LTTP Inside, a huddled mass of contradictions

Started by Legend, Apr 15, 2022, 11:18 PM

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Legend

Finally got around to playing Inside from Playdead, the team behind Limbo. This will be spoiler free till the spoiler tag, but I will discuss stuff in general terms.


It's an ok game, I just have no idea what it wants to be. So many design decisions feel contradictory as if different developers fought to include their own concepts. For example this game has the worst forced death in any game ever! It is literally an enemy that you have been evading and dying to for the past 15 minutes that for no reason suddenly does something else when it catches you.

Similar thing very early in the game. A man is chasing you so you have to run. He is off screen but right behind you with a flash light. If you keep running you die though. Instead you need to stop for a sec to evade car headlights, and the man chasing you literally just pauses till you're ready to move again. The two concepts contradict each other and it doesn't make sense.

The biggest contradictions include the end of the game, so this is the full spoiler part.
Spoiler for Hidden:
<br>The facility you break into and eventually out of has secretly predicted this and been in control the whole time. There is a diorama that shows the outside beach with a little mini version of you in the exact location the credits role. The scientists also help and encourage your escape, maybe guiding you.<br><br>Yet tons of scientists die! If the scientists know what is going to happen exactly how it will happen, why the heck are they in the way? When first breaking out of the glass, a lot of scientists are caught off guard and killed when the glass fully shatters. Additionally the CEO of the facility is in their office and killed when you launch them out the window. If you give the CEO time though, they&#39;ll move out of the way to avoid death. Why would random employees know where to be to guide you, yet the CEO and other employees know nothing?<br><br><br>Another contradiction is the boy/player&#39;s intentions. Near the end of the game they see the blob in the tank from the window, yet they continue. They get inside, and think it&#39;s a good idea to help it. Yet both us as the player and the boy in game are caught off guard when the blob eats us. The boy fights to stay free yet fails. Wtf was the boy expecting to happen instead? The secret ending proves the boy is mind controlled, yet this shows he isn&#39;t or his controller didn&#39;t want this either.<br>



It'd be awesome if the abstract elements had a legit deeper meaning but like the gameplay, things were just poorly executed. Abstract games can be whatever they want but this one feels like a rorschach test.

kitler53

i mean, i've been telling my kid all day "boy, its a video game.  stop thinking so hard"

he's been asking questions like why the foot soldiers just appear out of the ground?   ..or how is that he can play as Leonardo on a continue when only mike and don were "sent back in time"?  ..or why does it just suddenly become night when i turn off the light in mario's bedroom?


i remember the car headlight one.  that just felt awkward as a gameplay moment because what you had to do was the opposite of the visual queues.  ..but the rest feels over-complainy.   it was fun.
          

Legend

Apr 16, 2022, 12:02 AM Last Edit: Apr 16, 2022, 03:56 PM by Legend
i mean, i've been telling my kid all day "boy, its a video game.  stop thinking so hard"

he's been asking questions like why the foot soldiers just appear out of the ground?   ..or how is that he can play as Leonardo on a continue when only mike and don were "sent back in time"?  ..or why does it just suddenly become night when i turn off the light in mario's bedroom?


i remember the car headlight one.  that just felt awkward as a gameplay moment because what you had to do was the opposite of the visual queues.  ..but the rest feels over-complainy.   it was fun.
First half was sometimes boring with the slow movement speed, second half was fun imo. 7/10 on my full range scale.

Maybe the devs don't want people thinking this deeply about it, but almost every reviewer did.

EDT:

On further thought, the "it's just a game" concept is a great disservice to the industry. Many games are simple entertainment and there's nothing wrong with that, but others really care about deeper meaning and artistic expression. If they attempt something greater, surely criticisms of their failures are warranted.

kitler53

were they attempting "something greater" though?   its been a long time so maybe i'm just forgetting but i don't remember any significant attempt to tell any deep story.  if anything the game went out of it's way to not say anything much at all.  i just see different "zones" that support the changes to the gameplay.   it's basically no different then asking why does a game transition from forest to desert so abruptly?  ...because its a new level.
          

Legend

were they attempting "something greater" though?   its been a long time so maybe i'm just forgetting but i don't remember any significant attempt to tell any deep story.  if anything the game went out of it's way to not say anything much at all.  i just see different "zones" that support the changes to the gameplay.   it's basically no different then asking why does a game transition from forest to desert so abruptly?  ...because its a new level.
The game definitely attempts something greater or uses mystery boxes to sell itself as something greater. For example the lab in the game is actually the fourth lab, and the previous zones are the ruins of the first three.





But here is a quote from a developer that that specifically states it's exactly what I concluded lol. Different devs fought to include their own concepts.

"The idea is still is that people can get whatever interpretation they want. And I know that [in Inside] some of the artists even put in small hints here and there to what they maybe wanted to tell in the story but it's there for you to just basically interpret yourself. What happened? I don't know. We only take two different pieces of logic, and then by putting them together, we create maybe a new sort of logic people can interpret. We had different ways we liked to think about what the game was."

Inside Inside. An exclusive look into the creation of… | by Jeremy Hosking | Medium

the-pi-guy

Spoiler for Hidden:
<br><div class="quoteheader">Quote</div><blockquote class="bbc_standard_quote">Yet tons of scientists die! If the scientists know what is going to happen exactly how it will happen, why the heck are they in the way? <br></blockquote><div class="quotefooter"></div>Those are the meeseeks scientists. <br><br><div class="quoteheader">Quote</div><blockquote class="bbc_standard_quote">Why would random employees know where to be to guide you, yet the CEO and other employees know nothing?</blockquote><div class="quotefooter"></div>It&#39;s a mutiny. They&#39;re trying to take over the company. <br>


/s never actually played.

Legend

Best video I've found for Inside, and it somehow only has 628 views.






I try to play games as a pacifist so a lot of this didn't work for me, but I really love it if this is what Playdead was going for. When I played I was immediately horrified I'd have to kill chickens to progress, so I was relieved and confused when they survived.