Inside, the second game from developer Playdead, is a beautiful, haunting, and terrifying game. From the moment you are thrown into its world to the end the game is filled with “holy shit” moments. This is a game that everyone should play without knowing anything about it. But if you need convincing then read on.
The plot follows a red-shirted nameless boy who makes his way through what looks like a dystopian world. People are being shuffled around almost as if they have no control over their actions. Occasionally you’re being chased by dogs and people in masks. These are the moments where I found myself sitting at the edge of my seat because of how intense they are. They may look simplistic but there is a sense of rush when being chased by a dog and barely making an escape. Saying too much about the story will spoil it and it's best experienced without expectations. Everyone will have their own theories about the story and who the boy is and why he is doing what he’s doing.
The gameplay mostly consists of the player moving right across the screen with the camera moving only slightly when something needs to be seen. The puzzles make the player interact with the environment since the puzzles are physics based. The puzzles themselves aren’t too difficult and only a few of them had me stuck for a few minutes. You will be moving objects, jumping over obstacles, and even mind controlling people.
You will die a lot playing this game. Most of the encounters are trial and error. Fortunately, the load times are very short so there is basically no down time. The various ways that you die are usually graphic and realistic. With the boy being torn or blown apart, its very brutal.
This game is beautiful. The visuals seem simplistic at first but the more time you spent with it the more you realize how detailed the game is. There are dust particles floating around in abandoned factories and dozens of little fish swimming around in the water. The color palette here if mostly grays and blacks but there are also glimpses of lighter colors likes yellow and red. It's all very contrasting and makes for something unlike anything else. All the little details make an atmospheric world. You really feel like you're a part of it.
It takes about 3 hours to complete the story, longer if you decide to find the collectibles. The game ends before it runs out of ideas and overstays its welcome.
Inside is a masterpiece of gaming. When people call games art this is one of the games that should be used as an example. It's hauntingly beautiful and everyone should play it.