Not long ago, I talked about Limbo right after my company announced they were closing down. I worked to get into one of the other groups in the parent company and a couple of weeks ago, I succeeded. Now, two weeks in, I’m on the inside. Funny that… the same company, Playdead, that release Limbo, also released a game called Inside.
The game was released in July of 2016 and due to the merits of Limbo, I snagged this one pretty quickly. It retails for $20 and I wouldn’t be surprised if I paid the full amount because its predecessor was so good. The blurb for Inside is simple: “Hunted and alone, a boy finds himself drawn into the center of a dark project.” Riiiiight…. What could possibly go wrong? (Some of the most famous last words!) The question at the heart of the game is, what is really going on here? And the ending is more than a little surprising. But maybe that’s a good thing… said a fan of The Prisoner.
Like Limbo we have an extraordinarily atmospheric platformer. You move from side to side and up and down, climbing ladders, swimming, and doing a whole lot of running. But the entire game is really just going left to right. There’s no 3-D movement like a first person shooter. But here’s where the artwork is so impressive: it looks dimensional. There’s a sense of scale and depth to the world. It’s actually stunning, visually. The game play is smooth too and you play with a desperate curiosity to see where the story goes.
Most of the puzzles are not complicated, but some require a bit of thought. Imagine finding a good story though that you just keep flipping the pages… you know you’ve got to do the laundry or get out of bed, but you stay there determined to finish. That’s Inside. The game took me under 4 hours but it was worth it. The sense of dread and mystery was overwhelming and I had to know what would happen.
There are moments that are right up my alley too. Going underwater in a submersible is so much fun anyway, but when you see a sea creature… mermaid… I dunno! Whatever she was, I loved it. I tried to make friends, but alas, some people are introverts. Other moments have the character terrified, as the enemies search the grounds for you. Yes, a good tense game is worth its weight. When they are done well, the intrigue alone makes it worth the time and the money!
Now, how well this bodes for me in my personal life is anyone’s guess. Like the game, I’m inside now. Considering the end of this game, it’s a bit of a jumble. It’s not that there’s no end. There is. But to say I understood it would be a fabrication. Suffice to say, it’s ominous. strange, and deeply curious. So, comparing any part of ones reality to Limbo or Inside might be a strange choice, but hey, life is a little odd anyway, so who am I to argue.
I generally prefer action games, but Playdead has released two great mysteries with Limbo and Inside and I’ll be watching for their next one. I think they have the Goldilocks equation down: it’s just right. Just right with the mystery, the play style, the cost, and the length. If it were an 8+ hour game, it would get tedious. It’s the right price for a good story with a decent amount of playtime. If the overwhelmingly positive reviews are anything to go by, I don’t need to sell this one too much. But I can promise this: it will leave you wondering for a long time! ML