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User Reviews

The game that should have been as popular and acclaimed as Myst, but didn't. Brandon R (4) 4.6 Stars4.6 Stars4.6 Stars4.6 Stars4.6 Stars

Our Users Say

Category Description User Score
Gameplay How well the game mechanics work and the game plays. 3.6
Graphics The visual quality of the game 3.9
Personal Slant A personal rating of the game, regardless of other attributes 3.8
Sound / Music The quality of the sound effects and/or music composition 3.4
Story / Presentation The main creative ideas in the game and how well they are executed. This rating is used for every game except compilations and special editions which don't have unique game content not available in a standalone game or DLC. 3.7
Overall User Score (18 votes) 3.7

Critic Reviews

MobyRanks are listed below. You can read here for more information about MobyRank.
Obsidian is that rarest of titles, ladies and gentlemen. It blew me away when I played it early in my gaming career, and it blew me away again when I replayed it.
A classic. That's what it is. Obsidian may be the most innovative, imaginative puzzle adventure ever conceived. It will plunge you into an Orwellian dream of bureaucratic lunacy. All its elements contribute to a coherent, high satire that might just elevate the game into the realm of art. People either love it or hate it, but no one can deny that Obsidian is a standout.
Gamezilla (Dec 02, 2000)
This incredibly original and engaging game is clearly a must-buy for anyone who wants to play in an atmosphere that stretches the imagination to the limit. Although I obviously love the game, I can see that for someone who is very down-to-earth and only likes playing familiar games with known rules, parameters, and strategies, Obsidian would be a real source of frustration. But, for the rest of us -- and I hope that is most of us -- this game is the ultimate in mental, visual, and auditory stimulation.
GameBoomers (Nov, 2004)
A few games I've played managed to do a bit more than entertain, and Obsidian is one of them. The game tinkers with some heavy philosophical questions about modern-day technology and bureaucracy by playing out a satirical version of potential scenarios on a surreal dreamlike stage. It therefore becomes pretty impossible to travel this game on a purely entertainment level without forming some rather provocative questions of your own. Don't get me wrong, the developers don't lead you down a philosophical path with a noose around your neck, nor do they attempt to spoon feed you salient points. All they ask of you is to step into your own imagination, and once there, let the game entertain you, frighten you and maybe...give you a few morsels to chew on. And they do it very, very well.
GameSpot (Jan 23, 1997)
From beginning to end, Obsidian is an entertaining, surreal romp. Playing the game, it's obvious that a hell of a lot of work went into detailing the animation and scenery. I was waiting for the game to run out of ideas, but in the end, Obsidian is a seemingly infinite procession of bizarre chambers, each with increasingly challenging puzzles (the title boasts some 60 hours of playtime). If anything, Obsidian piqued my interest in games of Myst ilk. And that's saying something for me, a gamer whose main gaming interests include bombing Russian compounds and unloading a carpenter's-memory worth of nails into an unfortunate multiplayer opponent.
Game Revolution (Jun 05, 2004)
Overall, Obsidian is a deep puzzle game, and is in many ways better than Myst. It takes the genre one step further, upping the ante if you will. If you enjoyed Myst, or are just yearning for a good puzzle, you'll love Obsidian.
While OBSIDIAN does have a few drawbacks, most notably a surfeit of dead areas and the annoying necessity of changing the Windows display to 16-bit color (which isn't compatible with almost anything else you might wish to run), this game has many strong features. It contains approximately 20 interesting and original puzzles presented in a series of unusual and beautiful worlds; and it possesses a nice, edgy intelligence that's often lacking in games of this type. For gamers who enjoy puzzle-solving, OBSIDIAN should provide a similar level of enjoyment as do MYST or THE 7TH GUEST, and probably a greater level of challenge.
All in all, Obsidian is a very good game that falls just short of being excellent. It has all the ingredients of a terrific game—an original story, immersing graphics, challenging puzzles, and a convenient interface. Yet, in the end, the game leaves the player a little disappointed. It is difficult not to wonder if budget and schedule constraints that are known to have hampered the developer have dampened the full potential of this game. At a minimum, Obsidian's premise—that of an electronic network which can come to life and develop a mind and a soul of its own—is a prophetic idea that still rings true to this date and to any gamer who dares to ponder on its significance.
Mir gefällt, wie einige Standardformeln aufgepäppelt wurden, um dieses Spielgenre wieder lebhafter und energievoller zu gestalten. Vom Bewegungsschema und der Spielhandlung bis hin zu den Puzzles hat alles seine eigene Identität. Ich will nicht behaupten, daß irgendein bestimmtes Element in Obsidian ein echter Bahnbrecher ist, aber insgesamt erleichtern sie das Gameplay. Es ist auf keinen Fall "wie gehabt". Eine winzige Beschwerde habe ich trotzdem: Obwohl es für dieses Spiel nicht besonders relevant ist, mag ich keine Inventare mit nur einem Bestandteil. Vermutlich lebe ich immer noch in der Zeit, als es zur Lösung eines Spiels notwendig war, eine Taschenlampe, einen Gartenschlauch, sechs verschiedene Bücher, eine Leiter und den Kotflügel eines 76er BMWs mit sich herumzuschleppen.
