Riven: The Sequel to Myst (PC) Review

By Athanasios 31.10.2017

Review for Riven: The Sequel to Myst on PC

No matter the medium, there are two types of sequels: hastily-made pieces of junk whose only purpose is to milk fans of their money, and those that take the original, and surpass it in almost every way. Riven fortunately falls on the second category, something that makes it even more impressive as Myst had already set the bar pretty high for adventure games. Join Cubed3 as it takes another trip into the fantasy world of the Ages, then, in the 20th Anniversary review of Cyan Worlds' masterpiece.

Aside from a brief break, this adventure will take place in just one world; the world of Riven. That probably sounds kind of lame, as part of the fun in Myst had to do with getting to explore more than one realm… and yet, people loved the island complex of Riven, which managed to engross them due to its wonderful atmosphere like only a bunch of video game universes have ever done so - and for a good reason.

Riven is simply beautiful. Yes, it's just a bunch of brownish rocks in the middle of an azure ocean, but it's a magnificent bunch of brownish rocks in the middle of an azure ocean. Compared to Myst it's substantially more photorealistic, and, as a result, has aged much better, but it's not only that which makes this look so good. Riven feels "real." From the architecture, to the various pieces of art and symbols, this is a place that people have lived into; a place of history.

Screenshot for Riven: The Sequel to Myst on PC

There's a heavier emphasis in the plot this time around, and that's a good thing as it's even better than before. Note, however, that most of it is still insinuated, not exposed. Without spoiling much, the storyline revolves around saving a lady from the shackles of Gehn; the god-tyrant of the Myst franchise, and one of the most powerful Age creators, with Ages being compact worlds encased in simple books.

Of course, this being part of the Myst series, Riven is quite the lonely place. It doesn't have the same scarcity of interactions with the original, but don't expect to talk to many people. As again it's all about exploring a vast world, with no guiding hand showing you the way, no journal to take notes on, and, generally, no hand-holding whatsoever.

Screenshot for Riven: The Sequel to Myst on PC

Once again, Riven is a tough place to brave. No, there's not much killing to do here, but there are lots of puzzles to solve before reaching the end, and they are pretty challenging. The good news? Just like with Myst, they are not of the WHAT-NEEDS-TO-BE-DONE-HERE? variety, instead, it's all about being mindful of your surroundings and of the clues these can give, taking lots of notes, and, most of all, think, think, and think.

What's great about the puzzles of Riven is how none of them feel illogical, with the best way to solve them being the simple act of pretending as if this is a real place and you are "there," instead of handling this like any other video game. In conclusion: think why this or that is there, experiment with the machinery scattered around, carefully read any discovered notes, connect the dots… and prevail!

Screenshot for Riven: The Sequel to Myst on PC

Another great thing is how much better the navigation feels. Riven is still a slideshow where you click on "photos" to move around, but the player will rarely feel as disoriented from the instant transition from point A to B. Furthermore, certain spots make it possible to look around, making you feel less constricted.

Wrapping everything up, Riven is one of the best adventure game's ever made, and probably the best of the franchise it belongs to… but! But it's more of the same, therefore, if not a fan of the first game, don't expect the sequel to make you change your mind. Yes, it's not for everyone… because we can't all be equally lucky!

Screenshot for Riven: The Sequel to Myst on PC

Cubed3 Rating

9/10
Rated 9 out of 10

Exceptional - Gold Award

Rated 9 out of 10

Riven takes the pleasure that is Myst and doubles it. Its world is twice as beautiful and captivating, and the puzzles are twice as fun and challenging to solve. The only "flaws?" First, it doesn't really innovate, and, second, it won't appeal to those who didn't enjoy the original.

Developer

Cyan Worlds

Publisher

Red Orb Entertainment

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  9/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

Comments

There are no replies to this review yet. Why not be the first?

Comment on this article

You can comment as a guest or join the Cubed3 community below: Sign Up for Free Account Login

Preview PostPreview Post Your Name:
Validate your comment
  Enter the letters in the image to validate your comment.
Submit Post

Subscribe to this topic Subscribe to this topic

If you are a registered member and logged in, you can also subscribe to topics by email.
Sign up today for blogs, games collections, reader reviews and much more
Site Feed
Who's Online?
Flynnie

There are 1 members online at the moment.