PlayDead was one of the studies that contributed to the indie video game being what it is today. Thanks to the opening of the development and publication in Xbox Live Arcade , Limbo could see the light and be known among the public. Six years later it is still one of the titles that first come to the minds of players when talking about indie video games.
It proposed an innovative aesthetic at the time and that has been repeated a thousand and one times since then (how many two-dimensional games in
black and white have we seen in this “explosion” of independent titles?) That fits with its mechanics plataformeras and small puzzles . And, of course, that
end that gave so much to talk in forums, in the emerging social networks and in conversations between those who had played.
Inside does not stray too far from this formula. One that works and that shows that the study feels comfortable. However, it is more ambitious and takes it further. Look inside the previous PlayDead game, but also towards an industry and an art that
has evolved in the last five years, in which other themes can be touched, where stories, narratives and scripts can go beyond action-reaction and tell through
the language of the video game (ie, interactivity) other stories, feelings and feelings. Because what a poetry is for literature Inside is to the playful narrative.
For this he uses, both in the artistic field and in the playable mechanics, what worked so well in Limbo : minimalism, deep simplicity. In Inside
we do all the actions with a stick to move and two buttons to jump and interact with the stage, and it is intuitive to the point that it is easy to understand for someone who is not used to facing the TV with a pad in the hands.
The design makes you learn little by little what you have to do, orchestrated in such a way that reminds you of those explanations of how and
why the first world of Super Mario Bros was created. In a situation at the beginning, a car in the background pursues us while we, the child who
co-stars in the adventure (along with the world we travel, as relevant as we are) run away trying to escape. Just when you are about to locate us, a stone structure appears where you can hide.
In a few seconds the game has taught you a recurrent mechanics in Inside (flee when being pursued, because sooner or later something that
can save you will appear) and also the operation of the different planes, where we only move in a straight line but the rest of entities can move in depth.
We will live several persecutions in the game, almost all of them unforgettable due to the tension they transmit. Especially, those in which we see ourselves running in front of dogs. Like Abbas Kiarostami in his film The bread and the street,
in Playdead they manage to transmit the fear of some children to dogs. They run more and they will not be squeamish when they have trapped us,
creating some really tense situations. And although on paper does not seem especially distressing, once with the command in hand the situation is nothing short of terrifying.
It also helps to know the end of the scene if we do not do it correctly, that we will know because, as in Limbo, the puzzles and escapes are based on trial and error. The end that the dog will give us, or any other element that can cause us death, is that of a raw death,
painful, silent and, except for some specific moments, nothing effect. Fear is how natural it feels, to which contributes the absence of background sound and some sound effects that help a death to hurt, to make the blood feel dirty, to that a moan of disgust.