Myst is back. With more sadistic puzzles, glorious worlds and an ever-changing story, the new Myst Online: URU Live (URU = "you are you") stays true to the complexity of the original series while adding a new layer. Namely, URU is live online, and players can now group together to solve the puzzles and explore the Ages.
URU went live February 15, on Gametap.com. Like pretty much all Massively Multiplayer Online game launches, there were lag issues, server issues, instance issues, chat issues and the occasional "You have been disconnected" server error that every MMO player knows and loves. But when we could play, URU Online offered an unique world and MMO experience.
What separates the URU MMO from any other on the market is that players can actually change their environment permanently, making the experience different for each.
However, world events can be triggered at any time, causing a huge plot development or story shift, and if we were offline/in another Age/chatting and not paying attention, we missed it - meaning a hunt on the forums for us to figure out what we missed and what, if anything, changed.
A player can solo URU with no need to group, which sometimes makes URU feel more like a really pretty chat room then an MMO.
There's very little in-game guidance - a hallmark of the Myst franchise, there's a lot of "run around and click on everything until something opens" happening. Which can be frustrating, as the camera can stick and leave you staring at a blue sky while you run off a cliff (note: First person PoV is the only way to control the camera easily).
We spent a lot of time wondering: Well, we found that bit, and ran over there and got that other bit and now we're here... So, why did we just do all that? And getting no response.
And getting no response seems to be a chronic problem. While we hope that URU picks up support and gains a flourishing online community, at the moment there are times where we wondered if we had actually logged on or if we had clicked the single player version by mistake.
URU has promised an evolving story line that will unfold as you venture deeper into the Ages. We didn't really see it yet, though, and we have our avatar's fingers crossed that Cyan adds more features and evolves the storyline, and that more players will flock to this new breed of MMO. Right now, the gorgeous world and time consuming puzzles were enough to keep us interested, but more content is needed for Myst Online: URU Live to thrive.