Inside is the 2nd release from Copenhagen based developer Playdead, who captured the gaming world’s attention with their previous release Limbo in 2010. Limbo was released to critical and commercial success and has been touted as one of the best downloadable indie games, of the last console generation standing alongside other titles such as Braid & Journey.
It’s not hard to draw comparisons between limbo and Inside as they are both atmospheric story platformers, that have you playing as a nameless young boy as he explores a strange dark, dystopian world. however the games differ greatly in setting, visual style, and story.
You can defiantly feel that this game builds on what worked well in Limbo and pushes to add more depth to the mechanics and visual style of Inside.
The game begins as a young boy is exploring through a wooded area quickly the game establishes a dark and harrowing tone, as the boy witnesses some suspicious happenings in the woods. Quickly he is pursued by some masked men who seem intent on stopping the boy from advancing any further.
AS the game continues you must continually progress by evading capture and solving environmental puzzles in order to progress, these puzzles are extremely well though out never dragging the pace of the game down by being to obtuse or frustrating, they add the perfect level of challenge to keep the player engaged.
Due to the nature of the story of Inside we will not be delving deeply into the story as it is best experienced by playing through with no expectations of what is too come.
The story throughout Inside is cleverly told through the environments and characters without the use of any dialogue, because of this choice the story’s finer details are never explicitly explained to the player.
Instead the story is left open to the audiences interpretation, this is a daring choice and one that works extremely well for a game and is an experience that players should jump into as blind as possible.
The visuals of the game are absolutely phenomenal with an extremely striking yet simplistic aesthetic. The vector graphic style of the game, muted colour pallet and industrial/abandoned locations all perfectly compliment each other to make the world of Inside feel like a living and breathing world. Throughout the game the layout of the environments, the lighting and camera placement creates some visually stunning scenes that had stopping the game to capture screenshots almost constantly.
The performance of the game was incredibly stable, we played the P.C. version of Inside and were able to play the game at full 1080p on a fairly modest set up modern set up. We only experienced a few slight dips in the frame rate at 1 or 2 portions of the game with high numbers of characters on screen but other wise seems very well optimised.
Inside is an excellent game that we truly recommend that you should check out for yourself if you have enjoyed other platform puzzlers such as braid, the witness or Limbo. It builds upon everything the foundation of Limbo to create a fantastic, truly memorable experience that is satisfying and yet will leave you pondering the deeper meanings for weeks after.