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Riven Meta Quest 3 VR Review – Outstanding Puzzle Game

Riven is a genre-defining puzzle game by Cyan Worlds and it has been revitalised for modern gamers, particularly with the VR version for the Meta Quest 3. Riven is a modern remake of 1997’s Riven: The Sequel to Myst which I loved playing back then, so I was super excited to see this new version and, more importantly, in VR. Stepping into the role of an unnamed explorer marooned on a series of enigmatic islands, you’re tasked with unraveling the age-old mysteries that bind them. Solving intricate puzzles is the key to not only your escape but also potentially saving a trapped soul.

The true magic of this modern version of Riven lies in its VR adaptation on the Meta Quest 3. Exploring the game’s environments of lush jungles, waterfalls roaring in your ears, and the scale of the towering structures produced some awe-inspiring moments. This is particularly poignant if you have memories of playing the originals in the 90’s and can match those visuals to the ones before you today. Peering into the depths of an abandoned mine or reaching out with VR controls to touch a weathered inscription truly puts you in the shoes of the explorer, amplifying the sense of discovery and the weight of the island’s secrets.

The core gameplay that made Riven a legendary puzzle game remains throughout. I was meticulously examining the surroundings, manipulating moveable objects with a new sense of physicality thanks to the VR controls, and deciphering cryptic clues scattered throughout the world. The puzzles themselves are as ingenious as ever, demanding logical thinking and a keen eye for detail. The VR interface adds a new layer of engagement, allowing you to interact with and pick up objects, rotating them in your hands to examine intricate details, and manipulating mechanisms. The “aha!” moments of solving a puzzle and watching the world around you shift are incredibly satisfying.

While the VR adaptation shines, the Meta Quest 3’s processing power reaches its limits with Riven’s visuals. While some environments boast crisp textures and detailed foliage, others suffer from noticeable texture pop-in, where textures load in chunks as you approach them. There were times where I waited a full minute or more waiting for textures to load, and this definitely broke the immersion. Character models also lack visual detail and appear a bit blocky at times. These issues aside, it is still a visual feast for the senses and a great nostalgic experience having loved the original game.

Despite the graphical limitations of the Quest 3 port, Riven remains an exceptional VR experience. The world is a captivating to explore, and the puzzles are challenging yet rewarding, offering a great sense of accomplishment upon their solution. Whether you’re a longtime fan of Riven or a newcomer to the world of Myst, this VR version offers an awesome and immersive puzzle game experience. Riven is a must-play for puzzle game fans, VR or not, though be aware of the VR limitations as mentioned.

This review utilised a Meta Quest 3 key provided by Evolve PR and Riven is available now on PC and MQ3.


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