Myst: Welcome to Myst

Welcome to Myst. You have opened a book into a surreal world then fallen into it and left to fend for yourself. This is without a doubt, the most revolutionary game of all time. It is the standard for puzzle games everywhere. Myst was without a doubt, lightyears ahead of it time. When the game starts you are on this island and basically told to go explore and have fun. Oh, and you aren’t told what to do. That is the fun part. You must figure out what happened on the island. And any gaps in the story you fill in for yourself. Myst was a world that invites you to get lost in it. It was a wonderful gaming experience that I will never forget.

So, overall, I think that for its genre, this is the greatest game ever made.

Gameplay: The gameplay was incredibly simple. You just point and click and you are moved there. It fits very well with the style of game because it gives you the chance to fully appreciate the surroundings. And you really want to look around. The vistas are stunning in some places. It is amazing to think that two guys did this on an Apple 11 years ago. Anyway, the gameplay fits very well with this game. It lets you concentrate on the puzzles and the atmosphere.

Graphics: The graphics were incredible by 1991 standards and are still pretty impressive today. And that is assuming you don’t’ go out and buy one of the new remastered versions. I thought the attention to detail was astounding. In one age when you are in the treetops looking over the swamp. That was just cool. And when you are in the library, the books and the ceiling were both incredible. I loved the library. Overall the graphics were killer. Some shots you just had to spend a few min. just staring at because there was so much to see.

Sound:  You may ask me about the sound. The sound really is what gives you that feeling of being in the game. Once again the attention to detail is superb. But it is the little noises in addition to the sound that really draws you in and makes you think that you are really on this magical island far away from reality, stranded and desperately seeking the truth.


No One Lives Forever

No One Lives Forever follows the current “Max-Payne” trend of making short, but sweet PC games. Unfortunately the days of NOLF 1, Half-Life, Thief and Deus-Ex length/quality games are over it seems. If you can wait for the bargain bin, you might get your money’s worth because it’s just too short to justify a new-release price.

Gameplay: The best way to describe No One Lives Forever gameplay is by stating what is missing from NOLF 1… which is a shame, because there’s a lot. Most notably: no plentiful and varied environments, no unique environments (like underwater, outer-space etc), no unique boss encounters (they all go down via gunfire), and no more than a handful of interesting missions (no jumping out of planes here).

The worst part is that they took a chapter out of Halo’s book of level re-use — which is bad enough considering the game is short already. All in all the game just feels too compressed without any of the rollercoaster rides you got in NOLF 1.

The most laudable comment I can make is that the arch-villain is very inspired; as are the rest of the new characters. But considering there’s not many new characters (and re-use of the characters from NOLF 1), it’s not really a glowing comment. I also liked the ending.

Graphics: I had the graphics cranked to max with quincunx AA and they looked nothing short of phenomenal. The shader lighting is superb. Although there’s obviously still some light-mapping going on it’s very smoothly done compared to older engines like Q3 and the original Lithtech engine. The textures and models remain top-notch just like they were in NOLF 1.

Sound: Positional sound problems. I also had to fidget with my nforce2 Soundstorm system to get it to work well with No One Lives Forever. Obviously there are some sound issues because there is a FAQ at the No One Lives Forever official site. The music was pretty darn good, but I like that 60s retro rock/jazz fusion. Sound effects were ok.

The conversations are still a big part of the game’s entertainment.