Myst III: Exile
Critic Reviews add missing review
Average score: 78% (based on 34 ratings)
Average score: 3.8 out of 5 (based on 61 ratings with 5 reviews)
Exile is a beautiful game. While the actual graphics themselves might not be rendered as cleanly as Riven, the previous game in the series, each island is distinct and recognizable, and the quality of the illustrations is stunning and worthy successor to Myst. Some of the animation sequences will take your breath away, and the freedom to look all around you is a welcome new feature.
The music is perhaps the highlight of the game. A complete new orchestral and vocal soundtrack has been recorded, which both pays tribute to the games before and presents new themes to add to the depth and character of the game. The collector's edition comes with a soundtrack CD (also available separately) that highlights the beauty of the music in this game.
While Exile was a delight to the senses, the mind was sometimes left wanting. Exile is not as challenging as Riven, largely because most of the puzzles are self contained. Everything you need to solve each puzzle is clearly presented to you, usually within "arms reach." Riven, which often required an intuitive leap to make the connections between sounds, symbols, and sometimes obscure parts of the scenery, had a sense of unity to the world that feels missing in Exile.
The plot is less subtle and mysterious in Exile as well. Many have criticized Myst and Riven for requiring too much "dead reading time," so Exile presents most of the plot directly to you in the form of video messages from the villain, Saavedro. Unfortunately, he comes across as alternately petulant and vengeful, and really doesn't tell you anything about the story that you can't deduce from the pages of his journal you find scattered about the ages, which make his presence seem intrusive.
The Bottom Line
Myst III: Exile is a different sort of computer game, emphasizing logic and reasoning over action and dexterity. Like its predecessors, it breaks new ground in technology and artistry found in few other games on the shelves today. Its natural interface, beautifully illustrated environments, and haunting soundtrack make it a perfect game for all ages.
Windows · by Christopher Currie (3) · 2001
Graphically it's brilliant again. There's a lot of detail. Gameplay is enhanced as you can now look around yourself in 360 degree views. The story is still very good. A man called Saavedro (brilliantly played by oscar winner Brad Dourif from One Flew Over the Cucoo's Nest and Lord of the Rings: the Two Towers) wants revenge on Atrus because his sons, Sirrus and Achenar (from Myst 1) have ruined his life. Now he wants to lure you into his hideout by stealing the book that can take the user to Releeshahn, a world that Atrus created for his people. As you travel through the worlds, you will find clues and puzzles and the story unfolds. The worlds (or Ages as they are called) are linked together by "linking books" in which they are described. You need to find all of them to get Releeshahn back. This story is sure a good one.
Some puzzles are still a bit too hard, though this one is still easier as the second part of the Myst series: Riven. Finding paths is difficult sometimes because of pointing and clicking, especially in areas where things look a lot like each other such as the forest age Edanna. There's not really a lot of innovation but if you loved the earlier parts, you'll love this one too. If not, however, don't buy this. This is for players who like thinking, not for the action fans.
The Bottom Line
Another breathtakingly beautiful game that sadly doesn't offer much innovation. The fans won't probably mind that last problem, though.
Windows · by Rensch (203) · 2005
Some reviewers are bound and determined to thwart the entire Myst Series, some to the point of blaming it for the downturn of the adventure genre as a whole. To that, I say BALDERDASH! If you have stayed away from these games because of those reviews, you have missed out on some of the most entertaining, challenging, engrossing and enduring experiences you may ever have within a game world. For those of you not familiar with the series, here’s a basic synopsis.
Creating worlds simply by writing them in a journal – sounds like the ultimate Sim, doesn’t it? Atrus creates worlds, or “Ages”, as he calls them, just by writing his ideas in books. You are able to visit and explore each Age by opening his book and entering the picture inside.This type of magic transforms a blank page into a self-contained world complete with animals, plants and people, all of which evolve and grow over time.
But, playing God can be tricky business, as Atrus has learned the hard way. Mistakes made in his early efforts backfired and caused destruction and loss of lives. This chapter in the saga deals with those mistakes, and with a bitter “exiled” survivor bent on revenge against Atrus and his family. You’ll be exploring some of his first Ages – the ones he created to help his two sons learn. Each one is unique in itself with it’s own atmosphere, beauty and, of course, puzzles.
