Some will want to call this a review, for some it may be an opinion piece, whatever you want to call it, I hope you have one take away from this article: Playdead’s Inside is a game you need to experience. I choose the word ‘experience’ on purpose, because for the 4 hours I spent in this nightmarish world I quickly learned that this is one of those special games that comes around only so often and transcends the stereotype definition of the word video game. Now don’t get me wrong, this is definitely a game. It’s more than a walking sim, and it there will be long moments in which you scratch your head searching for that “Aha!” moment you can finally solve the next puzzle. Now before I go any further, let me preface that if you haven’t already played through this game, it would be wise to go play first then come back to this article. While I am going to stay away from any Spoilers, I still entirely believe this game shines best the less you know about it.
Since the announcement of this title back at E32014, this was one of those games that I knew that I was going to play regardless so I told myself I would go on a “media blackout” for this one. No walk throughs, no interviews, no tutorials, and anytime I may see a “Newest trailer from…” I would quickly scroll through to the next piece. The only thing is, with this game there was no need to “try” and stay away from new info; the info wasn’t even there. Playdead announced this game and as simple as that vanished for nearly 2 years until their announcement on the Microsoft stage at E32016 in which they announced the game would be available a few weeks later. The fact that Playdead took this approach the marketing the game (or lack-there-of) told me one of two things: Either this game is not half as good as they had wanted it to be, or it was so good that they knew it could sell on word of mouth alone. Luckily for them (and especially us) it was the latter of the two.
From the moment I began my journey, it was immediately obvious of the polish this game had. In the 4+ years that they have been silent since they released Limbo, after playing this game I honestly feel like they developed the game in a years time and spent the next 3 combing over every tiny detail. Trust me, it is that beautiful. The art style is something straight out of a Disney short you’d might see waiting for the newest Pixar film, one of those cosmetics that will not get old with time but allow you to look back and admire the accomplishment that they had in a day when everyone is focused on realism. They understood their direction, doubled down, and nailed it. From the camera angles, to the masterful way they told an entire captivating tale without a single word spoken, Playdead deserves game pushes the boundaries for not only “Indie-developed” titles, but gaming as a whole. Make no mistake, they are an indie studio, made up of 25 employees, it’s astonishing what they managed to do.
Now if you are reading this and still on the fence because you weren’t really into Limbo, Playdeads previous title, honestly neither was I. While I played through the game, I never really understood the hype that was built around the game. It was solid, artistically beautiful, but for me it never really captured me the way that other titles like Journey did. Keeping that in mind, I came into this title very cautious. I honestly believe that if you’d be hard pressed not to have the need to finish this game if you gave it 30 minutes of your time, not because of the length of the game but because of the desire to unravel the mystery filled story they present.
Playdead’s Inside is a game that deserves to be played, for my fellow PS4 players out there, hold strong your time will come. This game has been confirmed as a timed Xbox One exclusive on consoles, similar to Limbo. Although the wait may be longer than you’d like, do your upmost to avoid spoilers, play throughs, and water-cooler chatter on the topic, this is a game that you will want to experience from start to end blindly. Now do yourself a favor, open up your wallet and keep an open mind, if you can manage to do both and purchase Inside I can promise you won’t be disappointed. This will be a game that will stay with you for years to come, and already finds it’s way into my mind when I consider my “all time favorites” list.
Now excuse me while I go for another play through… I am just not ready to let this one go, and expect I won’t be any time soon.