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.