Behold the Myst-y Mountains of Xing: The Land Beyond

Behold the Myst-y Mountains of Xing: The Land Beyond

The Myst-like Xing: The Land Beyond promises a contemplative journey through the afterlife, which actually turns out to be a pretty nice place.

A quick note, first and foremost, that being "Myst-like" is not necessarily a bad thing. Myst was a gorgeous, revolutionary game, and while a lukewarm slew of pale imitators followed in its wake, I think that scene has calmed down enough that we can now look at games like this with a bit less of a jaundiced eye. So with that covered, I give you Xing: The Land Beyond.

You begin Xing dead, which is unfortunate but not all bad, because the mysterious island you're transported to is really quite lovely, with beaches, forests, mountains, volcanoes and of course plenty of man-made landmarks waiting for you to futz with them and uncover their secrets. There is no dialog, no subtitles, no NPCs, just elegant structures and the occasional short, poetic message carved in a strange, glowing script, and players must rely on "keen observations" of the world around them in order to make their way through it.

Developer White Lotus Interactive recently launched a Kickstarter for Xing, which of all the Kickstarters floating around these days I bring to your attention because I've had a chance to tool around with a pre-alpha build of the game, and even in that early state I came away impressed. It's unoptimized and narratively incomplete, but even so it runs quite well on my now-midrange PC and looks absolutely stunning.

Gamers who just can't abide the whole Myst-like sub-genre obviously won't find anything to like here but for everyone else, Xing may very well be worth some attention. As well as the Kickstarter, it's also up for voting on Steam Greenlight, where it's apparently doing pretty well for itself, and there's a website at xingthegame.com that collects screens, trailers and music together in one handy location.

Xing is currently slated to come out in October for the PC; a Mac version is also being considered.

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Fuck yes.

Looks like we are entering into an era of games made specifically for me. I will enjoy it while it lasts.

Bet Jason Brody wishes he had ended up on this island instead.

If they do the puzzles well, this could be very cool. I remember back in the day when you had to do the Myst slide-shows because PCs just couldn't render that stuff. But for the record, I found very few games could pull off Myst's genius puzzles. Even Myst 3 (and their new developers) couldn't pull it off.

IanDavis:
If they do the puzzles well, this could be very cool. I remember back in the day when you had to do the Myst slide-shows because PCs just couldn't render that stuff. But for the record, I found very few games could pull off Myst's genius puzzles. Even Myst 3 (and their new developers) couldn't pull it off.

I thought Riven was the height of genius in the series, personally. The puzzles felt more realistic and natural than they did in any other Myst game, and it had the added bonus of some truly amazing worldbuilding.

I checked out the Xing Kickstarter page and they say they're looking to the Zelda series for puzzle inspiration. Maybe it's for the best since, like you said, it seems impossible for most people to pull off Myst-style puzzles. Can't say I'm not still looking forward to this game, though. It looks gorgeous and its Buddhist flavor appeals to me. (And there's a constructed alphabet, eeeeee! Okay, I'm done.)

Dude, hell yeah. Been forever since I had some good environmental puzzles to solve, nowadays everything seems so linear.

Wait, this isn't.. it can't be. It fucking is! This is the game was developed by those two people at Chapman! I know the developers, I watched them build this game! Ah, ugh, ah, this is so weird! Get out of my head Escapist!

Anyways, it's good to see that their project is going so well. (For a project built around neither developer knowing diddly shit about programming and focusing on semi-tangential skills this has gone amazing well.)

EmperorSubcutaneous:
I thought Riven was the height of genius in the series, personally. The puzzles felt more realistic and natural than they did in any other Myst game, and it had the added bonus of some truly amazing worldbuilding.

My favourite Myst, aside from the original, was Uru. Thought it was really a shame that game didn't get a better reception, and that Uru Live tanked so quickly.

If you enjoy that style of game, Xing is definitely worth checking out. Hopefully we'll see a public demo soon.

Loves me some Myst, so more of this kind of game pleases me greatly.

Andy Chalk:

EmperorSubcutaneous:
I thought Riven was the height of genius in the series, personally. The puzzles felt more realistic and natural than they did in any other Myst game, and it had the added bonus of some truly amazing worldbuilding.

My favourite Myst, aside from the original, was Uru. Thought it was really a shame that game didn't get a better reception, and that Uru Live tanked so quickly.

If you enjoy that style of game, Xing is definitely worth checking out. Hopefully we'll see a public demo soon.

Uru was great too. Probably my second favorite. Even though I completed all the content ages ago (har), I still log in from time to time just to soak in the ambiance of the Garden Ages. Somehow it still works, even though it looks ancient.

EmperorSubcutaneous:
Uru was great too. Probably my second favorite. Even though I completed all the content ages ago (har), I still log in from time to time just to soak in the ambiance of the Garden Ages. Somehow it still works, even though it looks ancient.

Are servers still running? I horsed around with one of the fan things ages ago, but it was almost completely void of other people and the few that were in the game literally refused to talk to me. I know they could "hear" me because one of them made a point of saying that they weren't interested in talking to me - the only communication I received. It was really kind of rude.

This is totally my mom's style of game (everyone in my family games).

Andy Chalk:

EmperorSubcutaneous:
Uru was great too. Probably my second favorite. Even though I completed all the content ages ago (har), I still log in from time to time just to soak in the ambiance of the Garden Ages. Somehow it still works, even though it looks ancient.

Are servers still running? I horsed around with one of the fan things ages ago, but it was almost completely void of other people and the few that were in the game literally refused to talk to me. I know they could "hear" me because one of them made a point of saying that they weren't interested in talking to me - the only communication I received. It was really kind of rude.

Yep. Sorry you had such a bad experience. The biggest problem with that game (and there are admittedly a ton) was that the multiplayer was really poorly implemented and more or less totally irrelevant. You could solve all the Ages on your own with the exception of a few timed races and some other bonus minigames, it was incredibly difficult to team up with someone and go to the same place as them to begin with, and there are only (I think) 50 people allowed in the main instance at any given time. Of course there are never 50 people online anyway, so that usually isn't a problem...but if you get more than 5 or so people together at the same time, the lag is nightmarish.

The game had/has a really strong core community, but they never made much of an effort to reach out to anyone; you had to come to them.

Wow... this looks pretty cool. I get a strangely Oddworld-y feel...

The heavy-handed play on words in the title makes me think that the narrative in this game may well end up being a big old pile of poo, but it definitely looks very nice.

Hopefully that will be enough.

 

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