I like solitary endeavours, where exploration is fundamental and your brain is the dominant organ, and where the graphics and other elements enable you to immerse yourself in another world. If you do too, Xing will well reward you.
It will also demand a lot of your attention. 30 hours or so.
You start off dead, but there is still much to do. You are on a higher plane, a “zenith of worlds”; the afterlife if you will. It begs exploration, being gorgeous 3D and environmentally “alive”. You can see footsteps which fade, watch it rain or snow, manipulate night and day and simply sit and observe the rippling water or
rustling foliage. ‘Tis delightful.
Four souls are your objective, as unveiled by a large stone being. Enter their worlds, capture them, and a bigger objective will come to pass. The telling of their stories can be lyrical and poetic, philosophical and profound, albeit fragmented. I confess to them being thoughtful, but ultimately secondary to the exploration.
Which says more about me than the game. For me, Xing was about wandering about, looking and thinking and pondering and head scratching and eventually moving on. Everything else was secondary (or even thirdly). You may have a different perspective, and frankly you probably should. Whether the narrative bits and pieces add up to a fulsome and coherent whole you can decide for yourself.
You will explore worlds significantly different from the tranquil beach on which you start. Islands, jungles and deserts, in different times (and presumably space). The musical score suits the locales, adding a layer in the absence of people, and I quite enjoyed the little trills and tings as I accomplished things. Ambient sound is excellent, and the voice-overs triggered through interaction with objects range from OK to excellent.
Puzzles abound, and significantly escalate in terms of difficulty as you go. You manipulate night and day to solve conundrums, and while you don’t have an inventory, there are numerous objects to use. Gourds, shells and fruit are among the more mundane, and you can use them in a variety of ways. Fire is an early friend. You will also find runes, not essential in order to get to the end, but relevant to inscriptions and to open up additional areas at the end.
Conundrums involve more than the objects. You will change the direction of wind, raise and lower platforms, and move things about, to name just a few. Some were brain bursting, but as indicated they ramped up as you went along, which allowed for some learning about what to do and what to expect. As far as I can recall, they also involved limited backtracking (except perhaps to hunt down runes), and no need to observe cause here and effect way over there.
There is some jumping, but a “jump assist” menu option renders them virtually obsolete. You can turn it on or off at will, so maybe see how you go without it and then decide. If you fail at a jump you presumably don’t die, being dead already, but you do get “resurrected” just prior to the misadventure, with a minimum of delay and fuss. Whatever your view on such things, the jump assist option means this aspect should not deter any adventure player.
You play in the first person, using the mouse and keyboard to explore. You have complete freedom of
movement, so you don’t point and click. From the menu you can fiddle with a lot of settings, which may be
necessary depending on your own system specs. I had everything turned up and it ran a treat. The game
saves automatically on exit, and the restore button returns you to that point on the next occasion. You can have a number of games going at once, by choosing a different totem at the entry screen.
In a word, marvellous.
I played on:
OS: Windows 10, 64 Bit
Processor: Intel i7-6700 4GHz