Riven releases June 25th

Monday, June 3, 2024

Comments: 5 (plus live)   (latest 2 hours later)

Tagged: cyan, myst, riven

Cyan's remake of Riven has a release date: June 25th. It also has a release trailer. Two, in fact -- PC (Steam/GOG) and Quest 2/3. (They're almost the same, but the Quest trailer shows a bit of VR UI at 1:06.)

A wooden walkway traversing a partially submerged cave. Snapshot from the release date trailer.

Cyan had said it would be a 2024 release, so of course I was expecting November. Nope!

(In fact that's the day after I get home from NarraScope. Oh boy. I guess I'm lucky it wasn't the day after I leave for NarraScope.)

So, what do we expect from this? Aside from eyewateringly detailed environments and a soundtrack that still defines immersive reality for me.

The Myst remake was impeccably faithful to the original in layout, mechanics, and puzzle design. They made the walkable areas a bit larger. They adjusted a few things to be more VR-friendly -- all objects and devices are reachable from a seated position. And they added the "randomize puzzle solutions" option to give the old fans a replayability boost. But it was the same game, the same presentation, and (options aside) the same puzzles.

I expected the same when Riven was announced. Cyan has been teasing new visual detail and more explorable corners all along, but I figured the puzzles were the puzzles were the puzzles.

Apparently I'm wrong about that too:

[...] the new Riven isn’t a carbon copy of the original. There are new puzzles, new locations, and new pieces of lore alongside structural changes to make the world more narratively consistent.

-- "Remaking a Masterpiece", Adam Morgan, Game Informer, April 1

And, let us recall, new Robyn Miller music tracks as well.

"Narratively consistent" is tricky terrain, of course. Myst fans will happily talk about a "real canon", of which the game Myst is only an abstracted representation. Cyan knows the fans love that stuff; see last summer's Riven announcement at Mysterium, with a "newly recovered" artifact. But they've carefully avoided muddying the mainstream presentation of Myst with it.

I suspect that will remain true when Riven hits the not-really-streets in June. But hey, I've been wrong before.

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