I'm not a big puzzle game fan, but this title did contain situations which were able to hold my interest - at least, for a while. The luscious graphics come at a "disk-swapping" price. As an entry in the Graphical Adventure category, it contains no multiplayer options and little or no replay value. It is said that this title contains at least 40 hours of game play, but experienced puzzle solvers may find that it takes less time than that to complete it. The parts of the game that are strong (like the graphics) are very strong, and the parts that are weak (like the plot and some gameplay elements) are quite weak, which unfortunately keeps Obsidian from being an exceptional game. If pretty good is good enough, try it out.
To sum up, this is an above-average presentation, particularly if you are blessed with masses of RAM and triple-digit processor speed. I'm afraid that SegaSoft might be just a little too proud of their hard work, however.
Anyone who appreciates this particular corner of the genre, Myst fanatics especially, will find here a perilous, riveting, sometimes humorous journey through an awe-inspiring, breathtaking environment. Even with its limited exploration possibilities and a "puzzle grimace" here and there, it's a trip you'll want to take. The game's offbeat take on the world of physics may leave you blithely disoriented for quite a while. At one point Max says, "You can't just reboot the world." Well, it seems that Obsidian just did.
Quandary (Apr, 1997)
After I got over my initial aversion to the mechanical, metallic and, to my mind, depressing environment and became absorbed in solving the puzzles I thoroughly enjoyed it. But, I repeat, it is more a series of well integrated logic puzzles based around the premise of intelligent technology running riot rather than a traditional adventure game that tells a story.
PC Joker (Dec, 1997)
Vergleichsweise bodenständig ist das Gameplay der insgesamt vier Traumwelten. Es rankt sich genretypisch um das Finden und Einsetzen von Gegenständen, das Umlegen von Schaltern und Meistern von teils obskuren Geschicklichkeitstests. Vielerorts führt freilich nur schieres Ausprobieren zum gewünschten Erfolg; etwa, wenn in einem Labor Ingredienzen gemixt oder im Gewitter Blitze per Mausklick gelenkt werden. Die Steuerung selbst gibt dabei jedoch nie Rätsel auf: Sobald eine Aktion am Bildschirm möglich ist bekommt die Maus selbsterklärende Symbole zum Anklicken vorgesetzt.
Game.EXE (May, 1997)
Боюсь, что именно отменно сделанные головоломки и погубили "Обсидиан" как целостный мир. Играя в него, я чувствовала себя посетителем гигантской выставки поп-арта. Нажмите кнопочку, загляните в дырочку, дерните за веревочку, а вот руками трогать нельзя -- это же экспонат -- произведение искусства. И правда, в этом гигантском (5 CD!) и очень подробно и со вниманием к мелким деталям нарисованном мире мы двигаемся по раз и на всегда определенным дорожкам и можем что-то сделать, только добравшись до очередного "интерактивного" экспоната. Если это головоломка - нам разрешат пощелкать на ней мышкой, если "видео-арт" - покажут симпатичную анимашку или скажут, что делать дальше.
PC Action (Germany) (Dec 17, 1997)
Auch die Machart der Puzzles lehnt sich an Myst an: Meist gilt es, die Funktionalität verzwickter Mechanismen zu ergründen – leider kommt man hier oft nur durch Ausprobieren weiter, aber immerhin hilft am Anfang das mitgelieferte Lösungsheft. Besonderer Leckerbissen des Programms: der esoterische Soundtrack von Thomas Dolby.
Adventure Gamers (Feb 12, 2004)
I loved the creative graphics and the interesting premise. The actors were very good and provided a believability that gave the plot the credibility it needed to succeed. The game's soundtrack wasn't very strong, but that's a minor quibble. The puzzles, however, divided me. After spending an incredible amount of time on certain problems, the charms of the game began to wane on me. In the end, though, I do like Obsidian enough to recommend what is, in most respects, a fine game.
PC Games (Germany) (Dec 03, 1997)
Wer Myst mochte, wird von Obsidian keinesfalls enttäuscht sein. Wunderschöne Videos, einfache Bedienung und "phantastische" Rätsel sind zur Genüge vorhanden. Allerdings ist solch ein Grafik-Epos nicht jedermanns Geschmack. Wer sich nicht zu den Gelegenheitsspielern zählt, dürfte das Gameplay von Obsidian als recht zäh erachten und die Rätsel zu geradlinig finden.
Power Play (Feb, 1997)
Würdet Ihr Bücher lesen oder Filme angucken, die überwiegend in stillen Räumen spielen, praktisch keine Darsteller haben und man nie genau weiß, um was es in der Story eigentlich geht? Selbst wenn zahlreiche Myst-Fans jetzt laut „Ja“ rufen sollten: Damals war die Masche wenigstens noch neu und originell, hier geht ihr endgültig die Luft aus. „Obsidian“ ist zwar tatsächlich größer und schöner als das Vorbild, aber darum geht‘s nicht: Spielerisch besser wäre gefragt. Man merkt deutlich, daß die Entwickler für jede der Welten ein bis zwei gute Rätselideen hatten und den restlichen Platz auf den fünf CDs mit Standardpuzzles auffüllen mußten. Besonders ärgerlich: Einige der Aufgaben, z.B. das Großraumbüro, wurden richtig schlecht designt und strapazieren die Geduld. Optisch wirkt das Programm zwar teilweise beeindruckend. bietet aber auch in dieser Richtung nicht wesentlich mehr als die ältere Konkurrenz von Brøderbund. Fazit: Wiedermal viele bunte Bilder, aber ohne Tiefgang.
Zugegeben, es stecken durchaus nette Ideen im Spiel - als allein reicht nur nicht. Im übrigen sollten Sie gute Englischkenntnisse besitzen, denn Untertitel zu den teilweise recht dialektbetonten Sprechern gibt es keine. Hardcore-Tüftler lassen sich von solchen Kritikpunkten nicht abschrecken, alle anderen aber werden sicherlich auch ohne Obsidian weiterleben können.