Like in the preceding games, strange contraptions need to be manipulated, all with a specific purpose you must discover. There is a color puzzle and a sound puzzle, but fortunately, no mazes or sliders (hallelujah!) In my estimation, the puzzles are of Medium-to-Hard difficulty for the most part. Be prepared to be utterly confused at first, but with a keen eye and perseverance, the answers will dawn on you like a revelation from above. There are surprises around every corner, interesting gizmos and buildings to explore. There are creatures too – a beautiful mother bird and her young as well as an adorable little hamster-sized animal. During your adventure, you will solve some puzzles either using or helping those creatures.
I can’t begin to describe in words how beautiful the graphics are in EXILE. I was awestruck and totally thrilled with every step. It is definitely a feast for the eyes, but my ears were not neglected. The fully orchestrated musical score brought me to blissful tears at times. Realistic sound effects, from the chirping of birds to the crashing of waves on rocks, add to the ambiance.
I also liked the two different endings, both of which are interesting to watch. And, if you make the wrong choice during the last segment, you can actually die!
I thank my lucky stars that the Patch provided support for my aging video card. Otherwise I couldn’t have played the game at all. A nice feature is having optional hardware support for all of the major 3D accelerator cards. Supposedly this enhances the graphics even more, if you can imagine that, by adding more movement to the scenery. Because the game was published as a Windows/Macintosh hybrid, MAC users can enjoy it too.
It’s hard to find anything bad about EXILE, but with a little thought, I did find a few little things, if you want to get picky.
The Bottom Line
Don’t rush through this game. Take your time, relax, and let yourself be consumed by the absolute uniqueness of each Age. You will be rewarded for your efforts with a fully satisfying experience. Fans of the predecessors and players who have enjoyed other 1st person adventures (Beyond Atlantis, for example) will love this game – as I did.
The foremost enticement of this sequel is the advancement of a story that began in the first game. As you begin playing EXILE, you’ll read enough background to get the gist of the story, so it is not necessary to play MYST and RIVEN beforehand (but it helps). I hope this is not the end of this saga and that there will be another sequel!
Windows · by Jeanne (75301) · 2001
This game is so rewarding! I was able to solve the puzzles after a decent amount of thought, but I wasn't too frustrated. The puzzles were reasonably difficult. For me that's perfect. I don't want to spend 40 hours on a game, for goodness' sake! I have a life. The game looks fantastic. The rollerball/rollercoaster ride was off the hook, if I'm permitted to use a black-sounding colloquialism. And, if I'm not mistaken, there are four different endings, as follows: 1) You return through the linking book, Saavedro follows you and whacks you on the back of the head. This gave me a bit of an adrenaline rush. You lose. 2) You turn on the force-field and turn it off. This upsets Saavedro, who is teetering on the brink throughout. He comes up the stairs and whacks you upside the head. You lose. 3) You get the book from Saavedro and leave him stranded. You win, sort of. 4) You get the book from Saavedro and release him. This is the most winning win. Saavedro is Wormtongue in Lord of the Rings, by the way. I thought that was kind of cool.
The scenery is amazing. This world was immersive. You could look in all directions, which I thought was ok. The first two games were essentially interactive powerpoint presentations. Dang fun ones, but that's what they were. This one is too, but you can look in all directions.
I couldn't solve the puzzle that turns on the electric generator. Dang my hide, it's my fault, not the game's fault. The cd swapping game is pretty tiresome as well. Only a minor fault.
The Bottom Line
This is a worthy addition to the Myst trilogy. Riven was so original, the island setting, all that. I loved the huge tree. And Myst is Myst, the original and a ton of fun. Exile incorporated the best of both games and added a few elements that were completely original. Buy it!
Windows · by Thohan (17) · 2003
Myst III: Exile continues the story set forth in both the original Myst and its sequel Riven. It starts out with you speaking to Catherine and Artus at their home in the age of Tomahna. As the game starts, Artus tell you of the new Age he’s written for the D’ni – Releeshahn. All of a sudden, a stranger appears in the room (Saavedro), and steals the book with the new Age in it, and you run after him.
