Six years ago, a small independent studio called Playdead surprised us with Limbo, a 2D platform and puzzle game with a completely groundbreaking artistic section for its time (and which has been imitated many times since then) and a level design that caught us all by surprise. Not in vain, this is one of the titles that have helped most in popularizing the independent scene, so its importance and influence should be beyond doubt.
Therefore, it’s no wonder that Inside was a game that we were waiting for with great interest, as we wanted to find out what was going on at Playdead after its first hit. After a long development and a marketing campaign almost non-existent (it opens tomorrow and has hardly been talked about in recent months), we finally had the opportunity to play it in depth and confirm that we are again facing one of the great indies of the year.
A disturbing dystopia
Inside could be considered a Limbo 2.0, since it repeats the same formula, although it improves its spiritual predecessor, starting with a much more intriguing and attractive story and setting. The narrative becomes purely visual again and the script is told through our actions and what we’re playing, so don’t expect to find cinematics, dialogues or any similar narrative ressource.
A great example of this is the very beginning of the adventure, where we will find ourselves immersed in the middle of a chase in a most disturbing forest. We don’t know who we are or why we flee, much less who our persecutors are. We will simply be aware that we are a helpless child in the midst of something that surpasses us and that if we want to stay alive, we better not be seen or caught.
From here we will be discovering a dystopian world in where nothing seems to work as it should and of which we prefer not to tell you much more to avoid gutting you many of the sinister surprises that this trip hides. What we can tell you is that the study has not been cut when it comes to raising adult and very serious issues that are not usually dealt with too often in the industry. And all this with exquisite taste.
As we have already said, Inside is the natural evolution of Limbo. Starting from its base, Playdead has managed to improve it in all its sections and take it one step further, resulting in a game with an atmosphere as special and fascinating as it is dark and disturbing. Perhaps it is not the most difficult title, original or long that we have played this year, but it has been able to offer us an unrepeatable trip and of those that we will not forget easily, reason more than enough to give him a more than a deserved opportunity.
Until then keep playing!