Wow, what a game!
Inside, a spiritual sequel to Limbo, is an incredible, dark, creepy and unique experience. It can be finished in one sitting, and possibly should to maximize immersion. Gameplay-wise, Inside is a platform puzzler, and even if it is short, pretty easy, and a lot about the experience it always remembers that it is a game. You could not make a move or write a book and get an experience even remotely similar. No, this experience needs to be had by acting in it.
I played Limbo two years ago and appreciated it, but it felt just a bit too dark to me. Inside is also very dark and brutal, yet feels easier to get into both in terms of gameplay and mood. Perhaps because there is more color in the world. Perhaps because of the added experties of the developers. Perhaps because there are little glimmers of humour here and there.
I wonder how much having played Limbo helped me get in. People seem to agree Inside is the easier game of the two, but I learned a lot about the rules and logic of the world through Limbo. I take a long time to trust games, but Inside I started trusting pretty fast. Things started to feel natural, as they can when you get enough of a feel for a game to start to see the mechanics it uses. I felt close to stuck at one puzzle, and bordered on annoyed with a style of puzzle a few times, but the game did an amazing job of moving on before any type of play became old hat or frustrating.
For the majority of the game, I felt the beginning outshone the rest. Apart from everything being fresh, the start of the game set up some very strong feelings and imagery, so strong that I was dreading what I might find later on. However, Inside never took any expected turns. Things soon started developing in wholly different directions than I had expected, hence the feeling for a while that the beginning was stronger. As the events of the end started occuring, I found myself amazed once again, and when the credits rolled I was thoroughly satisfied. I do see why people call it a confusing ending.
To me, however, it was perfect.
Five stars … skulls … brutal deaths … Insides?