You are about to enter Liminal Lands – an experience documenting changes to the soil, weather and energies of the Camargue wetlands over the course of a year. Move through rocks, trees and surfaces, which will open up and react to you. Your movement influences the sounds of the work.From the product description
About the Experience
I went into this one with no real idea of what to expect. The description sounds like it could be an interesting exploration of an environment undergoing seasonal changes. It talks about changing your scale to see things at different levels so that seemed interesting. It also talked about it as being the work of an artist, Jakob Kudsk Steensen, a name I’m unfamiliar with.
The actual experience is definitely unique and may appeal to some people (apparently it won many awards), but I don’t think I’m the right audience. Keep reading to learn more.
Graphics and Sound
The graphics are decent quality. Some areas seem to be photo scanned, while others are modeled in software. The water moves nicely and there’s ambient sound throughout. According to the description, “The generative sound design responds to players’ movements, and combines an artistic soundscape with natural recorded material from the local environment.” I like that it’s using the natural sounds, but it didn’t increase the feeling of presence, just a sense of unease.
It’s not an app to visit the shore though, it’s an experience through the lens of an artist. The scans are pretty good, especially considering the very rough textures on these marine rocks and formations.
This is an artistic journey that has some minimal text in the beginning, but after that no further guidance. This is not a way to learn about the cycle of seasons through explanation, but rather to observe a version of it. The only real explanation is displayed at the beginning: “An experience documenting changes to the soil, weather and energies of the Camargue wetlands over the course of a year.” I think I shouldn’t ever visit the Camargue wetlands.
Navigation and Interactivity
You can walk around physically or teleport around a bit. It’s primarily linear in that you move from one area to another with no control, but within each area you can move around and see different things.
There’s no interaction, other than the ambient sound that is supposed to adapt to your movements. I wasn’t really able to notice any direct correlation, but maybe other people would notice it more.
It’s also designed for you to walk through things. You can go through a stone or a wall and see a different visualization. I think that’s supposed to be seeing the different scales of things, but it’s all more abstract visualization to me. Again, I would have enjoyed it more as an educational experience.
Updates and Support
This is not a title with ongoing content updates.
I guess my basic summary is one word: disappointment. I know that’s harsh, but it’s just not for me. I can handle some abstract artistic expression, but I was looking for a deep look at the interconnectedness of the shore across seasons. The description presents this concept, with more depth as you progress, but all the swirling and undulating was just confusing to me. If you’re looking for a trippy artistic VR experience, you might like it just fine.
- Good, scanned environments
- Clearly a lot of effort went into realizing the artist’s vision
- Weird swirls and undulating surfaces
- No real sense of what anything meant
- Little to no control with no informative content
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