You died. Yeah, you heard me. You died and now you’re in XING, the place beyond death. This isn’t purgatory or hell, and it isn’t exactly the pearly gates either. But you’re here now – so might as well find out what’s going on and make the best of it.
The Land Beyond might not have been what you expected, but it is still a heavily spiritual place where you’ll go on a journey through a beautiful landscape. To what end? Well, you’ll have to complete the journey to find out. XING: The Land Beyond is a passive adventure game (meaning there’s no combat) from White Lotus Interactive that released for HTC Vive and Oculus Rift in September. The game is also available on PSVR.
Check out the trailer below:
XING: The Land Beyond is one of those titles that almost instantly transports you to a different place through its amazing visuals and soothing soundtrack, which is an original thematic score. It is a mystical and wondrous place with many new and strange things to discover. When I first entered the game I was left somewhat mesmerized by the sheer beauty of it and stood turning in circles for a good five minutes. This version of the afterlife is certainly peaceful.
The developers implemented smooth locomotion and a simple jumping mechanic to let you traverse the environments in XING: The Land Beyond. So no teleportation option is available. Don’t let this put you off though. Since the game doesn’t contain any immediate danger, you can go along at your own pace and so get used to the smooth walking slowly. With nothing chasing my tail I enjoyed an almost meditative-like state while walking along the beach or through the forest in this game. XING: The Land Beyond makes use of puzzle elements that you have to complete in order to be let through to the next area of a location. Don’t expect an amazing Myst-like experience though.
These puzzles weren’t exactly hard and most just take some looking around, logical thinking, and interaction with objects in the surrounding area. There were also some tips scattered here and there (even though the puzzles were very intuitive) that imparted sage advice to help me on my way. For the most part, these ‘tips’ read more like fortune cookie one-liners to me, and they felt completely unnecessary. But I got a sense of what the developers were going for and it was a solid effort at least.
Seeing The World Through Another’s Eyes
What made really me want to keep going on to the next puzzle area though, besides the peacefulness and some satisfaction from completing the puzzles, were the stories. The places I explored took me through the events of other people’s lives, with them narrating their stories through tablets scattered throughout. These tales had life lessons at their core, with the goal being to get you into a state of deep contemplation. The voice narrators were superb and I could get a deep sense of what they went through from different objects or scenes in the places I visited.
The only confusing thing in the whole game for me was having to choose an animal token before starting the game since this didn’t seem to have any influence on the gameplay. As for bugs, I really had to search to find any, and the only troublesome one involved the jumping. The jumping mechanic worked well enough but it was far too easy to jump through a pedestal or something when I was actually trying to get on top of it. Speaking of jumping, this is the only arcade-like mechanic in the game, and like with most arcade mechanics, it takes a while to fully master. However, with around 6-8 hours of gameplay awaiting you, there’s lots of time to practice.
You can get XING: The Land Beyond now on Steam at a $19.99 price tag.