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    Inside - Review

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    Valery Aloyants

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    Some games aim at photorealism, transforming your screen into a mirror on a reality other than the one you know, others try in every way to create a multiplayer experience such as to be able to build a tournament system on it: finally there are some, unfortunately still few, which bring art to our gaming platforms. Without a shadow of a doubt, Inside, a title developed by Playdead (already in the limbo with Limbo), falls into this category and now I will explain why.

    It must be said that Limbo (2011) in the Indie scene represents a sort of forerunner of a world nowadays really huge: no regulation or publication plan existed at the time, and the situation was not as rosy as it is today for the independent world. . Strengthened by such a successful product, they return today with the same convictions, to bring new emotions to the player with Inside. Set in a dystopian present where there is control by enemy forces that try, with cruel experiments on humans, to subjugate them, we will take command of a child who during his journey / escape will meet and collide several times with various types of opponents. As in Limbo, in this game we will not be able to fight, but we will only have the possibility to walk, run, swim (with relatively little air available) and use objects such as levers and the like: with these few moves, the player will have to solve puzzles that they will do. leverages the ingenuity, emotionality and sensations of those who will have the pad in their hand.

    Deepening the gameplay, the game will initially lead you to find easy puzzles to solve which, like a short but exhaustive tutorial, will enlighten you on the game mechanics: as you advance, however, Inside will force you to take the notions you have just learned and readjust them to survive. , prompting you to use the system of trial & error to be able to learn from your mistakes and continue further. Human or animal enemies will try to take you by surprise and you will have to sharpen your wits to be able to sow them in your fight against these forces of evil. The most frustrating part of the game, deliberately designed in this way, will be having to see at each passage of the zone (separated by small camera movements) that all the actions done up to that moment, such as moving a certain box, will not be used in the next scene, on the contrary they will probably lead you to certain death. As for Limbo, Inside will also use very bloody death scenes which, with the new graphic style, will leave a sense of melancholy and exasperation to the player.

    Talking about the artistic direction and graphic style, in the title we will immediately find many similarities with its spiritual predecessor, having a predominant monochromatic color which, however, unlike Limbo, will have flashes of color useful to highlight important areas and give a sense of depth of the locations. These small colors, used on the character (with the red color of the shirt) and on some object, will be in contrast with the subjugated humans, totally white, which we can control with a certain helmet by advancing in the game. The bloody deaths, now almost a Playdead signature, will therefore be seasoned with red blood which, differently from the protagonist of Limbo, will leave even more a sense of emptiness to the player.

    If there is a detail that really impresses is the feeling that the developers have been able to give through bloody scenes studied with perfection in psychological terms: it is enough to know that, in a certain enigma, where you will have to bring about 20 humans subjugated on a platform, one of these will be dead, but to make up any number, you will have to drag it and drop it on the area helpful. This specific game session, as well as many others, will make the user understand the mentality of the enemy of wanting to use humans as simple controlled beasts, and to save the life of the protagonist you too will be forced to do so.

    In conclusion, Inside replicates, if not completely outclasses, the first Playdead game, inserting new features and new details that evolve the experience lived with the famous black and white child. An atmosphere created specifically to accompany the player on an unforgettable journey, imbued with meaning, which will lead him to get excited by dealing with issues such as freedom and human value. I will not use unnecessary spoilers risking to ruin this magnificent adventure but, for anyone who wants to face a title where you will not be simple users but will live within an experience, to devote yourself completely to it using maybe a pair of headphones, to also enjoy the incredible work done by the Sound Design department.

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