Reviews

Better Late Than Never: Inside

As you may have noticed, I have been neglecting my PS4 of late and as a result I have also missed out on some of the delightful indie games in my library that are still waiting to be played. Following the announcement of upcoming indie titles for the Nintendo Switch to join the marvelous Nindies collection, I saw a few familiar titles that I have not yet played and very much needed to especially when they were already purchased and downloaded onto my PS4! So here is my first Better Late Than Never playthrough in a long while, with Inside.

Inside was first released by Playdead in June 2016 for PS4, Xbox One and PC, it is now also available on Nintendo Switch. Powered by Unity, the game itself is a side-scrolling adventure platformer with a dark narrative and a few puzzles mixed in for good measure. For those of you who enjoy your indie games, you may also remember Limbo which was released in 2010 and is also made by Playdead. If you haven’t played Limbo yet either then I recommend that you do (it’s one that I am certainly looking to revisit as it has been a long time since I last played it).

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You play as a small boy, running through a wooded area and soon into your journey you find that everything is not as it seems. It’s dark, people in suits with dogs and guns are out to get you, there are factories, workers that can be controlled with devices among other things. You’ll need some good timing and be willing to solve a few puzzles as you make your way through this world looking for some sort of escape route. But I’m not going to walk you through if you haven’t played the game yet, I wouldn’t want to ruin the experience for you so I’ll keep this short and sweet, much like the game itself.

Inside has an interesting and unique art style with its predominately black and white look with hints of grey, red and yellow. It’s highly effective in this bleak dystopian world in which there are no words, other than the occasional vocal sounds and animal noises as the focus is entirely on moving this boy through these different areas trying to avoid capture and death. Should you falter, the boy will suffer some awful deaths as his body becomes limp and becomes that of a rag doll. Considering there are no facial features on any person in the game, it still doesn’t stop you from feeling bad should you be responsible for this young boys death.

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The controls are simple. You can move, jump, grab/drag and climb. That is all you require in order to get around in this world. While you’ll spend a lot of time on your feet, there are also a number of swimming sections which will add to the slight panic you’ll feel as you try and outrun a pack of dogs as it won’t be long until you need to come up for air. The easy controls allow you to focus on the task at hand without complicating matters. As death is likely as you enjoy some trial and error, I would recommend taking the time to look around if you can or replay when you have another spare couple of hours in order to seek out some of the secrets that lie off the beaten track. I only found a couple by the looks of my limited trophies, so I’ll be more than happy to return and see what else I can find.

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I am sad that it has taken me this long to get around to playing Inside because there have been so many people who have told me or gaming channels that have raved about it over the years. I can only recommend that if you have a few quid spare and an afternoon with nothing to do, take the time to play a game that you will certainly enjoy. I really don’t want to spoil anything for those of you who have not yet had a chance to play, and with a run time of around 2-3 hours, it’s not going to take you long to complete. I would recommend playing through in one sitting in order to enjoy it fully. Don’t wait as long as I did, make sure Inside is on your very own Better Late Than Never list too and play it now!

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