INSIDE is Playdead’s second title and is a thematic sequel to LIMBO. It shares very similar gameplay, puzzles and the same trial and error gameplay. However, INSIDE is a more cohesive game with a far more developed narrative and a more interesting universe.
INSIDE features an Orwellian, dystopian world with hints of Akira and a touch of body horror.
We only get to experience the world of INSIDE through the eyes of the unnamed and silent boy who stars in the game. So our view of this world is narrow, but even so, it’s a harrowing and terrifying place.
INSIDE Review Switch
Unlike LIMBO, INSIDE is rendered in 3D rather than flat silhouettes. Sure, there were some 2.5D sections in LIMBO, but its flatness is a feature.
In INSIDE, we’re almost always viewing the world on an angle. It helps to create a tension while playing. You can see some of what’s coming up, but not all. It also lets Playdead create some truly awe-inspiring visual moments and cues.
In the opening moments of the game, the boy is in a forest, frantically running away from faceless pursuers. The torchlights and headlights of their trucks break through the trees and light up the world in fragments.
It’s a pulse-pounding, scary introduction to INSIDE and moments like these punctuate the experience.
As the forest begins to give way to civilisation, power poles extend far off into the distance, as do silos and factories, At first, these seem innocuous enough. The bodies of freshly slaughtered pigs suggest these may be factory farms, but it very quickly becomes clear that something much more nefarious is at work.
Not As It Seems
While it’s never expressly explained, it’s pretty obvious that there are two groups operating in the world of INSIDE. The scientists and the population who are experimented on.
The boy was destined to become part of these experiments, but his escape allows him to proceed through these nightmarish factories and discover what happens when his friends and family are rounded up in the dead of the night.
Like LIMBO, INSIDE‘s mechanics are all based on jumping and grabbing. However, Playdead has introduced something new. At certain points in the game, you’re able to plug the boy into a mind control helmet. Here, you can control those others who’ve been captured and experimented on.
Even though it’s the only way forward, it still feels wrong to do so. These people are also victims, but to prevent yourself from joining them in their fate, you need to use them.
INSIDE seems to have a focus on the survival of the fittest, but it doesn’t make it any less painful to climb to the top of the heap on the corpses of your peers.
Like in LIMBO, INSIDE features a robust checkpoint and autosave system. This prevents players from having to replay too much of the game when they die.
Much like LIMBO, INSIDE is a game that you’ll die in. Maybe not as much as the former, but it’s still a regular occurrence. It’s how you learn how to play and how to proceed.
On Switch, this makes the game work perfectly as a portable title. You can play for as long or short as you like and when you return later, the game will be waiting for you where you left it.
Playing INSIDE on Switch is a match made in heaven and is easily the best way to play.
INSIDE is an absolutely incredible achievement in art, design and storytelling and comes highly recommended for any Switch ower’s library.
INSIDE was reviewed on Switch using a digital code provided by the publisher.
Game Title: INSIDE
An Orwellian Nightmare - 9.5/10
A Refinement of LIMBO - 9.3/10
Utterly Addictive - 9.1/10
Even Better on Switch - 9.3/10