|The Beast Inside|
|Developer||Illusion Ray Studio|
|Publisher||Movie Games S.A., PlayWay S.A.|
|release date||October 2019|
|Genre||Horror, adventure game|
The past year 2019 turned out to be rich in various horror films, among which the remake of Resident Evil 2 became the main diamond. Small studios also pleased us, in particular, we can note the Bloober Team with the terrible game Blair Witch. Among the variety of indie projects, there were also not very famous games that definitely deserve attention. These include The Beast Inside from Illusion Ray Studio.
The events of the game unfold in two time periods. One story takes place at the height of the Cold War, when the protagonist and his pregnant wife go to a distant backwoods, take a break from the hustle and bustle and tidy up the old family house a little. The introduction famously plays on the contrast, hinting at a certain maniac, and then shows a sweet idyll of a couple in love.
Initially, The Beast Inside resembles numerous “walking simulators” and unpretentious adventure games. We study the house, look at various objects, and carry out simple tasks. But from the first minutes it is clear that the atmosphere of peace and tranquility is a prelude. At some point, while looking for a can of paint in the attic, there is a cache with a diary from the 19th century, and this sends us back to the events of the past.
The second story protagonist returns to the same house after the death of his father. And now the familiar mansion looks very gloomy. All around is darkness, barely dispersed by rare candles, and strange silhouettes flicker outside the windows. The Beast Inside turns into a real horror that skillfully builds up the atmosphere and scares with sudden screamers. And after the lyrical beginning, all this hits the nerves quite well, where even the simplest tricks make you shudder. After that, we return to the future again and proceed to more prosaic things.
Such an artistic device with two parallel narratives turns out to be very successful. The authors skillfully play on contrasts and stir up interest in what is happening, throwing up new mysteries and unexpected plot twists. Before us are two independent lines that have common features, and both stories will eventually be woven together.
The hero from the past is increasingly immersed in a maelstrom of mystical madness with bloody murders and ghosts. And along the way, it raises doubts about his mental health. A hero from the 20th century is trying to sort through old records and finds, suddenly discovering suspicious faces near his house. And this results in a line of espionage and conspiracies, which also gives rise to doubts about the perception of reality. The Beast Inside has a lot of familiar motifs, right down to the obvious references in the names of the characters. But everything is played interestingly, and attention to the plot is kept until the very end.
The game develops not only in terms of plot, it constantly offers new game elements. This is not only a banal study of locations and frightening images emerging from the darkness. Sometimes you need to track down, catch up with someone or run away from danger yourself. It comes to direct collisions with QTE moments and shooting. The game looks quite diverse and eventful against the background of the usual indie horror, although some action moments are done crookedly.
Among the controversial elements can be considered the presence of a quantum analyzer. A fictitious device helps to find traces of a recent presence, through which it is necessary to eliminate various quantum anomalies. An absolutely incredible thing that does not fit into the overall narrative, but successfully complements the gameplay and allows you to move the action forward. There are other conventions that seem odd, but they complement the gameplay well too.
The problems of the game include poor technical performance. The clumsy animation of the wife spoils the perception of romantic moments. And other characters often resemble pinocchio. It can be seen that we have a budget project. But the authors skillfully hide the flaws, compensating for this with the staging and atmosphere. At the same time, the movements of the character himself and the gestures of his hands are carefully recreated.
Riddles are an important part of the game. These are not banal actions with objects, but full-fledged puzzles. You need to match records and crack codes to decipher messages and find a solution. The puzzles are complex, but interesting, because they are based on clear logic. And this is perfectly inscribed in the context, since one of the heroes is a decoder. Their decision gives a certain pleasure, although in the end everything is too complicated. And at some stage, I had to resort to a walkthrough guide, since the general logic of building puzzles was already lost.
The beauty of The Beast Inside is the combination of different elements. This is a gradual immersion in an intricate plot, which is replaced by frightening moments in a gloomy mansion. These are manipulations with surrounding objects and intricate puzzles, hide and seek in dark corridors and creepy bloody scenes with a mysterious maniac.
The game is based on the Unreal Engine 4 engine. The picture is not bad, there are nice landscapes with rich lighting. But there is not enough realism, the environment seems plastic. Forest locations suffer from coarse background detail.
System requirements are comparable to other games based on Unreal Engine 4. In this case, we can also highlight the high memory requirements. For clarity, we tested different AMD and NVIDIA video cards at 1920×1080 and 2560×1440 resolutions. The test configuration is described in the review “Games against video cards 5”.
At 1920×1080, there is a huge difference between the GeForce GTX 1060 with different memory sizes. For this mode, the game needs at least 4 GB of video memory, and preferably more. In general, NVIDIA solutions dominate, which noticeably outperform their direct competitors.
At 1440p resolution, the GeForce RTX 2060 Super, Radeon RX 5700 XT and higher models will provide high performance.
The Beast Inside is a great budget horror game. The game does not have the best technical performance, animation and graphics. But rich storytelling with an interesting storyline and a constant combination of different actions make the game a good virtual adventure. There is nothing super original here, but the authors skillfully combine familiar mechanics, masterfully catch up with the atmosphere, and even banal screamers are well placed. The game quickly addictive and holds interest well until the end. The Beast Inside will definitely appeal to connoisseurs of the genre. But the puzzles can be a hurdle for those who prefer more fast-paced, action-packed games.