.
Great graphics are slightly weakened by glitches.
The music is incredible, and the sound effects are realistic.
The third person controls are hard to get used to, but there is still first person.
Simply amazing ages and great puzzles.
I would like to give several of these higher scores, but To D'ni lowered some of the averages. Highly Recommended.
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