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Myst Sequel Riven, groundbreaking 90s puzzler, gets remake

Myst Sequel Riven, groundbreaking 90s puzzler, gets remake
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Some stupid pile of rocks and a building in Riven.

screenshot: Cyan / Moby games

Due to an ancient witch’s curse myst, officially the worst game ever, will never go away. Further evidence of this suffering is that the original creator of Cyan Worlds just announced their remake myst‘s almost as terrible sequel, riven. So if you love randomly spinning levers between sits through the most terrifying am-dram FMV spectacle you’ve ever seen, you’ll be in for a treat!

Riven announcement

myst was a “game” about entering magic books and then learning a story about a guy and his two sons and how – mumble mumble – they ended up trapped in the books. I’m generous here. In reality, it was about solving a series of implausible mysteries with no direction beyond random guessing while reading endlessly abysmal books, notes, and messages. 1997 riventhat under the uncorrectable name “Riven: The Sequel to Myst‘ is all about rescuing a poor, helpless lady named Catherine from the world of Riven while, you know, solving implausible mysteries with no direction…

This is said to be an all-new, modern remake, stripping the game of its original static views and prescribed movement and replacing it with free movement and inevitably (but not yet announced) VR options. However developer Cyan is very reserved with information moreover, it exists at this point.

It’s important not to get too carried away with the slagging myst, because it has a lot of fans. Wait, sorry, I typed that wrong. It has a lot of terrible fans. People who confuse novelty with quality as a religious covenant and pretend that every single element of a game that’s objectively terrible is actually a good thing. It’s “world-building,” you see.

Pretty awesome though, when crawling with the weight of a myst-shaped cross on the back, they also say: “Of course, but riven was even better.”

Persons, riven wasn’t any better. It was just something more. That is, if myst was badly cut heroin riven was slightly worse-cut heroin now being given to a heroin addict. Now, 25 years later, there’s hope that the same drained people who survived are craving to relapse… Ouch! go away CAROLYN WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!

A female lion scares off a male lion.

Photo: O. Alamany & E. Vicens (Getty Images)

Hi everyone, I’m really sorry about that. This is Carolyn Petit here now. John’s…well, John’s having a rest, in the corner, until the ambulance gets here.

You know what? Myst was actually an astounding immersive masterpiece, one that absolutely told you everything you needed to know to solve its puzzles (contrary to what John said) and made doing so immensely satisfying. Riven, in my opinion, didn’t reach the heights of its predecessor, but they were both brave, bold games, with stunning visual design that offered up captivating worlds unlike any games had given us before.

Notably, both also demonstrated, just as great 3D FPS games like Doom were becoming all the rage, that games could be as wonderful for giving us tranquil, beautiful worlds and cerebral gameplay as they could be for giving us violent hellscapes and satisfying shotguns. Technologically noteworthy as well, they pushed pre-rendered graphics in directions we’d never seen before, while using the sudden expanse of space offered by CD-ROMs to let us see full-motion video acting within these fantasy worlds. This was pivotal in mid-90s video games, inspiring generations to come, while being at the cutting edge of what our fledgling PCs could do.

To see this remade today, with the freedom of modern computing, adding the ability to move freely around these fondly remembered worlds, is…well, let’s say I’m cautiously optimistic. As significant as Riven was, it was to some degree the context of the time and place in which it came out that made it seem so extraordinary. I’m not entirely sure that things like free movement (or, as John says, potentially VR functionality) can really make Riven feel great today. However, I’m hopeful that perhaps such an update will help Riven captivate at least some folks who weren’t around to experience it back when it was originally released.

There are no words yet on which platforms this will be released for, but if it’s anything like 2021’s Myst remake, it’ll be pretty much all of them, hopefully including VR again. Hopefully we’ll hear more news soon. And stop fucking whining, Walker, it’s not that much blood.

 

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