Games of the Year

Inner Chains

Inner Chains Screenshot 1
Inner Chains Screenshot 2
Inner Chains Screenshot 3
Inner Chains Screenshot 4
Inner Chains Screenshot 5
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An FPS horror game set in a surreal, dark and deadly biomechanical world never seen before. One does not get to set the rules in the world of Inner Chains. Humankind is just a small part of a hostile universe. Want to survive? Discover its secrets. A planet in the distant future. A rock floating in space that is no longer what it had once been. Without human interference, nature has been adapting to the new conditions, reclaiming what was once taken away. In its pursuit of perfection, it began to assimilate with the abandoned technology giving life to biomechanical beings. Left to its own devices, man-made technology has also changed as it tried to adjust to the new environment. A strong symbiosis soon developed between technology and nature. It became difficult to determine what is alive and what is mechanical in the world of Inner Chains.
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Game Discussion

Review by Anonymous
Review from Steam

Opening my eyes, I clearly understood - SHE is calling me! Like many others, I slowly walked to the temple to be stabbed in the name of GOD! No one wanted to repeat the fate of the past generation - whose greed, godlessness and commitment to technology - destroyed the entire planet, reducing it to the state of coal. On which we now live.. But the Goddess promised to bring Us out of the Darkness! And lead us to the Light, through Chaos!
The crowd of living meat was endless. We walked in a constant stream to the temples - like cows to the slaughterhouse.
But suddenly, someone in front was overcome with fear at the sight of his brother's throat being cut in cold blood, and he rushed to run back. Pushing and screaming - he tried to run against the current, which did not even slow down - and to my regret, I met Me on his way. Raising my head, I only managed to see his frightened eyes when the guard fired a dart at his head - and he was dead he fell on me like a load and... Together with him we fell off the platform into the darkness...
Waking up after the fall - I realized that the voice of the Goddess had left me. Now I am a renunciate. Now I am a Heretic. And the only thing that awaits me is death.
Pros:
+ Graphics
+ Great environment
+ Small logic tasks
+ Achievements
+ Optimization
Minuses:
- Action. Shooting, as well as opponents, are entered just so that they are.
- AI opponents. They are rather dumb, but because of this, they can seem unpredictable.
- Search for tablets - to learn the language.
- And following from the previous one: Lack of plot. Since you do not know how to read the hieroglyphs of this world, you will not understand its history for the first passage. Therefore, in order to read the frescoes, you need to play the game twice. There is also no character backstory or purpose. You just move forward, destroying everyone in your path.
- Enemies have the ability to walk through walls
- Boring BOSS.
- Weak ending
- 90% of the time passes in the corridors and catacombs, where everything is uniform.
Total:
A game in which you will spit, stare blankly at the monitor screen - but still reach the final.
A beautiful world, strange creatures and buildings, well-designed levels - they look great for... a walking simulator, or a quest. But to my great regret, we have a shooter - which, according to the idea of ​​the developer, should capture more audience. But here it is done disgustingly! Opponents are stupid, they can strike when they are far from you. Close combat not only uses the keyboard, not the mouse - in addition, a missed blow from the enemy can turn you in the opposite direction. This is especially terrible when you are attacked by a whole horde of opponents.
Also, the opponents have rather small hit boxes and a strange, sometimes random amount of damage received. So you can blow off the head of one enemy - with a shotgun shot, and the second one will have to land a few dozen before he decides to fall to the ground.
I note the terrible idea with the study of the alphabet. Since from the very beginning of the game we meet frescoes on our way that tell us the story of both the world and God. But due to ignorance of the language, the player simply does not understand anything and wanders in a world without a plot. After several such frescoes, I simply stopped being interested in them.
In this connection, we can safely say that the game has no plot. We do not know who we are playing for, for what reason all the inhabitants are sent to the Temples for suicide, why is a woman considered the most important villain in the world? Why, having become a Heretic, do we oppose voluntary death?
As you can see - the players have thousands of questions - but so few answers...
The game will appeal to players who like games in the style of "Agony", "Void" and "Succubus" - here they will find a similar world and about the same gameplay.
If you are seduced by beautiful screenshots and think that you are buying a cool shooter, then I will disappoint you. This is not true.

Review from Steam

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I'm giving this a partial recommendation, almost exclusively because of the artstyle which is heavily inspired by H.R. Giger and Zdzisław Beksiński. The rest of the game is unfortunately not very good, but the scenery was so nice to look at that I played through the whole thing just to see more of it. If you like the style and are a fan of the two artists I mentioned (and/or games like Scorn and The Void), then I'd say Inner Chains is worth picking up if it's no more than $5. It frequently goes on sale for between $1-3 on Fanatical, GamersGate, and Green Man Gaming.
It took me about 6 hours to 100% the game, which involved exploring just about every single path (there's quite a few in some later areas) and finding each hidden letter to be able to decipher the language written on walls. I liked that aspect quite a bit, as well as how large each level was with multiple paths and hidden areas that loop around each other.
I appreciated that there's a decent amount of enemy variety, mainly with the multiple types of weird floor/wall/ceiling tentacle things that were each unique and had different weaknesses. I also enjoyed that the game doesn't hold your hand very much. You get a few journal notes early on explaining the enemies, but they're in an unknown language that you can't read (yet) so you can only go by the drawings in said notes.
Now that I've mentioned the positives, let's get into the negatives:
As I said, the visuals of this game are what almost entirely carry it, because the rest of the game is a bit of a mess. The combat is... mediocre. It's not terrible, but human enemies feel a bit spongy (excluding the flamethrower) and the AI is really basic. They just move towards you and fire, unless they get stuck on the environment.
The story is.. okay? I understood it all by the end, it's decent but a bit shallow. We don't get to learn much about how the world works. I would've loved to have known more about the massive structure in the distance, or the strange tower crane-like things, but it's obvious that the developers wanted to leave a lot of this world mysterious, and that's fine. The story just doesn't have a ton going on.
I'm gonna be blunt, it also doesn't help that the person voicing the narration is downright terrible. Distractingly so.
What was even more distracting was the horrible performance. I played this on a 3080/i7 9700K, yet the game was often struggling to get over 40-50fps. It fluctuates and drops constantly, and I think this is because of how large each level is.
My last complaint is how buggy it can be. Judging by older reviews it's better than it was at launch, but I still had my fair share of issues. I had to restart from checkpoints occasionally due to either my guns no longer firing or a door not opening after killing an enemy, but thankfully checkpoints are frequent. As I mentioned earlier it wasn't uncommon to see enemies get stuck on objects and the environment, and the same goes for yourself, There's some areas (almost all in the last chapter) where there's little invisible walls on the floor and you have to jump to get over them. Nothing gamebreaking, but frustrating.
Anyway, TL;DR: Overall it was an alright experience, heavily carried by how nice the game looks graphically and stylistically, and the large levels with multiple paths. If you like the look of this game, then it's worth a playthrough for less than $5, and it'll last you a good 6~ hours (depending on long you spend taking screenshots of all the pretty areas, of course).

Review from Steam

Carrion corpse come chosen champion causes chaos, carnage and catastrophe to a corrupt cult.

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