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Publisher: Ubisoft    Genre: Adventure & RPG
Min OS X: Any Version    CPU: G3 @ 233 MHz    RAM: 64 MB    Hard Disk: 200 MB    4x CD-ROM    Graphics: 640x480 @ 16-bit

Myst III: Exile
June 13, 2001 | Michael Phillips

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ďItís been years since I stumbled upon the first linking book to one of Atrusí most beloved creations, Myst Island. On Myst, Atrus stored his most prized books, each containing a world or Age of his creation. Then, in a fit of madness and power, Atrusí own sons, Sirrus and Achenar burned his precious books and trapped him in a prison Age. I saved Atrus from this catastrophe, freeing him from his prison and putting an end to the murderous rampage of Sirrus and Achenar. It was some time before Atrus called on me again. Atrusí father, Gehn, kidnapped his wife, Catherine and trapped her on the dying world, Riven. Gehn wished to rule as a God of sorts over the people of Riven and ultimately end the lives of Atrus and Catherine. However, I did not allow this to happen. I thwarted Gehn, allowing Atrus and Catherine to escape with the people of Riven just before the Age collapsed on itself. Now, I find myself in Tomahna, Atrus and Catherineís new home. Atrus was going to show me his latest work, Releeshahn, the Age that will be home to his Díni ancestors. However, just before we made the journey, a horrid looking man appeared from a linking book and stole Releeshahn! I must follow him, I must uncover his scheme!Ē

- From the journal of an unknown adventurer

In Myst III: Exile players must once again solve mind-bending puzzles, set in various surrealistic worlds in order to rescue Atrus and his loved ones from dire peril. This time a new villain played by Oscar Nominee, Brad Dourif, bent on revenge, wishes to put an end to Atrus because of the actions of Sirrus and Achenar. Atrus just canít escape the pastÖ Exile is the 3rd installment in the highly successful Myst series. Can it possibly live up to its predecessors or is it as stale as so much old bread? Short answer, yes, itís great. Long answer, OH BABY, YES, ITíS GREAT!

Gameplay: Thatís a Spicy Meatball!
Exile features the same extremely clean point & click user interface as in the previous Myst titles with 1 very unique change, the ability to rotate your view 360 degrees. Weíre not talking grainy QuickTime VR rotation as seen in other games, while rotating in Exile; graphics remain crisp and beautiful. This rotation feature adds a whole new level of immersion to the Myst series. In order to find puzzles and clues, the player must look in all directions, including to the sky and ground. To further add to Exileís realism, players are able to rotate their view while movies and animations are playing. Thus, youíre not forced to sit still while things happen, the world feels alive and breathing, not static and cold.

Unlike Myst and especially Riven, in which it was unclear at times as to why certain tasks had to be performed, Exileís goals are far more well defined. Sirrus and Achenar destroyed exileís villainís home world, since theyíre not around however, he decides to take his revenge on their father, Atrus. As you chase the villain through Exileís ages, you learn that he has scattered pieces of his journal for you to find. By compiling these journal pages, the villainís motives become more clear. It seems that he has been planning this revenge for years, traveling from Age to Age damaging or changing things in order to test and humble Atrus. Therefore, when you encounter a locked door, you realize that it is locked because the villain deemed it so. Thus, even though youíre not interacting with dozens of characters, you donít feel alone while playing Exile. The villainís hand is everywhere, that feeling is quite palpable.

While Exileís puzzles are quite challenging, theyíre not so hard as to cause one to pull out their hair in fits of madness. Ok, I do have one bald spot due to a math related puzzle, but Iím what we like to call a Math Idiotô. I found that Exile contains a sufficient amount of logical clues in order to keep the player moving forward. Furthermore, each puzzle is perfectly woven into its particular Age, nothing seems out of place.


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