When you have a life surrounded by the ones you love, it can be full of joy. When that life is taken away, great sadness can overcome the ones that were touched the most. But when one is reincarnated, the one that mattered the most will know that it will all be OK and yet there is still a purpose for the life that they have. But does Developer White Lotus Interactive show us that pathway from life to the other side? Let’s find out with XING: The Land Beyond for the PlayStation VR.
The story of XING: The Last Beyond is a journey throughout the afterlife. But it’s not about just one life as you will find out. It’s more about the spiritual progression from your previous lives you lived. Before you even start you need to decide if you would like to use the DualShock 4 controller or both Move controllers. When you start out, you will need to select an animal and so it starts, at least I thought it did.
Before you even start you need to decide if you would like to use the DualShock 4 or both Move controllers. After you have made your decision, it’s time to meet your Guardian. When you first meet your Guardian, he tells you that he is the really only living thing in this place. I had to stop for a moment and really take a step back as that had me thinking about what the Developer has done and I was just getting started. Then my Guardian continues to tell me of my existence of how it is now and even in death, there is still much to do. And finally, he sets me on my way to truly discover what it means to be alone again. White Lotus Interactive from the first five minutes has me already thinking and questioning.
I will stress this part now before we really begin. Please go into the settings and adjust the comfort levels for Virtual Reality. For those that may start out, if you go with the default, you may experience some nausea. For those that have a very high tolerance to Virtual Reality, play for a few minutes to see if the default is best for you. But do keep in mind that XING: The Land Beyond can be played without VR as well. With that said, let’s continue.
What I really enjoyed is how the story is told in rhymes. It really is a unique way of telling a story of a life. As you move on, you will come across these orbs that will give you inspirational quotes which added on to some of the questions I was already asking myself from meeting my Guardian.
If you love puzzles, then you will be in heaven here. XING: The Land Beyond is full of them, but they are not your normal puzzles. There are different parts where you will see like a portal with a shape that could represent day and night. So depending on the puzzle, you may have to make it day to interact with a certain part of the puzzle while others, you may have to make it be the night. Some other weather elements could be rain or even snow and it’s going to be up to you and your logic and thinking skills to see what is needed and how.
But elements are not going to be your help for solving puzzles. There could be lily pads or ice blocks that you may need to jump on and depending on what weather element is used may make them raise or lower. At times when there is fire, you may have to light something, but if you make it rain, the fire goes out. There will also be pillars that will have to be moved. Sometimes it is as simple as pushing them forward, but it’s when you get deeper into XING: The Land Beyond, that you really have to start thinking about how you will move them and in what order as you may need them to help you get across to a chest that may hold a piece that will unlock the door to a bigger piece of the puzzle. You will need to try and find all four pieces in order to move on to the next realm.
When you add in all of these different types of puzzles, there can be parts that can seem very frustrating. But don’t let that discourage you, sometimes the clue you may need may be in the story being told or the wisdom that is given.
You will notice rune-like objects that you can choose to collect, but by doing so you will feel satisfaction in knowing that you have unlocked additional content, that I have to say is well worth trying to collect each of the runes that you can. Since this is the afterlife, if you happen to fall, you will not die. You simply just start from a certain point so you do not have any health to worry about.
They allowed a moment for me to think about what if of life and the journey to the afterlife and the meaning behind it all.
I want to talk about sound and graphics. XING: The Last Beyond is one of the most beautiful and spiritual experiences I have come across. Each realm provides its own individuality that really is the representation of your previous life that is being told. The sounds are spot on. From hearing the rainfall to the waves hitting against the rocks to the beauty of the lighting that is used to even the narration of the story, it really has this calmness to it. Going from night to day makes you appreciate the amount of detail and work that was put in. There were parts where I had used the day and just overlooked the ocean and then switched to the night just to admire the moon that was out. It really made me think that if this is in any way of what the afterlife may be like, then I know things will be alright.
Part of life is the journey and the exploration and it’s that exploration that you need to take on your own. Sure I could describe each of the realms and even the additional content, but that would not do it the justice it deserves of the exploration, the admiration, and the welcoming that is XING: The Land Beyond. Sometimes we may need to find our purpose through our own journey, but sometimes a pathway is lit to show us the way home.
To learn more about XING: The Land Beyond, please visit the site, like them on Facebook, follow them on Twitter, and subscribe to the YouTube channel. To learn more about White Lotus Interactive, please visit their site.
In case you missed the trailer, please enjoy. Until next time, I am going to continue to admire what is before me.