A Review of "Inside"

There are certain pieces of pop culture that are forgiving when it comes to spoilers. No one is likely going to be upset when described a random episode of a sitcom. Likewise, I doubt anyone is going to threaten the lives of any friends because they revealed basic plot elements of an Adam Sandler movie. I can talk to you about the plot of Destiny and it would likely have little to no effect in helping you decide if it’s a game you want to dedicate a year of your life to playing. Some experiences are not driven by surprise, mystery or major plot revelations, making them more accessible to curious onlookers. Thus it is a real challenge to describe to readers why they should purchase Playdead’s new game, Inside, as it’s a game best experienced with no knowledge of the plot or its premise prior to hitting the start button on the main screen.If you have had any interest in Inside, especially those who enjoyed Playdead’s previous game, Limbo, read no further than this paragraph. Inside is an amazing game that is totally worth the $20.00 price of admission. Go buy it and experience it. Then be prepared to find friends that have played the game and have fun discussing it with them. For those who need more clarification as to why Inside is worth their time and money, please continue reading.Inside is the spiritual successor to Playdead’s 2010 Xbox Live Arcade classic, Limbo. Just like in Limbo, you control a young boy, maneuvering him through different platforming environments while solving various puzzles and avoiding numerous life threateningobstacles. Unlike Limbo, instead of simply trying to escape the dangerous world surrounding our silent protagonist, we find him moving between avoidance of immediate threats and exploration of the dystopian world before him.What’s clear as you explore this world is that Playdead has painstakingly placed every piece of your surroundings to fit their artistic view and narrative. From the moonlight casting down between the trees of the forest, to the cold lifeless interiors of the factory floor, each environment you come across feels unique and has its own unexplained mysteries for you to ponder.In game that has no real dialogue or written instructions, players never feel lost as Playdead uses the natural light and darkness of the environments to guide players towards objectives and highlight key pieces of puzzles. Additionally every puzzle has a logical answer, and never forces to player to dig too abstractly in thought in order to solve it.  The game runs perfectly, never dropping in frame rate and with animation that never leaves you felt hung out to dry when you mistime a jump and fall to your death.The real grabbing point of Inside though is how well it continues to surprise and flip your expectations as you progress through the game. Never once did I feel like I was simply repeating the previous area. Inside teaches you mechanics and ideas and then continues to flip those ideas on their heads. I can’t remember the last time I played a game with so many “what in the hell,” surprise moments. I can promise you the last act of the game alone will continue to spawn topics of conversation until Playdead release’s their next game.Playdead helped set the idea on consoles last generation that digital only released games were just as grand in ideas and scope as any triple a game title. The size of your budget and staff does not determine the limits of creativity, narrative, and possibilities in gaming. That is only limited by the focus and drive of the team making the game. Not since 2012’s Journey I have I been so impressed by the work of a small, independent team. It’s clear this game was a work of passion for the studio. Don’t worry about the length of the game or the lack of promotion around the game’s release. Don’t worry that the studio only has one previous release or that Inside was in development for nearly six years. Simply do yourself a favor: download Inside and press start.For more on “Inside” and other gaming news, listen and subscribe to Geek Versus Games.  

What Are Your Thoughts?