That haunting, wordless game smeared its black-and-white world with a smoky blur and a preoccupation with death, and the results were visually and emotional staggering—but they had less impact in terms of gameplay.
Playdead clearly wanted to be freed of that dimensional trickery, as Inside's forests, prairies, swamps, research facilities, and towns are no slouches for depth and detail.
The devs have aimed their game's camera at a high, level angle and cranked the view distance up to a remarkable degree.
The game is divided evenly into four types of play: no-challenge traversal; obvious puzzles; annoying head-scratchers; and truly clever challenges.
The only thing pushing you forward in those moments is the knowledge that the next place you're going to discover will look and sound freakin' amazing.
Inside offers one of gaming's best-ever takes on emotionally charged sci-fi horror, the kind that should make creators such as J.J. Abrams go back to their own drawing boards and become inspired anew.