“It’s an immaculately assembled, pitch-black joke that takes three and a half hours to tell.”
I know this game so so last year, but I just had the opportunity to play it a few weeks ago XD . I always love indie games, especially innovative ones, and Playdead’s “Inside” is a game that fulfills that criteria very well, maybe even taking it to the next level! Never have I been thinking so much about an indie game until I finished this one. So, for those don’t know, what’s the fuss all about?
“Inside” doesn’t have any dialogues. It is a game where you move around, jump around, swim around, and solve intriguing puzzles, and that’s basically it. Nevertheless, it is capable of telling a story through the gameplay; the setting is, well, some dystopian city where there are people wearing these ‘masks’, and they seem to have developed the technology of mind-control, or controlling seemingly lifeless human bodies. Moreover, there are mind-controlling parasites lingering around, and there are scientists performing weird experiments on….human? bodies? well, that aside, you play as a boy in a red shirt infiltrating the masked people’s facilities.
The developers certainly gave much thought to the puzzles in the game; there are those where you would have to ponder quite a bit (but definitely not too confusing), and some offer really thrilling moments, one of them being when you are chased by a long-haired being while underwater that moves unusually fast! There is also this time where you would have to hide below a large pipe to avoid being detected by the moving lights, and many more unique puzzles for you to solve delightfully 😀 . As a puzzle game, quality puzzle is a must, and “Inside” delivers them like never before seen in previous games (unless you count in “Limbo”, which was made by the same developers).
The graphics are gorgeous! I know that the people don’t have any facial features, but that is not the primary point. The environment is beautiful and detailed, where you can really admire the surroundings despite its bleak, dark environment. The physics are great, too! you wouldn’t find any unsettling graphic errors where half your body will dive into the ground, or where the objects you threw float in a straight line without any other movements. The animation is really, really fluid; a detail includes when you move the boy to a dead end or a window, for example, the boy would put his hands on the wall. If it is a window, the boy will look outside the window. These small details can really add a lot to the game 🙂 .
Now then, the story. I won’t spoil anything here, so no worries! XD . As a game without dialogues, “Inside” tells its tale magnificently. Unlike my previously-reviewed game, “Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons”, “Inside” doesn’t have a definitive plotline. We do know the events occurring while playing the game, but we are given very little clue to what they mean. What are those experiments for? What are those lifeless bodies? Those parasitic slugs? there aren’t any explicit answers given to the player after they finish the game, even the secret ending doesn’t answer them (it only makes the game more confusing). The events, however, are neatly structured and can really be theorized upon! Those are not just some random, insignificant events, but we can really tell that they mean something. This is the good thing, the game tells a story without telling much, but it seems really rich and deep at the same time.
Overall, “Inside” is one amazing game for me. It is not your average-puzzle platformer nor a usual game as a whole. It is unique, entertaining, and after finishing it, you will think about it, about the ending, about the characters, just everything. Then, you would create a little theory in your head, tying various events together, be surprised at how they can be added to one another, and even after that, you know there are many, many more possibilities in interpreting the story.
It is a game that stays with you for a long, long time.
Rating from me: 4.5/5