- Summary: Everyday life is gone. An organic artifact that fell from the sky inexplicably transports you across the universe. You're in a place called Hunrath, with pieces of earth scattered within an alien landscape. Nobodys here - well... almost nobody. Explore, uncover, solve, decide. This is yourEveryday life is gone. An organic artifact that fell from the sky inexplicably transports you across the universe. You're in a place called Hunrath, with pieces of earth scattered within an alien landscape. Nobodys here - well... almost nobody. Explore, uncover, solve, decide. This is your story now.… Expand
Sep 1, 2017The balance of symbiotic nature of environment, narrative, and puzzle design means that Obduction constantly feels riveting and natural. It’s a delight to experience a modern game with that classic Cyan design, but the technical issues detract from the experience far too much, even going as far as artificially increasing the time it takes to complete some puzzles. I managed to really enjoy the experience that was crafted, but it wasn’t without a fair amount of annoyance at little optimization problems that make Obduction far from perfect.
Oct 20, 2017Despite featuring a gorgeous and carefully-designed world, Obduction fails to execute on its central identity as a puzzle game. And, when three quarters of the experience consists of walking from one point to another and sitting through loading screens, it’s difficult to imagine that Cyan Worlds respects the time of Obduction’s players. Returning the favor, I ended up having very little respect for their game.
Oct 3, 2017Other than those couple of points, I'm really struggling to say anything positive. Obduction is apparently getting a PlayStation VR patch soon which will make it more immersive but I really don't think it will improve on the tedium of its campaign. It would be better served by a patch that sorts out its technical issues but either way, it's still going to have the same monotonous gameplay.
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Positive: 1 out of 1
Mixed: 0 out of 1
Negative: 0 out of 1
Sep 27, 2017Every now and then, there comes a developer that defines a genre. Rare did it for platformers on Nintendo, and Cyan Worlds did it with puzzleEvery now and then, there comes a developer that defines a genre. Rare did it for platformers on Nintendo, and Cyan Worlds did it with puzzle adventures on PC. The latter of the two recently had a fairly successful Kickstarter for a game in the vein of what made them so popular. With the likes of Myst in 1993, Riven in 1997, and Myst V: End of Ages in 2005, it was beyond time for Cyan Worlds to create a new adventure.
Obduction isn’t Myst VI, but rather a spiritual successor to the series. I was very young when I first encountered Myst, and I was blown away by it. The environments were haunting, and the story was creepy. The FMVs were off-putting, but in a good way. I played it with my older brother and learned the secrets of the world with each visit we made to our grandparents’ house. I eventually made a friend that also enjoyed the game because of his dad, and found out they had released a sequel. While I was still unsure of how we discovered all the solutions to Myst, I mentioned Riven every chance I got in the hopes of receiving it as a gift. Turned out I wasn’t good at it. I didn’t understand the intricacies of the world, or how to solve most of the puzzles by myself.
Despite my lack of skills, adventure titles, as well as puzzle games in general have served as one of my favorite genres over the years. There’s always been the joy of that “A-HA!” moment when you figure out the solution, as you’re then faced with another problem. But the payoff was typically worth it, especially in the Myst series, as there was a narrative for you to decipher. Discovering the story is not as taunting as that of the Souls games, but it isn’t spoon fed to you either.
The opening of this title is rather magical. I really didn’t expect the narration that was going along with it – top notch stuff. My wife was in the other room and asked what I was watching, because it didn’t sound like something you’d hear from a game. And she knows I love extra-terrestrial stuff (she does not), so it’s not unlikely I was watching something about alien abductions. But obviously that was not the case. As you move through a forest area, you catch a glimpse of an alien object zipping through the night sky, and are soon approached by it. Just as soon as you saw it, you find yourself in a completely different environment.
It’s at this point in the adventure that the game really begins. I played the majority of it in the manner you’d play The Witness; with free roam. But knowing where this game comes from, it also offers the option of having you play in a fixed camera mode, where you click about to move, look, and select the parts of the environment that you can interact with. While most people that never played older games will likely scoff at this, it was a neat addition to the game. It certainly helps with focusing on what you should be looking at if you happen to get stuck.
I was curious as to if I was just smarter than I used to be (I mean… I am), or if this game was easier than previous entries from these fine folks, so I looked to the internet for opinions. It seems the puzzles in this game are indeed simple, as it’s more or less a scavenger hunt for many of the solutions. However, I don’t see that as a bad thing – far from it. If a game has a puzzle you can’t solve, that will likely a) turn you off from playing the game or b) make you look up the solution. The second option is by no means something to be frowned upon, but it takes away a lot of joy that you can derive from the game. Puzzle games don’t need to be simple, but I don’t think they need to be artificially difficult either.
The Unreal Engine does this game wonders, as the world around you is spectacular to view. The areas in direct contact with you in the beginning are very familiar, with an alien world juxtaposed right next to it. Soon you are walking into that world and being transported elsewhere, and things are both beautiful and confusing. You’ll want to take note of things that you read and see, as they’ll often serve to be solutions for puzzles later on. In some instances you’ll need to change the solution you saw ever so slightly to receive the answer you need. Each tool will have multiple forms of interaction that you must discover yourself, as often times there isn’t a manual to guide you.
The story is as fascinating as ever, and the music/voice work is top notch. While not everyone will be able to make it past the initial area of Hunrath because the game just isn’t their cup of tea, I’d recommend sticking to it and doing your best. Even if you need to follow a guide here and there, this is what Bioshock is to System Shock.
It’s wonderful to see that Cyan Worlds can still create a competent adventure game after all these years. If you’ve ever loved adventure titles, you owe it to yourself to play the newest game from the creators Myst.… Expand