Video games as an art form has been something heavily debated for some time, but if Playdead has any say on the matter I believe the case has been settled. Using their beautifully crafted game Limbo as a springboard, they created a masterpiece that surpassed its predecessor in every way. A puzzle game at heart, Inside is packaged in a game that is filled with emotion and wrapped in mystique.
From the time you are dropped into the world, you are thrusted into a thrilling adventure that pulls you in every direction. Inside has no dialog, no instructions and no explanation with streamlined controls that incorporate only a jump and action button. The game tells the story through the visual and audio queues around you giving you insight on whats occurring and leaving just enough to the imagination for you to come up with your own conclusion. It’s a wonder that a game so simple in composition can be so complex in its execution and delivery.
At times you feel as if you are playing in a movie, with artistic cinematic camera angles hinting to you to your path and at the same time revealing to you the environment. The attention to detail in the game tells a part of the story and if you pay close enough attention you will be drawn to what they entail. Another noteworthy aspect is the audio in the game. From a rousing score at an intense moment to a subtle hue that notates you are on the right track in a puzzle, you will be listening closely at every turn. Playdead has set the bar to how a game should feel while you are playing as the more thrilling moments of the game not only draw anxiety, but also intrigue as you look for those rewarding moments of solving each puzzle and challenge you come across.
Expect a magnificent roller coaster ride as you progress through the game with a shocking twist no one will see coming. While it touts only about a 3 and a half hour campaign, there are quite a few achievements to attain that will bring you back looking for more. There are very few indie games that hit as hard as AAA titles, and Playdead has developed a knockout punch to that rhetoric that everyone needs to experience. I will sum up this review of Inside with two words. Utterly fantastic.
For some gameplay footage of Inside be sure to check out the first 20 minutes of the game on our Youtube Channel: