The developers behind Limbo, PlayDead, have brought us another title that leaves us asking questions. Following the popular title, Limbo, Inside takes us out of the forest and brings us across a variety of different landscapes. Unlike Limbo this title incorporates more civilization into the game.
In this 2D side scrolling game, you play a boy that looks to be about 10 or 12 years old. The game beings will your character falling into a forest, and quickly you realize this is not a casual stroll through the woods. You learn that the other people in the woods are not friendly characters. These faceless men will quickly subdue the boy, capture, or they will shoot him with a tranquilizer dart. Inside not only take place in only the woods, you will find yourself making your way through cities, rooftops, and some deep sea diving environments. Each of these environments has a high level of detail to them giving the player the feeling of being in a larger world. But this world is not a welcoming one and has some real danger.
Inside has a variety of different dangers that will be put before the player. In each of the different environments in this game comes with its own dangers as well. As the player progress through the different levels of the game, they will need to learn how to dodges and avoid threats. Sometimes you can even use the enemies to assist you during different puzzles. The variety of dangers and puzzles in this game is really the driving force during the gameplay. When you finally figure out that one thing in a puzzle and complete it, it makes you feel good. That challenge of the puzzles and enemies makes the player want to see what is going to be come next.
I believe that PlayDead took what they learned from Limbo and brought it to the gameplay in Inside. The more 3D levels really bring this game into its own. Along with the more detail comes a variety of light play, giving each level its own atmosphere brings that section of the game to life. How the lighting changes from the first area to the last in slow transitions really makes you consider how that might add to the story.
A new feature in gameplay is the ability to take over weak minded people. This will be a popular feature in most of the game during puzzles. At first, I thought this feature would be a game breaker for me but after a couple minutes, it was actually one of my favorite features of the game. Seeing how the developers used the mind control to get around locked doors is truly amazing. Another gameplay feature in Inside is the ability to swim. Inside takes water and uses it in some very interesting ways. The character is not a fish so he still needs air to breathe, so timing is still key during water puzzles in the game. Getting the timing just right when trying to swim underwater makes you grip the controller a bit tighter. The controls during swimming felt smooth and seamless, and this reduced some frustration that usually goes hand-in-hand with swimming in video games.
Due to lack of a scripted story, this game’s story is depends on the emotions the player feels during the game. For me, I felt like this game was trying to speak to the way the world is now in our current day and age. People have lost the ability to think for themselves and simply follow the person ahead of them. People are easily controlled by fear and lies. With the new brain control feature in the game, it would support my idea that people in this world have lost the ability to control their own lives.
Overall this game does speak a lot to our current world and for some, it might have a completely different message for them. I played this game in one sitting, so about 2-3 hours, and I can say I was completely entertained from beginning to end. During my playthrough, I started to guess what would come next, and each time I thought I got a lead on the story I was wrong. This gave me a reason to see this game through to the end. I would recommend that if you are going to play this game, find a couple hours so you can play it in one sitting. I think if you tried to play the game in pieces it might not have as strong of a message.
What I liked:
What I did not like: