Pros: gorgeous graphics, more interactive than Riven, storyline, music controls,engrossing
Cons: music less intense than Myst, graphics more static than REALMYST, sometimes hard to find click-points.
The Bottom Line: A graphic excursion into fantasy, EXILE is a game to relish. Far better than RIVEN background not quite as realistic as REALMYST this game is a graphical-treasure.
How do you start a war? Well, you can cause international tensions by violating internationally understood boundaries. You can send a telegram insulting the sultan of a Middle Eastern country and sign it from the President.
...or you can criticize any game from the Myst series.
Yes, it is sad but true. Never have I seen such a volatile bunch of gamers as those who are devout followers of the Myst series of games. If you dare to speak a word against any of the revered games, well, you are treading on very thin ice, my friend.
So, it is getting warmer out now, why not head out onto the ice?
WHAT IS MYST LIKE?
I remember back in the olden days when people still sold 8 track tapes at garage sales and those who had any memory at all still linked Democrat with gas shortages, outrageous coffee prices, energy crises, and selling out of our nation to foreign countries......(those who fail to learn from history are destined to repeat it....).
Yes, back in the good old days, when a select group of followers donned bizarre costumes , and a selection of sundry toiletries and headed off to the local theater. I was told that it was a phenomenon. A brilliant masterpiece. A sight to behold. The Rocky Horror Picture Show. If you were not in the stream of its numerous fans and singing its praises, well, you just were not a validated human.
And, yes, they still play the ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW at the local theaters on a regular basis in the midnight shows. Pretty soon we will see buses from nursing homes escort bent over tufts of white hair into the theaters with their bag of toiletries for an evening of fun. Perhaps an early bird special time???
Well, the MYST cult has some striking similarities. It is not unusual to find a hushed group of followers engaged in deep discussion that looks to be of the most important nature. Upon further investigation, you find that the topic is merely analysis of one of the islands of Myst and how the 35th time they finally discovered a nuance that they did not see before.
WELL, THEN WHAT IS MYST ABOUT?
MYST That game phenomenon that divides even the best of friends. Either you love it or hate it. Either it really pushes your go buttons or turns you completely off.
Myst started with you being plopped into an island. You find strange clues and wander aimlessly around. Eventually you find a message from ATRUS. ATRUS is a man who has the amazing ability to create worlds just by composing words about them into books.
Beautiful panoramic worlds appear just from the words that ATRUS penned. ATRUS then visits these worlds and brings his sons and wife, CATHERINE to these worlds.
ATRUS is a typical father in denial. In his estimation, his sons can do no wrong and they are going to learn by his side and take good care of these worlds that their father has penned.
In reality, his sons are selfish , spoiled, and corrupted men with a penchant for destroying everything they are trusted to take care of and nurture. They torture, murder and annihilate every one and every place they encounter.
You are then thrown into this situation where you have to try to discover what has gone wrong, and try to capture the brothers. In the course of the story, you find two books that ATRUS has made to imprison the brothers into. One is blue and the other red.
You are then exposed to a tirade and plea of each brother to let them free, maintaining that the brother in question is innocent.
Through the game, you find blue or red pages to finally see which brother is freed. There are many puzzles and logical sequences that you are required to discover and solve before you can progress to each world, and finally the end of the game.
The graphics for the early 1990's were far beyond any other game in scope and beauty. The experience was fabulous once you got the hang of the logic and what was expected of you. IF you did, that is. Some people NEVER do.
THEN WHAT IS EXILE?
After MYST, came RIVEN. This story was supposed to be "pre-MYST" The graphics were far more awesome and the sound effects of waves on the shore and animal sounds were immersive.
The interface, however, was less interactive. If you came upon a puzzle, it was virtually impossible to figure out how to solve it, but more frustrating was the part that you really did not understand why the heck you should bother solving it anyway.
It was a very boring and nebulous experience. Non-linear, it was anyone's guess why the heck a person should be there, let alone where you were going. Interaction was minimal and most things left you with a ton of unanswered questions.
Now comes EXILE.
I swore after playing RIVEN that I would NEVER. I mean NEVER buy another MYST series game again.
It was not until the Mattel company decided to release CYAN's (the originators of MYST) upgraded version of MYST that I reconsidered my decision. REALMYST is a 3D version of MYST. Completely made over, the game is actually a fabulous improvement. I was impressed with the programming and the extra features missing in the original.
EXILE is a bit of RIVEN as far as the graphics go, and a bit of MYST as far as the puzzles and interactions go. I found the REALMYST game to be a bit more engrossing due to clouds rumbling, lightning, and lots of other active scenery.
EXILE is the 3rd in the MYST series of games.
WHAT IS EXILE ABOUT?
In EXILE, the brothers are not around. I am assuming that they are in the books of their imprisonment at the beginning of the game. There is so much information that you need to process that I could have missed it.
ATRUS is back to living in his self-absorbed world of creating worlds that he will abandoned once he is tired of them. His wife had another child, a girl. She is still a baby.
You are thrust into a world of peace and beauty. First CATHERINE, his wife, greets you and tells you that ATRUS will only be a moment.
You look around and mess with things, and suddenly see a long haired man break into the room, grab a book that was under lock and key and then use it to escape.
