INSIDE

I keep changing my mind on whether I think Inside is good or just alright. It has excellent mechanics, with a great physics engine as the foundation for movement and puzzles. The quality of animation, and how characters and objects interact with each others makes big budget games like Rise of the Tomb Raider and Uncharted 4 look cheap and sloppy. When your character does any kind of action, like open a door, climb, or swing a rope, it looks and feels like it adheres to the same rules of weight and gravity as every other object in the world. Looking back at Limbo, it appears crude and simplistic compared to what they do in Inside. At least on a technical level. 

What I’m split on is the story. You’re a boy hunted by a sinister state, which is using the population for experiments. You see regular people turned into mindless slaves, and later on, even worse things. When I’m feeling charitable, the story works well. As you delve deeper into the experimental facilities, all sorts of unpredictable stuff happens. 

But when I think of the story thematically, there isn’t much meaning behind anything. It’s a series of neat visuals and puzzles, made possible by the physics engine. But there isn’t anything deeper going on. So at the end you’re left going “that was neat I guess”, rather than being touched in any way. And given the length, price, and focus of the game, it doesn’t feel unreasonable to expect better. It’s a solid puzzle platformer, but it doesn’t have the additional qualities that will make it a memorable one.