Current Game Points-45/50
Several years have passed since the events of Riven. Atrus and his wife have moved to a small corner of Earth and you go there to visit them and journey to the world Atrus has made a link to. You arrive there to find that Atrus and his wife now have a daughter. As you wait for Atrus in his office you can\'t help but read the letter on his desk that reveals that an intruder. After reading the letter you walk over to the other side of the office where the Releeshahn book lays in its case. This book is the link between Earth and the world Atrus and you will venture to. Atrus arrives and gives you a journal he wrote while writing Releeshahn. As he locks up a few things you notice from the corner of your eye that a man has materialized out of thin air. He grabs a nearby light fixture and throws it into the curtain nearest to you. A fire starts and as your attention is diverted on the fire the man grabs Releeshahn from it\'s case Atrus yells out and a you turn back the man disappears with Releeshahn in his hand. But he leaves something behind, it\'s a linking book that will take you to where he has fled. The flames are growing steadily closer to the book, if you don’t act soon the book will be burned and so will all hopes of Releeshahn ever being visited again. You do the only thing you can do, you place your hand on the top right page of the open book and enter an entirely different world…
The game really draws you in from the very beginning with an amazing opening that will lead you “running like a rat through a maze” as one of the characters puts it, for the rest of the game although I wouldn\'t say you could really run through the game as most of the puzzles require taking a step back to figure them out. It\\'s very creative how it implements the puzzles to be a believable part of the world and not just some fabricated thing for the purpose of giving you a puzzle to do. While most of the game can be progressed through by the average gamer almost everyone I\'ve come in contact with has said that the last puzzle was too hard and that they were expecting you to piece too much together it even stumped some of the hardcore fans. The rest of the puzzles are more straightforward and most of them are moderately hard to figure out. One problem I had is that one world was really hard to get around in because it was so confusing where you could and couldn\'t go or how you would have to go around something to get somewhere. I\'ve seen that acorn shaped plant before, but wait it didn\'t have that opening like the other one did, this must be a totally different place. It got very frustrating and took away from the game. The replay factor is moderately good as there are multiple endings although if you are like me you save at the critical decision parts of the game before proceeding. While there are multiple endings to the game some of them result in a message coming up saying you have failed. That really torqued me off as a fan because the original two just had the credits roll in any ending which made you feel more like you had made one of the many possible endings and not necessarily the wrong ending.
This game is jaw dropping gorgeous. It still looks stinking good now and it was released in 1999. All the characters are implemented in the game as real actors through blue screen and there are also several CG creatures throughout the game. The diversity of the worlds and textures are amazing. I don\'t think I ever came across the same texture twice. Except for the intro and ending all the in-game cut-scenes flow seamlessly with the game. The office sequence is just amazing visually for the time. The detail of the game is probably the most impressive thing about it. How many other games have several CG creatures that you can see the individual hairs and feathers of. There also aren\'t very many flat looking surfaces in the game; everything feels like it truly is in the third dimension.
Jack Wall composed some excellent music that is hailed as one of the best scores for a video game ever. Each world has its own distinct style of music and it also has a more dramatic scale to it. The sound is very well done and the ambience is more complex that most games. But this game uses music and sound to draw you in more than anything.
I\'ve never encountered any bugs at all and I\'ve played both the original version without the patch as well as the DVD version that has a patch with it that fixes the most common problems people had with the game. It ran fine for me on the several computers I played it on. Since it’s an older game a majority of the few bugs have been worked out.
The controls are the simple point and click that made the first two games accessible to all ages. The hardest thing in the game to learn control wise is how to interact with object and you can easily learn how to do it, along with the rest of the controls, in the first few minutes of the game. It\'s all very intuitive and there really isn\\'t a need to even look at the control settings because it all just feels right. The menu is fairly simple and there are very few settings because the game is pre-rendered and requires little need for adjusting.
- The story in this game delivers a good moral lesson. (The correct ending is that we should show mercy and love even to those who wish to harm others.) (+3 pts) - People killing people in cold-blooded murder (You can get clubbed to death at the end of the game. One of the alternate endings implies that you left a man for dead.) (-5 pts) - No Blood (-0 pts) - No Gore (-0 pts) - No Foul Language (-0 pts) - No sexual dialogue. (-0 pts) - No Nudity (-0 pts) - No Sexual Content (-0 pts) - There is no occult or supernatural environment in the game. (Some people may think the Linking Books are magic but the expanded universe defines it as a science.) (-0 pts) - There is no occult or supernatural in the game. (-0 pts) - No authority issues involved with this game. (Part of the game revolves around how the sons rebelled against the father. The sons are portrayed as being wicked in their rebellion.) (-0 pts) - No prejudicial bias in the game. (-0 pts) - No gross humor in the game. (-0 pts) - Good value decision making is required to progress in the game. (Part of the game is that in the end you are given a choice and you can do bad things but only a certain ending gives you the ending that is the right one. So you are given the choice but encouraged to make the correct one.) (-0 pts)