Inside, out for Xbox One today and for PC on July 7th, is a puzzle platformer adventure game from Danish developer Playdead, best known for their 2010 hit Limbo. The newest release incorporates similar elements in a macabre setting, a world held under control by sinister scientific experiments, with a monochromatic color palette framing our hero in his stand-out red shirt.
Playdead took what worked in Limbo and made it better, and, after perusing the reviews, it was clearly a good choice.
Inside is currently rocking a 91 Metascore on Metacritic, earning “universal acclaim” based on 43 critics. Some standout scores include a perfect 10 “Masterpiece” review from IGN, who paid special attention to the “brilliant sound design,” “clever puzzles,” and “stellar camera work.”
Inside very clearly builds upon what made Limbo great, and in fact builds something greater. Its unimaginable twist may leave you dumbfounded, confused, and quite possibly speechless, but it will fuel heated discussion with your friends about its meaning, its message, and its intentions.
Gamespot gave the game an 8 out of 10, criticizing its “slow, detached middle section” and “abrupt” ending, but paid special attention to “often shocking or brutal twists, which incite feelings of revulsion and confusion.” Deaths were “immediate and gruesome,” at the hands of a “mindless horde,” or a stalker that followed through underwater regions.
Kotaku simply called Inside “one of the coolest games I’ve played in a long time.” Instead of using a number system, Kotaku gives a major positive and a major negative – on the positive end, praise was given to the “gorgeous art and animations, devious puzzle design, and a pitch-black sense of humor.” On the negative end? “I honestly can’t come up with anything.”
GameInformer, in their 9.75 out of 10 review, referred to the experience as “a strangely uncomfortable one” and “the closest I have ever felt to experiencing a simulated nightmare.”
Inside takes a basic puzzle platformer and elevates it with its stunning art design, haunting audio, and “ambiguous narrative.” With a decent replay value agreed on all around, Inside is a stunning, haunting experience that’s definitely worth picking up and powering through in one night, and again, and again.