ATRUS comes in the room to talk with you and when you leave, the room is on fire. You go to the book that is in the room and you are off into your first world (J'Nanin).
The point of EXILE is that you have to follow the path of this long haired man who turns out to be someone who had been tortured from one of the worlds of MYST back inthe first game. He is seeking revenge on ATRUS for allowing the brothers to destroy the world and not take care of what he had created.
EXILE plays like a perfect blend of MYST and RIVEN. There is the beautiful scenery like there is in RIVEN. The graphics are gorgeous. If you like color and detail, you will enjoy being in this game.
The gameplay, however, is much improved over RIVEN. The puzzles are more logical and the purpose is much more obvious. When you click on something, something either happens or it does not. In RIVEN you had to walk all over the island to discover if anything happened when pressing or doing something.
360 DEGREE MOVEMENT
The scope is 360 degrees. You can look all around you with smooth scrolling graphics. Even the 3D video of people goes into 3D. In other words, if you look up while Catherine is talking to you, you can see all parts of her like you would in real life.
The 360 degree feature works beautifully.
You can put your mouse into 2 modes. By pressing the right mouse button, you can lock your mouse into a stable mode where you use the arrows on the keyboard to go in any direction. This is good for slow panning if you are looking for a small detail.
The other mouse mode is free running. You just use the mouse to move you in directions, pressing the mouse button if you want to move forward.
FLASH (ZIP) MODE
This feature allows you to go ahead over long paths with only one click. Once you have been over an area, this option shows up if you have engaged it on the options screen. The only problem with it is that you may pass a small detail along the way.
The choice comes up on the cursor as a lightning bolt. If you slightly move it, it goes back to normal and you may proceed as normal.
You can not only control the level of music, but the frequency of the music you hear while playing the game. Not that the music is intrusive. It really is more like the kind of thing you hear when they do an "angels singing in heaven" type thing on a spiritual type scene in a movie.
PC 233 PII or faster Win 95/98/ME 64 MB RAM 200MB HD needed 4x CDROM 640x480 display, high color Optional 3d hardware acceleration
RECOMMENDED 8MB VIDEO CARD
MAC 233 GE processor or faster MacOs 8.1 or higher 64 MB RAM 200 MB HD space 4X CDROM or faster 640x480 display , thousands of colors Supports optional 3D hardware acceleration Recommended 6MB Video card
There are multiple endings. 6 of them, to be exact. You can play this game several times or just save it at certain points and take different routes to see the different endings.
WHAT ARE MY IMPRESSIONS OF THIS GAME
It always helps to know what a person played the game on, so for starters, here are my specs.
750MHZ ATHLON PROCESSOR 256 MB RAM 40X CDROM G400 MATROX VIDEO CARD w/ 32 MB video RAM INSTALLED COMPLETELY ON HD- TOOK 2GB space USING 640x480 screen high color Using hardware 3D acceleration. Mouse pad - not conventional mouse
ATTENTION: This game does NOT support Wacom graphics pads like most other games do!!!
The game is fun. I was really skeptical when I started. My whole family disliked RIVEN so much that it was a hard leap of faith to buy this game.
I rarely get to play games, so playing this one had to be engrossing yet easy to put down and pick up.
Once my son got playing with me, the game was a snap. The puzzles are challenging, but not hard. The feature that the consequences of your actions are readily evident is the best improvement yet. That helped to save the game.
The interaction and personal involvement in the game is far greater than RIVEN
I really enjoy the worlds and so far, everything runs well. I have installed the patch 1.1 that is available at the site: www.ubisoft.com
UBISOFT is the company that published EXILE- they have also been responsible for the JOURNEYMAN PROJECTS series.
You might want to install the patch before playing the game at all. I did it after starting and it gave me trouble with my saved game. Once I began again, it was fine.
This is an awesome game. It is relaxing to be immersed in these 3D worlds with wonderful sounds. There is not the pressure to hurry. Copious amounts of reading have been abandoned in exchange instead for a very manageable amount.
A harried mom or dad can play this. Families can play it together, but books will have to be read out loud so everyone can hear. The game is rated "E" for EVERYONE.
Nothing I have seen so far is bad for kids. The only real complaint I have about the game is that the backround is not as active (storms, rolling clouds, lightning, rough seas, etc) like REALMYST has in it. But there is enough to see and do that it is not a big problem, if you have already played REALMYST.
If you liked MYST, you will most likely like this game too.
The only place I was able to find a walkthrough when I started this game is at the following URL:
Myst arrived just in time to take advantage of brand-new CD-ROM technology, and quickly became the number-one reason to buy a new computer. Myst and its sequel, Riven , featured beautiful and lonely landscapes, a strong and fascinating sense of pervading mystery, and puzzles both fiendish and clever. Players navigated through the games by clicking on points of interest, and solved puzzles by paying careful attention to the lush graphics and haunting sounds of the environment. Myst III: Exile proudly continues and even advances that tradition. Myst 's ongoing story line is as convoluted as it is fantastic. Central to the story is the mysterious civilization of the D'ni, which creates entire worlds by writing books. Other books are used to link the D'ni worlds together. Myst trapped the player in a series of interconnected worlds, and challenged the player to puzzle through the ramblings of two mad brothers in order to free Atrus, their imprisoned father. Riven revealed more of the history