The second title of the creators of the surprising independent platformer Limbo 2010. Inside is an unspecified boy who escapes from pursuers in a gloomy, monochrome world. Released on PC Windows Inside is an arcade platformer styled to the previous project of the same creators, surrealist Limbo, which surpassed the surprising success of the Xbox 360 in 2010, and later moved to all major platforms, including mobile. The title is responsible for the Danish studio Playdead, directed by Dino Patti. Among his key writers was Arnt Jensen, whose artistic vision had a decisive influence on the success of the first title of the Copenhagen developers. Inside contributed also to the Danish Film Institute, which contributed to the creation of the game.
Description of the game
In Inside we direct the actions of an unknown boy, wandering the dark, rain-wracked universe. In the beginning, he escapes from people hunting for him, but over time he discovers that in the places through which he is involved, mysterious and strange experiments are conducted. Compared to their first title, Playdead creators have added new features to the gameplay, but its main rules derive from classic 2D platformers. Facing the protagonist’s persecutors is tantamount to resolving more or less complex logic puzzles, as well as interacting with the environment. This often requires high manual and quick response skills. The game does not contain any dialogue or text, so the player must carefully watch the environment to better understand the story. Inside released on PC Windows uses the Unity engine, known for example from such productions as Rochard and Wasteland 2. The three-dimensional graphics of the game compared to the Limbo color and the climate and uncomplicated music perfectly reflects the character of the title.
Story of game
Maybe Playdead got a bit of a name for their studio because of the great Limbo in 2010, we did not get any mention of their new game Inside. Only short video footage of the E3 show reminded us that the game is still in production. This changed last year when we finally heard that the game has a specific release date and will wait for us only two weeks longer. Six years is really a long time for independent production, but fortunately unmade, because the studio supplies in our hands another diamond, which is easiest to compare to their previous production. Inside is a very simple game – it shows a menu where you just have the option to “play” outside the settings. This shows a lack of user interface and shows this control, which, apart from the knob for walking, is handled by two buttons. Only jump and push / pull objects on the map, and so many opportunities that shock. I write about it, because many creators go in the opposite direction, putting on the complexity, the occupation falls fully, the combination of buttons, and here the whole story makes sense and amuses with such simplicity of opportunity. This is a true homage to the “less is more” principle. Those who played Limbo would immediately notice that in the color palette we had similar treatment – from black to white and only so much without unnecessary colors. Inside in this case is making a small progress, looking at the pictures from the game you will notice that at this moment we are dealing with a full palette of colors, but still very frugal. Most of our journey through the presented world will take place in shades of gray mingled with the grenade and blackness. Of course, it is a deliberate operation that places the sad, colorless nature, depriving them of their feelings and provoking strong negative emotions in the player. Even without knowing exactly why, but we do not want to be in this world, we want to escape as far as possible to the light and color, and every moment when it appears on the screen we welcome with joy because it gives us a moment of respite and security.
Of course, this treatment would not have made such an impression, if not for the phenomenally presented climate of the places we visit. Inside is scary, though not scary. It shows the world cruel, brutal, full of human tragedy, where in an industrial climate we can see how a single person is treated as an object, terrorized, deprived of their own will. How experiments make him a gray mass without life and feelings. The creators are not afraid to show violence directly, each one of our hero’s death is even more brutal, and even though the graphic frame is far from realistic, I sometimes felt the need to look away, because I just could not see how the main hero was deprived of life. It is hard to believe that such a simple game can drastically represent the world. On the one hand, falling in the hands we can not tear, on the other we feel the strong need to end this adventure, turn off the console, leave the world Inside. This also intensifies the music, or rather its lack. Most of the time we will hear only the sounds of the surroundings, our steps, the work of machines or the barking of dogs. From time to time, picking up selected scenes is reinforced by an extra raw melody, and milder voices are reserved only for moments of rest after solving a more difficult riddle. The climate here is extremely heavy and if we let it play it will get into our heads and stingles some pictures that will be difficult to give up. Even now, writing the first thought about Playdead is one of those scenes where our hero must march in the gray mass of other people because he is under the watchful eye of the killer supervisor. The whole scene lasts only several dozen seconds, but the emotions that cause them stay a lot longer. Here is the key to the success of Inside – it’s not a platform game with puzzles, it’s production, whose main task is to tell a story and show it to the player. That does not mean, however, that we will not have a chance to jump and for a moment to ponder over how to open a closed door or distract the guards. On the contrary, the two main pillars of the game blend in here in a very neat and elegant way, giving the impression of a well thought out game in which everything is in place and nothing is put on the strength to only lengthen the fun.