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Game Play

This is where the game fails. It is almost never any fun to play, the puzzles are illogical, unidentifiable or riddled with bugs and the ones that aren’t, are so easy they aren’t much fun. For example one machine assumes the default setting of each gear is the value 1, not 0. Now unless a revelation (No pun intended.) hit you, you may have never though of it that way. One of the strangest things about the game is that it includes a walkthrough with it so if you get stuck you can just refer to it. It can just give you a hint, a nudge or flat out tell you everything you need to know to solve the puzzle. The good thing is that if you don’t want the temptation of the walkthrough you can just select not to install it during installation. The biggest complaint I have with the game is that the sound puzzle is way too hard as your timing has to be exact and sometimes the sounds they give you sound nothing like he sounds you are suppose to make with the machine. Another large problem is the puzzle at the end is without a doubt the hardest puzzle of any Myst game and was flat out so ridiculous that I just used a walkthrough. Another huge flaw is that the audio to lip sync is off in all the cut scenes, making the in-game movies a rather un-enjoyable experience. The good thing is that the replay value is pretty good as there are three different spirit guides you can get in one part of the game. There are multiple endings to the game that make it interesting. Also you will know all the nuances of the puzzles after going through it the first time, making them much easier to conquer. The thing that redeems the game from being totally a waste of time and money is the story but then again the story is directed more towards those who have played at least Myst if not the first three games. In other words the story is for the Myst fans more that anyone in general.

Graphics

The graphics are mind blowing and show that pre-rendered graphics are still much more realistic visually than real time animation. The CG creatures are amazing and the locals while sometimes impossible looking always visually feel real. All the characters are actually actors who performed on a green screen and their interaction with the world is in most cases seamless although there seems to be a slight change of the screen whenever a character appears or disappear.

Sound

Once again Jack Wall does an amazing job for the score. I don’t think it is as good as his music for Exile but it’s still excellent. He really brings the emotion to the game and creates a distinct feel for each world. Also Peter Gabriel has a song he sings in the video game as well as a voice over he does. The sound is incredibly detailed and adds that extra quality that draws us in.

Stability

The game crashed on me numerous times despite the fact my computer was triple the minimum system requirements for the RAM and CPU. Even though I had one of the highest graphics card on the supported card list there were a few places where the graphics messed up quite a bit. There is at least two patches I know of and unless you have a crucial problem with the game steer clear of them as many people have found they create a whole new set of problems.

Controls/Interface

This time around your cursor is a 3D hand that you can customize into different colors and levels of transparency. As far as the controls they are still fairly simple, point where you want to go and click. If there are items you can interact with your hand will open up and you will be able to push, click or drag it. - People killing people in cold blooded murder (Ex. Grand Theft Auto 3) (There are several endings and two involve being murdered. Also in part of the game an animal attack another animal, kill and eats it. However after the animal take down its prey tall grass blocks your view. The game is intense at a few points and would probably scare younger children easily.) (-5 pts) - No Blood (-0 pts) - No Gore (-0 pts) - Swear Words Acceptable for Prime Time TV are used Once or Twice (Hell is used a couple of times and B*****d is used once.) (-3 pts) - No sexual dialogue. (-0 pts) - No Nudity (-0 pts) - No Sexual Content (-0 pts) - Game takes place in an environment with minor occult references. (Part of the game involves an alternate world called Dream in which you are given a guide. While it does say this is the spiritual realm it still could be interpreted as somewhat occultism like in the way it is presented especially since there are certain people who’s religion revolves around this spiritual realm. Also part of the area surrounding this spiritual world allows you to see things that have happened in the past.) (-3 pts) - There is no occult or supernatural in the game. (-0 pts) - No authority issues involved with this game. (-0 pts) - No prejudicial bias in the game. (-0 pts) - No gross humor in the game. (I vaguely remember that there may be one character that makes fun of animals after he kills them, more disturbing than gross humor.) (-0 pts) - Good value decision-making is required to progress in the game. (-0 pts) This game definitely deserves the T rating mainly because of the intensity. And if your parents are OK with the few cuss words this game should be acceptable for anyone over the age of 13. Content Points -39 Conclusion: Only play this game if you are a fan of Myst and want to know the story, beyond that there is no reason to play it. Game Play 5/20 Graphics 10/10 Sound 10/10 Stability 1/5 Controls/Interface 5/5 Violence 5/10 Language 7/10 Sexual Content 10/10 Occultic/Supernatural: 7/10 Other issues 10/10 - The story in this game delivers a good moral lesson. (Greater love has no one than this than he who lays down his life for his friend. You should accept responsibility for your sins.) (+3 pts)

Final Score-78

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Christ Centered Gamer looks at video games from two view points. We analyze games on a secular level which will break down a game based on its graphics, sound, stability and overall gaming experience. If you’re concerned about the family friendliness of a game, we have a separate moral score which looks at violence, language, sexual content, occult references and other ethical issues.

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