Oct 6, 2013A decade ahead of its time.
If this were to be released today as an indie title, as an online game (and you can play it online for free at mystonline.com), then it would be lavished with praise by all the critics. The reason for that is that we've had a decade to experiment and evolve game mechanics, we understand better what a co-op online experience is now, and we're more open to experiences, we're ready now for games that don't want to force us to be sociopathic murderers all the time.
I was always ready for this, and it was fun watching the world slowly catch up. The experience it presents is beloved by all of the people I've introduced it to, including this year 2013. It continues to stand up as a technological marvel, something that people just couldn't wrap their minds around back then as it was one new concept after another. From the multiplayer puzzle ages, to the multiplayer exploration, the KI interface, and everything else. Even the esoteric and eccentric story, which people would also be more open to now than back then. Back then, it was all about the shooters, the platformers, the set genres. Easy to understand stuff. It was the beginning of the commercialisation of gaming.
If it had been released ten years prior, in the era of the home computer, when everything was indie and experimental, it probably would have done okay then, too. This is how it is, it's a cycle, and people have to be in the proper part of that cycle to appreciate something like this. This is the kind of game you can form a deep bond with. I return to this game every year in order to visit an old friend, an alien creature named Shroomie. It feels really weird to have such an attachment to a 3D model, but this is what the Myst Universe does to you, and Uru more than any other.
This is life-changing and life-affirming if you let it be. It feels good, and it feels even better if you have a friend you can bring along with you for the journey. And it's always about the journey, isn't it? This is about the journey through a bizarre, alien series of worlds. Journeys present obstacles, challenges, and puzzles. That's all part of the journey. And if you're excited by any of this, then this is a game you'll love. This isn't for the shooty-shooty people, this is for the intellectual romantics, this is for the old souls.
If you give this game a chance, you could end up like me revisiting it every year just to remember the ghosts of the past. And Cyan still breathes they're starting a Kickstarter for something, soon, so that might be interesting. At some point in the future, reading this, you might know what all that's about, but right now, I don't. I only know that the journey through Uru might be worth your time, if you're ready for it.… Expand