URU

Click to go to the URU web siteHow did I miss this? Actually, I just caught it on the day of release. URU is the next chapter in the Myst – Riven – Exile saga, except that it’s different.

For one thing, despite the excellence of “Exile”, it’s nice to see Cyan and the Miller brothers, Robyn and Rand, back in the driving set for the release of URU. I haven’t seeen the game yet, but I’ve read all the reports and the playing environment sounds very much like “Worlds” (see below) but obviously with a game, puzzles and story line. To put it this blankly, is to demean what is I’m sure a superb piece of work. I simply mean, the new iteration claims to take place in a fully 3D environment and the player can create his or her own Avatar from a set of components. The idea being you can look like “you” or how you’d like to look and walk around the environment fully without “pointing and clicking”.

Beyond the single player game, there’s an online version where users can join in the game together, seeing each other in the 3D environment, to solve puzzles in what is described as an “endless” game. I guess what they mean is that Cyan will keep releasing new “Ages” into the online envorinment. This aspect is subscription based of course. I can’t find any mention of how much yet, but UBISoft do say broadband is a requirement to pay it. (Not the case on Worlds, a fact to which I am proof.)

I have really only one observation to make, and even that is more of a question. The screen shots seem to have lost the “photorealistic” look of Riven and Exile. Will this detract from the immersive feeling engendered by the previous games? On the other hand, will the fully 3D interactive interface plus (I am assuming) Cyan’s usual superb sound and music tracks make up for it? As soon as I can get a copy of the game, I’ll let you know!

Incidentally, If you’re wondering after my opening line, where I (eventually) heard about URU, it was here . . .

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