Games

Myst Oculus Quest Review-Puzzle Solving Past and Future

Mist – Cutting edge again (Photo: Cyan)

The original creator of Myst recreates the game in VR and creates a compelling new way to enjoy one of the most important PC games ever created.

Cyberpunk 2077 bugs and performance issues have dominated the headlines for the past few weeks, so The fastest PC game in history ended almost without notice. But it’s interesting if the next game that arrives for review is a VR remake of what was the best-selling PC game ever. So it’s fascinating to see the big difference between the best-selling games today and the ones passed in 1993.

It’s arguable whether the concept of a killer app still exists (if there was an Xbox Series X or PlayStation 5 concept, it was probably a Game Pass and Dual Sense, not a specific game) Myst has millions. A CD-ROM drive for PCs in the early 90’s for people. Prior to that, CD-ROMs were all floppy disks and grainy video clips until the era of full-motion video and interactive movies.

Myst uses this technology in an imaginative way to not only display hours of inappropriate cutscenes on the screen, but also to create the most realistic interactive environment ever created at the time. I created what was considered one. Today’s technology is funny, but Myst’s calm pace and lack of action make it perfect for converting to VR games. This process also helps to regain some of the awe and wonders I felt while playing the original.

Turning Myst into a VR game is as easy as the video gaming industry always wants to avoid. So it’s great not only to see it happen, but also to have the original developer Cyan oversee it. Myst’s popularity gradually declined over the years, and the company almost collapsed, but continued to produce interesting titles, finishing the series with the underrated Myst 5: End Of Ages and giving Obduction a spiritual sequel. created.

This VR release is not a brand new game, but a straightforward remake. As a result, what used to be a static postcard-like screen, flicked between to give the impression of movement, is now a fully realized 3D environment. With virtual reality. The understated graphics features of Oculus Quest mean that you can’t master the visuals, even if Cyan wants them. As a result, the game retains a very similar look to the original and retains the same cold and lonely atmosphere.

The same puzzle remains in the remake, so if you somehow remember all the solutions, this would be a walk in the park-sometimes literally. However, cleverly, there is an option to randomize dates, clues, etc., so even if the underlying puzzles are the same, pure memory alone cannot solve anything.

The VR environment has raised the visuals to near modern standards, making gameplay feel like the most retro element of the game. It’s not because it failed in itself, but because deliberately difficult puzzle ideas aren’t the basis of modern mass-market video games. Memory testing of some puzzles and trial-and-error solutions have been specifically attempted, but most are strictly logical and require some experimentation and reading of in-game folklore (Oculus Quest 2 resolution). The higher it is, the easier it is).

Clearly influenced by the original Myst, Witness is closest in that neither game provides much help or context to solve the puzzle and expects to experiment and solve it on its own. It’s one of the modern comparisons. It’s okay until you realize that the only reason you couldn’t solve the puzzle was that you didn’t notice the hidden notes and other small background details. The game absolutely refuses to give you a hint about it.

Myst storytelling is similarly opaque, but not as much as the entries in the series after The Witness. The concept is actually pretty simple, when you realize you’re trapped in a mysterious island teleported through a magical book. There are two unreliable sons of the island caretaker. They are trapped in separate books and you need to find pages to understand their story correctly and decide if it’s worth the savings.

Screenshot of Myst Oculus Quest

Mystery-For better or worse, this version does not have FMV (Photo: Cyan)

Old-fashioned puzzle games and graphic adventures are now very old, and while I don’t think the VR version of Myst will reverse that trend, it’s more tasty than any other time in recent history. It has become. The effect is enhanced when you recall the original, but when you look around the buildings and places in VR, the clouds float quietly in the sky, so it is a wonderfully calm air-like experience that relieves the frustration of not solving puzzles.

There are no major changes to the gameplay, but adjustments have been made here and there, such as the ability to hold pages for multiple books at once, reducing the need for backtracking. Some machines have more tactile switches and dials, but strangely enough, every time you do something, your virtual hand turns into an orange earth, which makes you less immersive.

As you can imagine, the game uses the teleport movement system by default. This makes perfect sense given the original, but if you can handle it with VR legs, you also have the option of snap-turning and free-moving.

However, one of the more important issues is that the puzzles are so complex that many players take physical notes during the original play, which is essentially impossible in VR. It looks like a journal option has been added since the release (along with a patch to improve the graphics in Oculus Quest 2). This sounds like you’re trying to address the issue, but it’s never as simple as writing down a note. On a piece of paper.

Myst is a product of that era, and all but the most enthusiastic fans will be frustrated at a slow pace, at least once or twice in the course of the story, and will ruin the design. But Myst is a historically important video game, typical of the style of logic-based puzzle games that doesn’t exist today, or at least doesn’t make it happen, not only in terms of its own success. Here is an example. The best-selling game of the era.

We admire Cyan’s reluctance to not change the formula without stunning gameplay. Some help systems may have been wise (especially if they’re included in other modern ports), but the fact that you’re alone in the gaming world is like an attraction on an island. By quietly exploring the clockwork, you can recreate the feeling of playing the original perfectly. This is the best praise you can give to a remake.


Myst Oculus Quest Review Summary

in short: Undoubtedly, it’s the definitive edition of one of the most important video games ever released, and its quiet puzzle solving and slow exploration work perfectly in VR.

Pros: It’s a perfect homage to the original game, allowing you to reactivate them via VR while keeping the old puzzles and layouts intact. Random options are welcome and the sound design is great.

Cons: Disadvantages: The inability to keep notes at boot time is a serious flaw, and the lack of a help system seems a bit extreme given that there was a help system on the previous port. A mediocre visual from a technical point of view.

Score: 7/10

Format: Oculus Quest (reviewed) and PC
Price: £ 22.99
Publisher: Cyan Worlds
Developer: Cyan Worlds
Release date: December 10, 2020
Age rating: 7

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Myst Oculus Quest review – the past and future of video game puzzle-solving

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