And so starts your journey in Myst III: Exile. I think it’s a fantastic journey into the realistic world that has been set into motion. First off I’d like to thank UbiSoft for allowing you to install all the files on your hard drive! It’s a 4 disk game, and I’m glad I didn’t have to do the disk-swap tango just to enjoy the game. It allows you to play the entire game without breaking the flow of gameplay and seeing an annoying “Please insert Disk x” during the game. That plagued Riven’s gameplay and broke the illusion of immersion, and now that it’s eliminated, it’s a godsend here.
The graphics in the game are one-word: spectacular. Again the graphics in the game are central to the game. And the graphics are a wrap-around IMAX-style of graphics. It’s kinda hard to explain, but it allows you to actually look around the environment and see what’s about you. And it’s used in a lot of the puzzles where you have to view different aspects of the environment from different angles.
The control is better! Hooray! One of my biggest gripes about Riven and Myst are the fact that navigating around the Ages was a hunk-and-clickfest looking for the one area of the screen that allows you to move up and down stairs, ladders and tunnels. It’s fixed. Navigating the Ages of Exile are as easy as point-and-click. It’s easy to look toward where you want to go, and go there.
The sound and music are fantastic. Yet again, the sounds and music are an integral part of the game, and you need to listen and look to figure out what is going on. They also released the game soundtrack on CD, and it’s great to listen to. One of the great thingas about Exile (and the previous 2 games for that matter) is the fact that the attention to detail is unbelievable. I had no problem playing thorugh 85% of the game without any hints whatsoever.
There are technically 6 Ages (7 if you count Releeshahn) that you walk through. Tomahna (the starting world), J’Nanin (The world that links the three main worlds), Voltaic (the mechanical world), Edanna (the organic world), Amateria (the marble world – you’ll understand when you see it), and Narayan, where you finally confront Saavedro, and determine the fate of the Age off Releeshahn.
And the gameplay itself is great. The story unfolds as you walk through the Ages, and you come to find out that Saavedro (and his people) were basically tortured by Atrus’ sons, Sirrus and Achenar. The game revolves around Saavedro wanting to punish Atrus by subjecting him to the insanity of the ages, much like Atrus’ sons did to him. And the game is basically guided by one principle: total immersion. You have to suspend your disbelief and think like you are actually there in order to make sense of the Ages. If you try meta-game thinking (“If I were the programmer how would I construct this puzzle”), it usually won’t work. The programmers did an outstanding job crafting and creating believable environments that you need to navigate through. The puzzles are actually a bit easier than the ones in Riven, but are just hard enough to make you sit back and think about them logically. For instance of the first puzzles you stumble across is the Prism Puzzle in the Age of J’Nanin. It involves focus a light and bouncing it through posts that have a colored marker on top of them, bouncing it back and forth across the Island, and finally focusing on a door. It lights up the buttons on the door and the sequence to unlock the door is the sequence of the colors as they travel through the posts. It’ll take you a while to figure out what works and what doesn’t, but it’s always logical. And I must say that after solving the age of Amateria, you get the ride of your life through the age itself. It’s better than a roller coaster, and it’s one of the most satisfying feelings you get after you solve an Age.
There really isn’t anything bad about the game. There were a few times where I had to resort to hints, especially in Narayan, and the word/symbol puzzle. And the Age of Edanna is very organic, there are no switches, most of the puzzles are based on light, water and electricity. It’s very interesting, but was very confusing. And I thought the game could have gone on a bit longer. Perhaps another age to go through before facing Saavedro in the Age of Narayan.
The Bottom Line
If you like Riven or Myst, then this game is right up your alley. I personally believe that the adventure is going the way of the dodo, but with games like Riven and Exile, and also stellar games like The Longest Journey and Cyberia, the genre is still around. You might have to dig around for the gems in the bunch, and Exile is one of those gems. A must buy for those who like the genre. And for those who haven't tried the genre, give Exile a whirl. It's about 10 bucks now, so there's no reason not to try it.
Windows · by Chris Martin (1169) · 2004
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Critic reviews added by Jeanne, katarn_88, Cavalary, EonFear, chirinea, Wizo, vedder, shphhd, ti00rki, Cantillon, Trevor Harding, Parf, jaXen, Patrick Bregger, Tim Janssen, Big John WV, Xoleras, Víctor Martínez, Kabushi, Scaryfun, Thomas Helsing, ☺☺☺☺☺.