Inside | Review
Hunted and alone, a boy finds himself drawn into the centre of a dark project.
Inside is Playdeads followup to Limbo, Inside is a 2D side scrolling puzzler which sees you running and trying to escape from someone or thing that I’m not too sure about. I had checked other review scores and have to admit, when I saw the amount of 10’s being given, I expected something rather special, I thought that this was going to be the one to change my views about 2D side scrollers… But nope. Everyone has there opinions on games, and that’s fine, someones 10 may only be a 7 or 8 to me. That’s the way the cookie crumbles I’m afraid and that’s how different people view different games and genres.
The first thing I will speak about is the story and narrative for this game. The problem I have with most if not all of the 2D side scrollers that I review is the fact that there isn’t anything to help with the story or understanding as your going through, and Inside is no different. You start off running through some woods, and suddenly in the background you will see people being placed into vans, you’re suddenly spotted by someone and they start chasing you or get the dogs to come after you. Why? There is nothing to indicate why you’re getting chased. Just music and the world around to run along. It might be me, I maybe missing it, and I would say that was probably the case if it was just this game, but I have the issue with around 99% of side scrollers I play. Why am I doing what I’m doing?
Despite not being able to work out the narrative as to why I’m running from the weirdest looking blokes with guns and dogs, the pace to the game is excellent, and its a strong 4 hour game.
The attention to detail for the levels is pretty much immaculate. The polish and finish that has been placed into each one and the thinking behind them is amazing, there is so much depth to add to the perception of the game, it’s wonderful to see the things that are in the fore and background looking amazing and having that depth to them to bring out the distance in them.
The puzzles within the game are pretty standard for a side scroller, however I do love the elements where you are getting chased by… I’m going to call them Goons because I don’t know what they are. (They kind of remind me of the child catcher from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang) So you’re being chased by goons, and you have a ledge to drop down from to escape, however there are other goons lying in wait, when you drop down from a ledge there are opportunities to go back on yourself and hide under the ledge you dropped down from, allowing for you to time the run right to get passed the next set of goons.
There are a lot of elements like that in the game where you have to time things to perfection to get passed the next bit, and I have to admit that there were times that I struggled to get the timing right, but got there eventually.
This game has been a long time coming, 6 years in fact, but my main question is, has it brought anything new to what I think is a rather dull genre? No, not really. You don’t have full control over the character, the game decides which points during a level you can run, which at times can be a little frustrating, as I noticed some times where I would much prefer to run but the game decided that I needed just a gentle stroll.
It’s all very well and good having a game that is absolutely stunning to look at while playing, but if there isn’t anything there that’s going to keep me going, then to me it’s not worth playing. I want a game to grab me and play on my mind making me want to play for hours on end. When a game looks good it can only captivate for so long, and the thing is, a game doesn’t have to be stunning to be engrossing or captivating, there are some games which are sub standard on graphics, but the elements within the game keep you hooked. Looks aren’t everything my friends.
There were certain parts during the game that I had a good ol’ chuckle to myself, and one of those was when you entered a farm area and I think you go into the barn, and there are loads of little chicks following you. I laughed because you lure the chicks into the barn and send them flying through the industrial blower to knock a bale of hay off. Just watching them flying through the air and smacking into this bale before hitting the floor looked rather hilarious.
Overall, after seeing some of the scores coming off of the game, I was once again found it a little disappointing. You may ask me why do I keep reviewing them? The reason is simple, I want one to be different, I want one to show me that this genre still has a place with us and that there is an evolution in how they are, not just graphically but narratively as well.
I love how the game looks, but I just can’t get to grips with the story, there is nothing telling me what has gone on for this to hit the fan and guys with guns and dogs to come after my character.
Code kindly provided by Devs