Myst IV: Revelation is the fourth installment in the Myst computer game series, developed and published by Ubisoft.
Similar to Myst III: Exile, Revelation uses smooth panoramic pre-rendered graphics and integrates animation nicely, but it adds real-time 3D effects for added realism, increasing the system requirements a little. Also added was a revamp to the "Zip" mode of moving around.
Myst IV is the first game released exclusively on a DVD-ROM format: a multiple CD-ROM version was not made. While previous games have been released on DVD-ROM, this was usually after the release of a CD-ROM version, with the DVD-ROM reprints only made in very low numbers. In contrast, the makers of Myst IV hope that their use of the DVD will encourage other developers to choose this format, similar to how the original Myst was released exclusively on CD-ROM (at a time when most games were also released on multiple floppy disks) and encouraged other developers to utilize the format.
Atrus, played by Rand Miller, calls you, the Stranger, back once more to Tomahna to help him decide what to do with his sons, as it has been fifteen years since their imprisonment, and he wonders if that has been long enough for Sirrus and Achenar to have repented for their crimes in the original Myst. After an explosion which knocks you unconscious, you notice that Yeesha, Atrus's daughter, is gone, and in searching for her, you find the two prison books Spire and Haven, which you saw in Myst, but could never enter them. Exploring these two Ages reveals what the two brothers have been doing all along, and you follow them to Serenia, where you must finally save Yeesha from the duo's horrid plan and bring the family some peace.
As in other Myst games, the player will travel to other worlds ('Ages'). Ages visited in Myst IV are:
- Tomahna, Atrus, Catherine, and Yeesha's home
- Haven, Achenar's prison age
- Serenia, Catherine's age of dreams
- Spire, Sirrus's prison age
See Ages of Myst IV: Revelation for details.
The game breaks new ground in the slowly dying field of prerendered games. Like Myst III: Exile, the game has full 360° panoramic environments with two-dimensional panning in each location. (Allowing the user to look up/down and left/right at the same time.)
Unlike previous games, Myst, Riven and Exile, which occasionally displayed video animation for key objects in the game, and had algorithms which slowly squished the water pixels up and down, Myst IV uses its "ALIVE" engine to animate nearly everything in the game.
The water animations, for example, are fully rendered for each location. The trees sway in the breeze, and the sky has moving clouds. Also, a great deal of wildlife is seen - not just birds in the sky, but creatures that actually walk through the environment and occasionally can interact with the player.
Also, the game features a number of effects, applied in realtime, such as lens flares, dynamic lighting and an optional focal blur.
The "zip" mode, featured in previous games, is much improved in Myst IV. In past games, a lightning bolt would appear, allowing the player to skip over several nodes. Now, little thumbnails appear which one can click to skip as many nodes as necessary to return instantantly to one of several previously visited locations, decreasing the time spent running back and forth between two places.
The game raised the bar for sound design as well. Myst IV contains many hotspots in each location which serve as "sound hotspots" - by clicking them, the player's "hand" (mouse cursor) taps the surface, and a realistic sound effect is heard. This adds more depth and feeling to each area of the game.
Finally, the game makes perhaps the best use to date of live-action video sequences. In a trend started by the original Myst, the game uses live actors to play all of the game's roles, including series co-creator Rand Miller, who once again faithfully plays the part of Atrus. The video is much more pristine, cleaner and larger than in the predecessors. There is also a lot more of it - over 70 minutes, and, like a handful of scenes in Myst III, the game usually allows players to look around and sometimes interact with the video while it is playing. The game also features a voice actor who plays Catherine, and features the voice of Peter Gabriel.