A game for a generation, "Inside" is like nothing else. Tense and macabre, amusing and complex, it can be all of these in a singular moment.
It's bold. It's haunting. It's great. "Inside" simply must be played.
Created by the Denmark-based Playdead and a spiritual successor to "Limbo," the studio's first release, "Inside" is a refinement of the former. The rules of puzzles are better defined. The environment has more depth. The story is more robust yet equally as mysterious.
The 2D puzzle-platformer is based around a beautiful yet simple control scheme. This allows for the player-controlled boy-in-the-red-shirt to focus on what is happening around him. Oftentimes, that will be danger.
Encounters, whether with people, dogs or unknown creatures, are dramatic affairs, steeped in heart-pounding intensity. These moments will have you leaping off cliffs, hiding in plain sight of your hunters or clutching for breath as you swim from the depths.
Interspersed throughout these high-intensity situations are calmer settings filled with puzzles. Some are heart-warming (the little chicks!), while others are more deadly (is that Wall-E?). And still others are soundly explosive (why would you build that?!).
But all of these moments are crafted with such detail, that when success is reached, the player's jaw will drop, an audible "Aha!" will be let loose, and you will only grow to love the game that much more.
And the story! Who are you? Where are you going? What is your motive? Who are those people in the masks hunting you? Why are they herding what look like people? What are those scientists doing? So many questions, not a bit of dialogue to explain, yet whatever narrative you decide, the mystique of the unknown makes "Inside" that much more attractive.
It's not about finding out what the game's creators wanted you to know. It's about finding out what you want to know. Experimentation is one of the game's strongest features, and it does so even with the story.
I cannot spoil the ending or reveal some of the game's more jaw-dropping moments, because doing so would ruin "Inside." It truly is something that must be experienced.
Without a doubt, Playdead has created something wholly unique: A game that will forever stand the test of time.
**** (out of ****)
FORMAT: Xbox One, PC
GENRE: Puzzle ___
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This article was written by CHRISTOPHER MARTIN from The Advocate, Baton Rouge, La. and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.