I wasn’t sure if I should talk about the testicle monster. I don’t want to spoil things. But how can I not mention a testicle monster? Okay, so it’s not really a giant testicle, but that’s all I could think of as I rolled that monster about, scattering the puny humans in my path. Look out! Giant testicle coming through!
I completed INSIDE in 3 hours. So it’s short, but at least it’s appropriately priced. I’ve always said a game is as long as it needs to be. Is INSIDE as long as it needs to be? No, not in my opinion. If it was, I might have felt a little more satisfied by its end. Instead, I just sat back and said ‘is that it?’
The ‘story’ of INSIDE really doesn’t go anywhere. It just ends rather abruptly. Whilst it’s possible to interpret the story in different ways, all that really matters is if it provides a resolution that satisfies the player. INSIDE doesn’t – at least it didn’t for me.
So whilst the narrative aspect fell a little flat, I can’t deny that those 3 hours were still top quality. 3 hours of fantastic visuals, sound and animation. If I was scoring the game on those aspects alone, it’s an easy 9/10.
But I’m not. I’m also scoring on gameplay, and that’s where INSIDE also stumbles. The puzzle/platform mechanics and the way the the game introduces and evolves those mechanics throughout the 3 hour experience is excellent. INSIDE was always giving me something new.
That said, as clever as I think the game is at structuring its content, it’s also rather easy. If you’re looking for a challenging puzzle/platform game, INSIDE isn’t it. Aside from one or two puzzles, everything in INSIDE is fairly simple to complete.
I can admire the ingenuity of many of the puzzles and how the game introduces new mechanics as you progress, but I also can’t deny how simple they are and that ultimately, you’ll spend the most time ‘playing’ INSIDE by just holding down the key or stick to make the kid run from left to right. Sometimes you have to press jump. That’s about as involved as it gets.
INSIDE is a very linear title, which isn’t a complaint as such, but it’s something to be aware of. It’s a three hour adventure of going left to right and solving some basic puzzles along the way to a rather disappointing and abrupt ending. It’s not something you’ll likely play more than once.
It’s certainly a neat game to show people – it looks f**king gorgeous. But the ‘game’ part isn’t particularly compelling. It’s good, but it’s not great – aside from the giant testicle monster, which may be one of the best things I’ve ever seen.
This review is pretty short, but so is INSIDE. There’s really not much more for me to say about it – or can say, without spoiling something. Is it worth a go? Well, sure. If you liked Limbo you’ll probably like this too. But honestly, if you want a game with fantastic gameplay to match fantastic visuals and animation, then I think Ori and the Blind Forest is the better option.
INSIDE is pretty good though. Just don’t expect too much.