As the screen fades up from pitch black into a dark forest at nighttime, and a red-shirted boy who is your avatar tumbles into frame, there is a distinct and deliberate feeling of familiarity; not quite deja vu, but close. This is almost immediately undercut by the realization that you are on the run, and you don’t have time to stand still and get your bearings. Thus, in the first twenty seconds of the game, INSIDE makes it clear that you’re back in Playdead’s world, but the stakes are higher and as familiar as things may seem at first, you won’t be able to rely on your past experiences to survive this journey. This world isn’t just dangerous, it’s actively hunting you, trying to catch you at every single turn.
In the eight years since Limbo’s original release in 2010, which practically seems like another lifetime ago, we’ve seen a great deal of advancement in development philsophies, general gameplay refinements, and graphical fidelity continues to improve year over year at impressive rates. The late 00’s were an exciting time in games, when indie developers were gaining more exposure on bigger platforms and distribution channels were becoming more easily accessible. Moreover, audiences were ready for fresh experiences that experimented with our conceptions about what video games as a medium could be.