I was somewhat hesitant in purchasing this title. I absolutely loved the original Myst. That game was the reason for purchasing my first CD player back in the day......I believe it was 1994. The game just felt magical to me. It was such a fully realized world with state of the art graphics and sound for its time. My wife and I literally spent almost all waking time with it for 3 or 4 straight days.
The following Myst titles, while having their good points, just didn't capture as much magic for me as the first one. However, I am glad to say that this latest installment has been very impressive and immersive for me. While I was dissapointed to learn that it was "node" movement, rather than free form, don't let that deter you. Each node is absolutely alive. Water flows, plant life blows in the wind, insects are everywhere, animals, birds, steam, smoke, moving clouds, crashing waves and obsessive attention to detail. When I talk about detail, I refer not only to the graphical detail, but also to the environmental nuances such as animal tracks, appropriate wear and tear, and abundance of items that give a "lived in" feeling. When looking at a scene, you can tell a story based on the details included. It is very much a "real" place.
Myst has always ranked high in it's sound quality. Revelation does not dissapoint. The background music is awesome as are the environmental sounds. There are times when I will just stop, look out on an especially beautiful location, and soak in the sounds. My five year old daughter actually said, "I wish we could smell it, Dad". You almost think you can.
I have been very pleased with the puzzles as well. One of my favorite things about the first title was the way they tied the puzzles in with the environment, which, as you explored, would often result in those "A-ha" moments...where everything suddenly makes sense in your mind. I have had those moments here. The puzzles have been challenging, but not overly difficult. I have only used the hint system once due to missing a hard to find object. Which leads me to one minor criticism....there is some pixel hunting. The hand icon reacts a little bit slow and if you are moving it around the screen to fast you may not notice the signal that there is something there.
The story is also good for a change. In fact, I think it is turning out to be the best of the series. If you are a fan of Myst style games then I believe you should definately check this game out. If this isn't your thing, then I don't know if beautifull presentation is going to change anything for you. As an adventure gamer from the very beginning, I am thrilled to finally be playing a solid adventure title that continues to push the boundaries of quality while so many of its competitors remain stuck in mediocraty.