Like Limbo, Inside is another grim, moody, and atmospheric puzzle-platformer. And, like Limbo, it stars a nondescript child navigating a ruthless and mysterious world. These are now earmarks of the studio’s works, as it again expertly juxtaposes haunting ambiance against effectively gruesome violence.
Time is both Inside’s greatest friend and foe. This feels every bit like a game that’s the beneficiary of an additional six years’ worth of know-how on the part of the developers. It’s a more fleshed-out experience that never seems stretched-out just for the sake of it. However, some of its affecting heft is lost to the number of less-competent copycat titles that popped up after Limbo’s success; Inside’s elder spiritual sibling has robbed it of some degree of import and emotional novelty.
Although we’ve seen plenty like it, I’m not convinced we’ve seen much better than it. There’s a sense of urgency that’s interwoven into all of Inside’s left-to-rightward journey. It doesn’t feel as if we’re moving that boy across the screen in the name of advancement. Instead, it feels as if we want to get to the right because, chances are, there’s something uniquely terrible on the current screen. Whatever is off-camera holds some degree of hope because we haven’t seen it yet. We quickly learn that Inside’s Inside is filled with untold horrors; maybe Outside, if it exists, is better.