Ok, right out of the gate, I was loving it! It allowed me to do my best to recreate my face, body and clothing style. The latter being more limited than I would expect, but the 2 former being far more in depth than I have ever seen!
Ok, that was the good news. Then I got in the game. Wow, cool scenery! Ok, still good news right? Yeah, up until the moment it crashed, about 30 seconds into my first run through the desert with music, reminiscent of "The Stand" playing. Now for you geek, these are Ogg-Vorbis files (I knew that would get you pumped), but it is either that, or video, but every attempt to run the program after that results in a crash before I move anywhere. I tried the obvious, don't ask too much from my sound and video card. After all, I haven't updated either components in at least a year. But hell I do have a GB of memory and close to 300GB of hard disk space, not to mention a nearly 3GB processor. By far and away more than the average gamer.
So, onto tech support. Oops 9-9 EST. Send an e-mail. Slow that roll, you have to have a login and there ain't no clear way to create one. Write this off? Nope, it's going in my review, one way or another! Wait until morning? Hmmm, the big decision now: review it as an out-of-box experience OR review it after spending time with tech support. Hmmmm, well, perhaps we should find out what tech support is like at UbiSoft. So, I opt for plan 2, despite the initial issues with not being able to create a login to send an e-mail.
Morning comes... I am greeted by a guy name Ashley (sp?) who says he will be happy to help me, but while I waited the inevitable long wait, I was messing around with my settings and found that by turning down the acceleration of the sound card, considerably, I no longer crashed. Good, but let's pick Ashley's brain anyway. So I do and I find out there is no way to save your game, There are checkpoints and if your game crashes or you close, you will begin again at those checkpoints. It gets a little more complicated as you get further along in the game, but by the time he got done explaining the ins and outs of the complicated saving mechanism, my eyes were glazing over. This would be the number one drawback I would point out. The second would be that the maneuvering is not so easy, but better than none at all, such as in the previous Myst games. Now for the good stuff: The look - WOW! Hey it's a Myst game! This one reminds me an awful lot of the first graphical Zork. Ahh, Zork, who remembers typing in to a text screen, go left? LOL, well once technology got to the point it could support real graphics, we were spared that, and this reminds me of that first graphical Zork game. Mind you I am not saying it is good or bad by this, just relating my impression. If I had said it reminds me of Douglas Adams' Starship Titanic, then you would know I was saying it was one of the worst games I have ever played. Ok, more notes: The demo is not exactly the same as the full game. I know this by reading walk-throughs. No I wasn't cheating (looking away nervously) I was trying to make sure I had the most complete review. It is close, but there are a few elements missing.
Note this in the Cool Factor, a Massively Multi-Player version of this game will be out in the beginning of 2004! According to Ashley, there is no date set in stone, but from what he has seen it's going to be very cool!
Also note, according to Ashley, the issues I had with the SB Live card have patches available in the full game. Now as a side comment I just have to say this: Why the heck would you not patch your demo? Isn't this the version you want to be sure is tip top?
All in all, if you like the Myst thing, get this game! Or at least play the demo.
By the way, Myst 4 is also coming soon!
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