Like some kind of strange, Lynchian nightmare, Inside drops you into a world of abject terror with little explanation of what’s going on. That its storytelling is entirely visual – there’s no dialogue, anywhere, in the game – and that those same visuals are hauntingly drawn and animated simply elevates this above anything I expected from it.
As its horrors unfold and change from the entirely relatable to more abstract concepts and ideas means it learns from the best writers, directors and artists in any field. It’s only by taking the reality we inhabit in our day-to-day lives and twisting it that the low level of unease in ourselves can be unearthed.
To tell any particular part of Inside’s story is to detract from the experience someone else may have. However, it starts with the most obvious of situations – a boy, alone, in a scary forest – and simply goes with it from there. For the main part you’ll be moving left to right, with some occasional back tracking to solve relatively challenging physics based puzzles involving machinery, yourself and…others.
And that’s pretty much it. That simplicity of design detracts from the elegance of what its developers have achieved here. It’s sumptuous, gorgeous, keenly told video-gaming that continues to show that puzzle-platformers have plenty of life left in them yet.