Inside: Review For Xbox One.
6 years ago Limbo was a day 1 purchase for me. It was one of those games you knew it had to be, so you could experience, revel, and then straight away discuss with everyone like-minded who would care to listen.
In the years to follow, Developers Playdead have brought the game to as many platforms as possible, but we’ve known for a while they’ve been busy with something else. Something familiar looking, yet new. Finally, it was time to get our hands on Inside, and I went for a day 1 play through once again.
The first thing that springs to mind, after the clean glossy GUI has been bypassed, is that this is Limbo for a new generation. A boy tumbles into view, and with no hand holding we are thrown into the dirty dark monochrome world, with ruthless abandonment.
Yet this is Limbo 2.0. Puzzles have been improved upon, animations are subtle yet flawless, bringing life to the smallest details. The boy’s reactions to his surroundings are priceless. Music is complementary and at times extraordinary (A section midway with rhythmic supersonic booms is just fantastic).
The many graphic, grisly deaths of our little protagonist don’t take away from the experience but only add to it. Thankfully frustrations at puzzles are minimal with frequent auto saves in just the right places. Achievements are well balanced between the hard won and the fun, and the game play length is good for an afternoon session replay to hunt for them all.
But what’s it all about? At its heart this is a puzzle game, not needing a story to string it together per se. However, when there is obviously a story being told, I couldn’t help but feel bewildered the deeper I got into this dystopia nightmare. Like the little red jacketed girl in Schindler’s List, there was an impending sense of doom for the future of this lad. Where had he come from? Why wasn’t he like all the others we see and command later on?
I wanted to grasp the gist at least, but even now I don’t think I have. I’m not even sure the boy is a “good guy”. After all, who sucks up a load of sweet little chicks into a mechanical hoover just to knock a bale of hay off a ledge?! I’m guessing I’m not the only one that spotted not all the chicks made it after that ordeal.
Unlike Limbo, which had a final, punch-to-the-stomach dawning of truth, Inside just left me blinking rather stupidly as its credits began to roll. Not to say its surprises and creations weren’t a macabre delight to experience. I’m just desperate for someone to explain to me what I just played.
Tech Scorpion Review: A puzzling horror that ticks all the right boxes, ‘Inside is a must play’.