Playdead’s previous game, Limbo, is widely considered as one of the best indie games of all time. Obviously, that sets the bar pretty high for Inside, the latest game from the studio.
Inside and Limbo are similar in many ways, the most obvious being that they’re both 2D puzzle-platformer games. But ignoring the genre, there are two other similarities that stuck out to me. The first is that both place you in the role of a young boy, which really adds to the narrative aspect of the game, and the second is that dialogue is absent in both games.
While those three similarities may seem huge, Inside has figured out how to separate itself as well. First and foremost, the game is a lot prettier. Limbo may have been a nice looking game, but Inside moves from the 2D silhouttes to a more three-dimensional look. Secondly, Inside’s story is much more powerful. I don’t want to say too much as to avoid giving anything away, but I will say that despite the lack of dialogue Inside has one of the best stories in a game in a long time. The absence of dialogue actually makes it better in my opinion, forcing you to figure things out for yourself.
Unfortunately, Inside’s one weak point is in its puzzles. While Limbo was filled with challenging puzzles that really made you think, Inside focused more on narrative and was more fast paced. I’m not saying that’s a bad thing, it’s just not what I was expecting.
Now, to stop comparing the two games and focus solely on Inside. The first aspect of the game I’d like to compliment is the sound design. This is something I’m guilty of rarely mentioning in reviews, but there’s no way you can analyle Inside without mentioning it, as the sound design was truly amazing.
That goes right alongside the graphics style, which I touched on lightly above. The simple art style fits the theme of the game amazingly well. I’m normally not someone who’s into unique art styles in games, as I usually prefer the typical, 3D graphics, but Inside’s graphics are really what make the game what it is. You can take a look at the pictures throughout this review to get a taste of it, but it really isn’t something you’ll understand until you’ve experienced it firsthand.
The gameplay itself was great. Everything ran smoothly, and there were no glitches. The controls are simple and easy to catch on to. Everything feels very natural while you’re doing it.
I’d love to go deeper into the story, but that would be impossible without giving anything away. I went into the game knowing almost nothing, and I really believe that’s the best way to experience it.
There’s really nothing to complain about with Inside. It takes everything Limbo did great and made it better, prettier, and more interesting. Inside is a game that no one should miss, even if you aren’t a fan of the genre.