Review by somebody1118
Why, Cyan, why?
Let me preface this by saying that I love Myst, Riven, Exile, and Revelations. So you'd think it would be easy for Cyan to make a great game that I would love for End of Ages--but you'd be wrong. It's not the game that I mind so much (though it is fairly subpar), but the fact that it's just such a radical departure from the classic Myst gameplay and appearance. So now section by section.
I'm not going to lie, the graphics of End of Ages are excellent. But again, it's a departure. What I and many others loved about End of Ages' predecessors in the Myst series was the use of prerendered graphics to create a world that looked like a movie, that looked real. The graphics of End of Ages are good, but they look too computer generated--a definite disadvantage in a Myst game.
This is the only section about which I don't really have anything to complain. The ambient sound is accurate and plentiful, and music, while sparse, is appropriate to where it is placed. My only concern is that the voice acting feels forced, especially Yeesha's. To players used to the spectacular portrayal of Atrus by Rand Miller, this step down will be a disappointment.
Here's where End of Ages gets it--it just isn't Myst. In all previous games, movement was based on a point and click node system. End of Ages departs from this convention, introducing a free move system. To be fair, you can change the game options to a node based system, but the game really doesn't feel designed for it, and it's just awkward. My other major complaint is the puzzles--they are too easy, with the notable exception of the drawing tablet, which is ridiculously difficult. I don't know who has a steady enough hand to draw consistently and correctly--I certainly don't.
I won't give away the whole plot, just give my opinion on it. Like most Myst games, the plot isn't revealed directly, but must be discovered throughout the game. That being said, the plot of End of Ages has but one major problem--it has pretty much nothing to do with the previous Myst games. It's also pretty convoluted, but that's nothing new to Myst fans.
How replayable is any Myst game? I guess if you wait a few years between plays to forget the puzzles maybe, but you'll still never get that first time playing experience again. The only reason I can think of to replay End of Ages is to see if you can finally draw a symbol the computer recognizes on the damn tablet without a hundred tries.
Overall, it's not THAT bad a game. But it's not Myst. And that's all I wanted from the last game of the series.
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