Myst V: End of Ages full review
It’s the end of an era. After more than a decade, the Myst series – hugely popular adventure games with rich graphics, detailed stories, brain-twisting puzzles and non-violent gameplay – is finally complete, with the release ofMyst V: End of Ages.
Myst V draws you into the mystical, magical world of previous editions where you must help restore the empire of the D’ni, a civilisation of people who met with catastrophe because of Atrus’s family.
Solving puzzles is what Myst is all about. As in past games, many of the puzzles involve moving levers or other apparatus to see how they affect something much larger than you. This game introduces slates, stone tablets that can be used to communicate with the mysterious and elusive creatures you’ll meet throughout the game. To use the slates, you draw primitive symbols discovered on your adventures and then lay the tablets out in plain sight so the creatures can see what you’ve written. If you’ve drawn the symbols correctly, the creatures will carry out your orders.
Where in previous versions of Myst you interacted with live actors composited into 3D environments, a sometimes disjointed affair, Myst V maps the actors’ faces onto 3D characters. The end effect is uncanny – the characters aren’t entirely lifelike but are much better integrated into the game.
You’ll be amazed at how good this game looks. Each world is rich with detail, including intricate tapestries and rugs, artfully crafted cornices, striated rocks and lush vegetation. The worlds are filled with animations of swarms of bugs, flying birds, crawling creatures and lapping waves.
A cheaper CD-based Standard Edition ships for PC only, while the £34.99 Limited Edition DVD works on Macs too. The Limited Edition version of the game features a making-of video, a soundtrack, a collector’s art piece, and the official strategy guide – a handy addition for the mere mortals among us who may get stuck trying to unravel some of Myst V’s secrets.