Inside Review

Introduction

Inside is a puzzle platforming game that was developed and published by indie studio Playdead. It saw its initial release on PC, Xbox, and PlayStation in 2016. It was then released on mobile in 2017, Switch in 2018, and Mac in 2020.

Review

Alone in the woods you stand. Nothing is known, except that you must keep pushing forward. Men are searching for you, dogs are sniffing for you, and a research base stands tall in front of you. You must find your way in. But for what purpose? Well this is for you to figure out, as the game doesn’t directly tell you a story, but instead it’s open for your own interpretation and thoughts. Though I don’t necessarily enjoy this style of storytelling, I fell in love, hard.

As the game went on, I enjoyed seeing all the environmental stories the game told and having to piece them all together. Like how people are taken to this facility in huge numbers, forced to become a shell of their former selves through experiments, then controlled by other people who stick a hat on themselves. As you explore the facility, you also see how huge it truly is. From abandoned offices, to overgrown areas that nature took back, to a subway system that was clearly used in the early days of it all. I was always so enamored by the sights, and the music really helped bring in the dread and fear that this facility oozes.

As you work your way through it all, you only have to worry about two things to make it through the game. Do I jump over this obstacle, or do I find an object to help me jump over this obstacle? The simple controls and design really made this feel that much better to play. I never had to worry about pressing the right button at the right time and messing something up because I hit the wrong one. If I died, it was because I jumped too early, or I didn’t have an object in the correct place, so I’d just try again.

I wasn’t expecting the game to spend so much time in the water. I love water sections in games. In all honesty they’re some of my favourite sections, but this had so many underwater sections to it that you weren’t really free to explore, as your character would drown easily. You’re left running constantly from danger. If there’s something that annoys me about water sections in games, it’s that you’re usually being hunted and have to move fast. Sure it’s great for building tension, but there’s other ways of doing that that doesn’t include water.

As you work your way through the facility, there are a few little side areas you can find that have a sense of collectibles in them. These really don’t bring anything to the story that you’re creating for yourself, but the few I found, it was fun to find out how to get them to get a trophy.

If there’s one thing that had me sort of scratching my head, it’s how the game just sort of abruptly ended. Do you have to craft your own understanding from the ending? Absolutely. Just like you sort of crafted the narrative yourself, but I feel like it could’ve ended in a way to help you with it all. The issue with an ending like this, is who is right about what it may mean? I’m not even sure my explanation to it all was right. It could be, it couldn’t be, but I’ll never know. But I will say the game made me love it so much I went back to play through Limbo again, which I didn’t like my first time around. I’m honestly a little excited for Playdeads’ next project now.

Rating

Rating: 7 out of 10.

Pros:

  • Creepy Atmosphere
  • Fantastic Musical Score
  • Good Use Of Environmental Storytelling

Cons:

  • So Much Water
  • Too Much Left To Interpretation

Summary

I went in hesitant to this game, as I was never a fan of Limbo, but when I decided to take the plunge, what I found was a fun and creepy game that I absolutely enjoyed. The creepy atmosphere, crafting my own story in the facility, the chaos of the ending. I enjoyed it all! I just wish so much wasn’t left for the player to figure out, and that there wasn’t so much water for building tension. Water can be beautiful! But seriously, play this game. It’s a fun couple of hours.

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Game & Developer Information

Developer/Publisher Website: Playdead
Developer/Publisher Socials: Twitter
PSN Store Links: £15.99/€19.99 Europe / $19.99 North America
Trophy Information: 14. 40-platinum 0 / Gold 1 / Silver 0 / Bronze 13

INSIDE Trailer 2016

Published by oniwalker

Co-owner of NodeGamers(dot)com. Reviewer and Guide Writer. I'll play just about anything as I cry about my backlog!

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