I’d feared that it’d flown under the radar, so I was glad to see Inside score so many votes in our Game Of The Year awards, winning three, our Indie of the year, Right In The Feels award, and in Bronze place overall. There’s more inventiveness in the six hours of Inside than you’ll see in just about anything else this year.
Atmospherically, the game drips with sinister oppressiveness and dread, something reinforced throughout by fantastic art direction. It’s never more apparent than in the horrendous things that happen to the lead character during a death sequence. Never played for cheap thrills, each one leaves a lasting, and almost painful impression. Seeing a young boy’s body pounced upon by a pack of ferocious dogs, watching a set of limbs float away from the metal porthole that severed them, seeing his body exploding from the bassy impact of a sound wave; each of them leaves you dumbfounded, muttering in a mixture of shock, disbelief, and horror.
The last twenty minutes deserves special mention, taking my breath away and leaving me open-jawed and staring at the screen with horror, disgust, and genuine shock at how everything I’d done for the previous six hours had just been flipped on it’s head.
Following one from a critically acclaimed game is never easy, but Playdead took elements from Limbo, distilled them down, and then added even more brilliance on top, leaving behind undoubtedly one of the very finest games of 2016.