Riven Review detailed

Riven Review detailed
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Riven Review detailed

Hello. Are you familiar with the Myst series, which stands out as one of the best puzzle-adventure game series of its time with its first game ? If you are not, don’t worry! Today, I will be entering the series with you in the middle with the second game of the series, Riven. If you think that this remake-recreation game can be your stepping stone to the series, get ready, put your hand on the screen so that we can be drawn into this mysterious island and start our Riven review.

Riven Review detailed
Riven Review

Myst series and its importance

Myst, which was released as the first game of the series in 1993 , is a production that has made quite a splash in the gaming world. If you ask old players, this production, which they are quite familiar with, was later turned into a book and presented to novel readers as a considerable work. It would have been good if I had known this information before. Long before this review, I had prepared a list of productions that were transformed from games into different works. But it is not a shame to not know, it is a shame not to learn! This game is not on the list, but it has definitely taken its place in my dreams as a “plus one”. Anyway, sir, let’s not digress. Because the story will confuse you enough, I am telling you.

You may call it science fiction, I may call it fantasy… Myst, with its definitely adventure story ; I can say that it is a huge universe that we are drawn into in a rough way, from the book we are drawn into. I don’t know how it is told in the book series, it is probably a detailed version of the story in the games, but as someone who played Riven, I can say that it is not for nothing that people were so excited back then! Considering the graphics of that time, the quality of computers and consoles, it is quite realistic for the period and it is a series that managed to present a huge universe as a puzzle game. Of course, being a point-and-click game does not offer a structure that will appeal to every player today with its scene-by-scene display. So what did the producers do, they reworked the game nicely so that it could appeal to everyone. Thus, the game has become a modern puzzle-adventure game where we can freely roam around with a first-person camera and move objects by clicking, which is very nice with today’s graphics.

For those who are curious: The Myst series has 6 games: Myst, Riven, Myst III: Exile, Uru: Ages Beyond Myst, Myst IV: Revelation and Myst V: End of Ages; and 3 books: Book of Atrus, Book of Ti’ana and Book of D’ni.

Riven Review detailed
Riven Review

Is it modernity that makes the remake modern, or is it remake that makes the modern modern…?

Okay, okay, I hear you. In the examples of adaptations of old productions to the present day, we have partially seen that unless they are really big companies, their development has a limit. Therefore, it is very normal for you to question. I should mention that this game also has VR support , but since I do not have such equipment, I played it on a normal computer screen. The remake process has generally done a successful job, but there were some parts that bothered me. I think this is more about the choices in the game structure than modernity. Of course, it is also a situation that is a little bit left to discretion.

Not every game can appeal to everyone. As it is, even within a genre, there are games that appeal to some and not others. If we put this series in such a position, it wouldn’t be bad. Of course, this doesn’t mean it’s bad, on the contrary, I can say that it’s one of the features that definitely makes the series different. I don’t think there’s any need to talk more generally. Let’s get into a little more detail, and move on to the depths of the islands.

Our game starts with Atrus telling us partly what we need to do, something starting over and us being drawn into the book and dimensionally transitioning to another universe. We can say that the situation is exactly the kidnapping of Atrus’ wife Catherine by Atrus’ father and our efforts to save her. In other words, our goal is to save Catherine and sabotage or stop the evil plans of Atrus’ father Gehn. Riven appears before us as a large settlement with many islands. There are dimensionally transition areas between the islands as well as special vehicle mechanisms. During this process, completely different mysteries and puzzles await us on the islands.

Unfortunately, Riven has become a game that will be etched in my memory as the game with the longest loading screen I have seen recently, due to the vastness of the game map and probably their desire not to prevent the player from feeling free . The fact that the idea of ​​presenting us with a huge area in a single load was inadequate is proven by the moments when I sometimes panicked because I thought I would fall because of the images that did not load while progressing and the transition areas that were put in place to prevent people from noticing that there was a loading section. The part I will touch on from here on may be a bit more subjective, so if you are like me, I will just ask you to take it into consideration.

Riven Review detailed
Riven Review

Walking simulation or puzzle game?

This game, by its nature, guides us players to solve puzzles in a walking simulation style and leaves them in a huge area. Because it leaves the player too much freedom, you may find yourself in parts where you wander around aimlessly thinking, “There are puzzles around but I don’t understand if they can be solved.” Or, on the contrary, you may be disappointed thinking, “I tried so hard that there were puzzles but it was nothing.” Different puzzles and formations await you on different islands. There are many places to walk in the game, but to be honest, after a while, the game’s large map did not create a feeling of fullness for me, on the contrary, it created a feeling of emptiness. It’s like a labyrinth where you progress without knowing where you’re going.

