After finishing Playdead’s Inside, just a couple of minutes ago, I must admit that the game show one of the best way to tell a story.
Inside is a game released about 8 months ago, by the same developer of Limbo, developed in about 5 years by a relatively small team, even though it’s pretty big for an indie studio, of about 25 people.
After a couple of months lying in my steam library, I decided to give it a go, and boy was it good. In term of gameplay, it’s very simple, you move around, you grab things and you jump. But while the gameplay is very simple, and it’s not very long to beat, count about 5 hours to find both endings. But where Inside shine is the story and especially in the storytelling.
In Inside, you play as a boy, and you are running away from faceless people, or are you running toward something ?
That’s it, that’s the premise of the game, and that’s what you are greeted in the game with.
Like Limbo seven years ago, there is not a single word spoken or written in the game, everything the game needs to tell, it show it, and nothing is more brillant than that. During my whole playthrough, I asked myself one simple question “What is going on ?”.
And in fact there is little to no music, and that participate in the storytelling of the game. There is only sounds, you never feel like the game is forcing feelings into you.
And this is what a lot of games are missing, respecting the player by letting him feel, understand and think about the world he is experiencing, and this is what keeps the game alive after you close it or finish it, you still think about it, you theorized about the story.
Inside use one of our most basic instincts : Seeking answers. And the game never gives you clear answers, you have to find your own answers yourself, with your own way of thinking, your own past and life experience.
In fact Inside developers, Playdead, are so determined for you to seek your own answers that they never talked about the definitive story of the game, or the story of Limbo for that matter.
The only story that matters in Inside, Limbo and their upcoming title is the story you can think about while playing. This is your story. And this is the brillance of the game, this a game that respect you and the way you think.