EXO Is The Weirdest Music Video You’ll Play All Week

By Nathan Grayson on September 12th, 2012 at 2:00 pm.

Also, the prettiest.

Well, that was… interesting. I just played through EXO, which is technically a music video? I think? Question mark? I mean, I could move around and look at things, but overall, interactivity ranged from limited to non-existent. Minimal electronic music dictated the pace and flow, and I was just along for the ride. Between constant cuts to new locations and some earthy yet wildly¬†psychedelic visuals, it came together to form this bizarre cross section between Thirty Flights Of Loving, Dear Esther, and console “oooo, look at all the pretty lights” simulator Rez. Also, let’s throw in a dance club for good measure.

EXO’s the product of New-York-based band Gatekeeper, and there are some pretty sumptuous sights to be munched on within its colorful, eye-candy-rich bowl. I enjoyed, for instance, the way lights frequently pulsated to the music (thus the dance club part) and, at one point, my footsteps briefly created a song’s percussion.

I wish, however, that there were more moments like that. By and large, I simply looked at around while stumbling into far too many invisible walls and waiting for the next cut to a new area. Don’t get me wrong: this is still worth checking out. You’ll see some positively wild things, and the whole experience takes on this impressively dream-like feeling – what with movement speeds changing and goals always feeling¬†just outside your reach. But it also drags a lot, and I felt like it’d fully exhausted its bag of tricks before the end of its 30-or-so-minute runtime. “Yep,” I thought to myself. “The sun’s exploding again. Wooooo.”

I do like this idea a lot, though, and I’d love to see other artists embrace it. Focusing on tying the music more directly to the visuals could also, I think, create a positively amazing experience. EXO, however, doesn’t quite pull it off. So, every other musician in the world, do this – but better!

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23 Comments »

  1. Shortwave says:

    BRB, rolling up a doobie snack.

    Oh, and this would make two music-centric video game related articles this week.. I’m loving this!

  2. noom says:

    Ooh, Gatekeeper’s awesome. Giving this a look for sure.

  3. dontnormally says:

    Feels like Rez.

  4. Kollega says:

    First it reminded me of Ratchet & Clank Future: A Crack in Time’s space exploration. Then it reminded me of Quakes’ futuristic corridors. Then of Half-Life 2′s energy bridges, even if that part was more like the majesty of Tron. And then, when the forest section started, the things i could compare it to have run out.

  5. Oneironaut says:

    This is the kind of game I would want to play with an Oculus Rift while walking on a treadmill to really feel like I’m walking around some alien world.

    • Shortwave says:

      I’d not even considered that, brilliant.

      • Oneironaut says:

        Walking simulators are something I’ve really wanted to see ever since I first read about the Rift. I enjoy going for walks, but there are a limited number of places within driving distance, so it can get boring walking through the same park for the hundredth time.

        I would love to be able to download new areas and still get the variety of sights and sounds that you never get while on a treadmill in a gym.

    • cjlr says:

      Great idea? Or greatest idea…

  6. Zanchito says:

    Looks like my kind of thing, I’ll get it as soon as I get home. Thanks, Nathan!

  7. frightlever says:

    So, what am I missing about Proteus? I played through until I got kicked back to the main screen but was not once filled with wonder. I may be dead inside.

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    The Sombrero Kid says:

    Looks awesome will play it after work.

  9. Jekhar says:

    Looks like a typical “demo”. And i don’t mean the type where people gather to protest against whatever. If you don’t know, check http://pouet.net/prodlist.php?order=release. Am i the only one to have made the connection? Should i feel old?

    • BanzaiAlpha says:

      Pouet is a great site to check out, ‘Numb res’ is still my favourite amongst the Windows demos.

    • Ragnar says:

      Aren’t demo’s non-interactive?

  10. Addict7 says:

    In my time, we called that demo-making

  11. shagen454 says:

    Fuck yah. Gatekeeper is fucking sick, their older vids are way better than this though and reveal sort of what theyre all about. They arent Laurel Halos or anything but they are still good.

    Laurel Halo is the shit: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3JfkT1FrSt4&playnext=1&list=PL6BFB1ED2CC1F2A07&feature=results_video

  12. Ketchua says:

    Why does the name Tabor Robak sound so familiar?

  13. pilouuuu says:

    Interactive videoclips… That’s a good idea!

  14. MiKHEILL says:

    Blimey, this “music video” has more realistic environment design than just about any video game I’ve played. Hell, even Crysis would have a hard time competing.

    • DrGonzo says:

      Until you want to interact with that environment in any way. It’s why RAGE looks so good. Things can look very, very impressive in games right now as long as it’s pretty static.

  15. Didden says:

    I’m sure with the right…. hmmm mushrooms, this would be a wild ride.

  16. flem says:

    Looked and listened with pleasure. It’s really impressive.
    Ryska kvinnor