Platform: PC

Reviewer: Steve

Date: 03 September 2016

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Obduction is the latest game from Cyan, which made Myst and Riven in the 1990s. What's nice about Obduction is that it feels like its own game and isn't necessarily dependent upon the legacy of those 'classics'. There are a lot of subtle nods to the previous games, but nothing about those references makes the game inaccessible to someone who either didn't play or did not like Myst, Riven, etc. Certain sound effects, environmental items and the use of FMVs act as little easter eggs to those who have played the other games.

Obduction is a puzzle-adventure game, meaning that the story unfolds as you open up more of the environment and interact with its features. The graphics are unnoticable, which I guess suggests that they're good, as I felt immersed in the world. The system spec requirements are a bit ridiculous, though. With greater optimisation, I feel that they might have done a better job getting the game to run nicely on more modest setups. The puzzles are logical and not necessarily infuriating in the way that some of the more obtuse puzzles of Riven were. Still, there are a couple of times where there are not enough substantial environmental clues to give you a clear idea how to progress. However, generally speaking, there is a great sense of satisfaction when you actually manage to crack a puzzle. The sense of discovery is pretty immense in this game.

The game's biggest problem, and it is one of both design and implementation, is that a few late-game puzzles are heavily reliant on going back and forth between environments and various nodes. I followed the developers' advice and installed the game on my SSD and the incessant loading times when "linking" to different areas was annoying even then, given that I had to do it so frequently. I can't imagine what it would be like to play the game off of an HDD. All in all, though, it's great fun. It's been a long time since I've sat down and played straight through a game (over a few days) without being distracted by something else. It might also have been down to the fact that I was without internet for a while, which provided the excuse I needed to focus solely on a single player experience like this one. Anyway, Obduction is totally worth your time and maybe consider picking it up when it's 25% off.