• Inside Review - Microsoft Xbox One

    If you liked Limbo, you'll like Inside. It's a natural progression, but with huge changes in style, pace and puzzle types, so it's never anything less than totally fresh and exciting. But what if you didn't play Limbo or didn't like it?

    Inside is a sideways scrolling puzzle game, featuring a young boy who appears at the start, with no plot divulged; the plot unveils as you progress. Whilst motion is restricted to 2D, the world is very much 3D, with the camera panning continuously as you move along the set path. The colours are very restricted in pallette, but the effect is incredibly striking, with amazing lighting revealing stunning vistas and architecture. It's much more detailed than Limbo and the world is a little more alive, with people going about their duties in the background and things happening in the distance.

    The first thing you'll notice is that the constant, and unpredictable insta-deaths of Limbo have been replaced by a much more forgiving play style. You are often running along for quite a while before interacting, instead just taking in the world around you. When you do come across multi-step puzzles to solve, the consequences of getting it wrong are often signposted just enough for you to take action and get it right first time, which is immensely satisfying, even if you scraped through by the skin of your teeth. That's not to say that you'll get very far without making errors and having to repeat, but when you do figure it out on the fly, the sense of achievement is just about right. If you do fail, it's often a case of thinking "should have got that!" rather than "ridiculous!" This might win over a few people who disliked Limbo. The controls are spot on, so most of the time you'll make the jumps you intended or grab the rope you were aiming at, and with only directions for movement, A to jump / drop, and B to interact, they'll be second nature very quickly.

    The puzzles are varied and you'll look forward to each and every one. I managed to complete the main game without referring to any FAQs, but I still found it challenging - I doubt anyone will ever accuse it of being too easy. You'll probably get stuck in a few areas, really having to think laterally about all the aspects you have control over (position, timing, direction, tasks etc.). Much like Limbo, you have no weapons and have to purely use your environment to hide or blend, or solve a puzzle.

    The plot is pretty out-there. Whilst most of it has disturbing overtones and currents, there are also moments of nightmarish horror chucked in. And a long piece towards the end that is at once both hilarious and gross. There are also moments of self-doubt: should you really go ahead and do this, just to solve a puzzle and progress, but in a world where slavery appears to be the norm, morals generally take a back seat to just surviving. It all gels together perfectly and leaves just enough to the imagination.

    There are around 5 hours of quality entertainment, and a few more to find all the secrets after the first play through, which then provides a different ending, so it's fantastic value. I found many of the secrets based on the achievement names, but had to look at FAQs for the rest. I worked out where to go after completing the final secret, but opening the door to the alternative ending was not something I would have ever figured out on my own! There are some clever people out there! More importantly, whereas with some games, I'm not bothered about completion, in contrast I was compelled to find out all there is that Inside has to offer. It's a wonderful game in the truest sense of the word and will leave lasting memories of a marvellous journey through an eerie world.
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    Temjin Virtual On Figure, boxed

    Thread Starter: Asura


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