When I think of puzzle games, what comes to mind is sitting down, taking notes if necessary, or staring at the screen for minutes at a time for the same problem. If my head hurts, I think it should be because of the puzzle. But in this game, an element that hadn’t come to my door in any way for a few years suddenly appeared: Time anxiety. Yes, you read that right. This game caused me time anxiety. If you ask, “When does this occur?”: It’s when my brain starts giving me signals that I feel like something is a waste of time, and this game made me feel exactly like that.

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After all, this is a puzzle game and I want to solve puzzles. I noticed that many things I thought were puzzles were presented to me as nothing, but on the contrary, the puzzles were a series of tiny products that you would miss. Can’t solve something? Then definitely take a closer look. There must be something you missed, like a tiny button. Did you find it? Well done, you solved the puzzle! Okay, I won’t exaggerate too much, but this is really the majority of the game. Unfortunately, there was no puzzle of considerable quality. I can say that it was probably ideal for its time, but it had a weak difficulty for today. They tried so hard to preserve the originality of the game that they didn’t even bother to add a readable version of the handwritten papers in order to make it player-friendly. I definitely don’t think people with bad eyesight will be able to play it very comfortably. I am someone who likes to play puzzle games at night, so I didn’t find Riven suitable for playing with tired eyes.

Another situation is that it takes a really long time to go from one place to another . Even the shortcuts that the game opens for us later, such as physical or dimensional transitions, are never shortcuts. First of all, the map structure of the game is generally very confusing. “What should I do when, did I miss something small?” It becomes narrow for a person to go to the same place over and over again. Fortunately, you can edit your save files whenever you want. Just like the automatic saves, you can also save yourself when you want to exit and end your adventure for that moment. I have sat down in front of the computer many times to play this game, and I closed the game with a headache every time. I couldn’t remember a decent puzzle. As a person who really loves puzzle games, my star really didn’t match this game. But I am writing this review for exactly this reason, so I think the next topic is more important.

Riven Review detailed
Riven Review

Do as I say, not as I do: How should this game be played?

Riven is not a game that is filled with difficult puzzles and will blow your mind. Its world is big, it takes time and patience to navigate , but if you keep your eyes open, you will not have any problems. Not every thing that is placed is a part of the puzzle, but many repeating things can be the puzzle itself. Since it is not very player-friendly in terms of visuals, it is useful to pay attention to the surroundings and to force the terrain that your character can go to outside of the road. So much so that sometimes you may waste your minutes because you cannot see the progress in front of your eyes. Don’t do what I did. Don’t bother with linearity in a game that does not have a linear structure. However, if you want a better experience, it is useful to play the original 1997 Riven, which is a point-and-click game and still maintains its visuality very well today.

Riven Review detailed
Riven Review

Visuals, music and atmosphere… How much is this game Riven?

I think this remake has done a very successful job with the visuals, music and atmosphere that the original did justice to at the time. Personally, I never look for realism in graphics and facial animations as much as “I’ll be drawn in if I reach out my hand”. If there is such a perfect work, you definitely hear the reputation of that content that way. I think what matters is whether the graphics and animations are sufficient for a game. And I think this is sufficient for Riven. Due to the game’s desire to remain faithful to the original, you may sometimes experience moments that seem rough in the animations, but if you don’t have problems with the things that caught my eye, I don’t think it will be a problem.

I think they did a good job in terms of atmosphere. The view of the sea, the lighting and many other aspects of the game are a nice view. In terms of music, I noticed that sometimes when I was walking from one place to another and when the anxiety I mentioned recurred, the game gave me a feeling of “being on my own”. This bothered me a little. Maybe it’s because we are so used to hearing voices in today’s games, too much silence can be annoying after a while. Of course, I don’t know how much this will affect you. I think I’ll take a look at this game again sometime, but to be honest, I don’t even want to think about it right now.

I also thought, “Is there something wrong with me?” Normally, I like walking simulation games, so I tried to understand what exactly pushed me here. Seeing that the people who commented positively on this remake were generally people who had played the original back in the day, made me think that maybe this game was made for older people looking for nostalgia rather than for new people to get acquainted with the series. I don’t know if that’s true or not. But for some reason, I feel like I would have liked it more if I had played the original. I couldn’t think of another reason why someone who can normally do the “kill 10 cows” and “collect 20 plants” tasks in massively multiplayer games, which we can call “labor-like”, would have anxiety about time in a game because they have to go from one place to another ten times.

If we take into account the few endings, story developments and map layouts like the original game, these are my thoughts about Riven, which is a very “faithful” game . If you played the original and liked it, I think there is no harm in giving it a chance. However, if you are one of those who think like me, I think we would be a little more comfortable if we played the original.

Last word:

If you want a different science fiction-fantasy universe experience, Riven offers you a story-heavy puzzle adventure where you will be drawn into its atmosphere while wandering around a huge area. It is not a production that will appeal to those looking for a high dose of puzzles, more impatient players, and those whose stars do not match the walking simulation genre. However, if it interests you, it is worth checking out.

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