Inner Chains Screenshot 1
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Inner Chains

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

I'm compelled to write this review by the "Mixed" overall rating.
It's baffling for me how low the ratings are for this title, on Steam and even on Metacritic, where the 40/100 score is an average of the so-called "critic" reviews.
Inner Chains is a slow paced FPS focused on exploration: the gunplay is limited, the levels huge and astonishingly detailed, the enemies carefully placed.
The game unravels through four chapters (plus a fifth, introductory, chapter), each played in the course of a single, enormous, level; this is both beneficial and a serious problem. The obvious benefit is giving the player the possibility of having different perspectives on the locations, going through certain areas then seeing them again, several minutes later, from the distance; the downside is a severe impact on the performances. I decided to test this game on a rig that could have been realistic during 2017-18: an i7 7700k equipped with 16Gb of RAM and an Aorus 2070 Xtreme; the game was running on an SSD. The graphic options are minimalistic, as we can choose only Low to High details, the window mode, the resolution, and a few other options such as Anti-Aliasing (on or off), V-Sync, Motion Blur, Film Grain and Chromatic Aberration. I was running Inner Chains in 1920x1080, turning off only Film Grain had the effect of making the game struggling to keep stable above 30fps, averaging 40, with peaks in the low 20's it was rare to hit 60fps. When you get into the game and explore a level, you realise that this has probably little to do with poor optimisation, rather with the size of the levels.
The visual aspect of the game is the most interesting thing, curated by the art directory Sebastian StrzaƂkowski, it reminds of the work of Hans Giger; as previously stated the attention to the detail is maniacal, every little bit of the world the player goes through has been carefully crafted. From the 3D objects to the textures, the lightning effect, the sounds and the placement of enemies and items. The only thing breaking the immersion is the music that plays during a fight: it's always the same track, ends too much after the last enemy around has died, and doesn't really add much to the game, but breaks the mood with the rest of the soundtrack, which isn't bad per se but lacks a more harmonious blend with the fighting sequences.
Regarding the items, Inner Chains features a total of three weapons plus a melee attack (which will keep us company from start to finish, considered how weapons tend to overheat rather quickly), each weapon has an upgrade that unlocks a secondary fire mode, that is more powerful at the cost of requiring more ammunition; the upgrades, as the weapons, will be found laying around, but it will require a careful exploration to make sure not to miss any of the upgrades. Instead of ammunition, these strange-looking weapons work with energy, which the player can absorb from altars scattered around; this energy serves both the purpose of refilling the related weapon and to heal the player.
Although there are no difficulties where to choose from, the game feels fairly balanced, being not excessively easy while still offering a challenge due to how clunky the movements are: our hero moves slowly and has a short breath, as after every few seconds spent sprinting he will start panting and will need a few moments to regain his breath.
What is most striking is how the artists managed to blend the UI for the health and ammunition left on the character and the weapons, so that during the game we always have both on sight, while avoiding an ugly (for how well designed) hud, that breaks our immersion.
The movements feel slow to the point of being tedious sometimes, however this is still part of the design and of a carefully balanced equilibrium. The game isn't long, most people will take 4-5 hours to finish it, perhaps 6-7 exploring every bit of it, which is an activity that pays back with beautifully crafted views, definitely worth the extra time spent exploring.
The artificial intelligence is rather remarkable for its low quality but this is something we shouldn't pay too much attention, as the game focuses on exploration rather than gunfights. The latter are there only to keep the player busy and give a bit of a challenge between exploration sessions. Whoever jumps into this game expecting a classic (or even console style) FPS, has the wrong kind of expectation and will be left disappointed. However, Inner Chains is, still, a remarkable FPS.
If you need ratings:
Graphic: 9/10
Sound: 8/10
Longevity: 5/10
Gameplay: 6/10
Overall 7/10
Inner Chains a game that still tries to be original and to be a breath of fresh air in the FPS scene, with a peculiar art style and many other niche ideas that contribute to make this game a small gem. It is by no means perfect but it's worth a ride through.

Review from Steam

The game is plagued with technical problems (e.g., poor performance and sound glitches). Also, the gameplay is simply not very interesting, and it only takes about 2-4 hours to finish. All that being said, if you can get it on a deep discount, I think the art design is unique enough to warrant a quick playthrough.

Review from Steam

This is coming from a person who wasn't involved with the Kickstarter, nor has had any hype prior to its release. In fact, I only recently learned of this game. I have some vague memories of seeing bits of the trailer a long time ago, but that's about it.
Speaking of the trailer, apart from nonsensical, monotone ramblings of the narrator, it doesn't really have to do anything with the game. That might be one of the reasons why people generally dislike it.
The story is told to you through narration, which brings me back to the narrator... don't expect to learn anything about the story or lore of this game. The narration is not only boring, it is also very cryptic and like I already mentioned the trailer (or intro) has little to do with the actual game. It mentions the "Hydra" and something that was born at the dawn of consciousness, but the game never goes back to it, so don't worry about it. After the intro, the narrator delivers the same boring speech at the beginning of each chapter, and each time it tells you close to nothing. Your best shot at giving this game any narrative is to look at the environments and make your own theories about the world.
As a matter of fact, looking at the environment is one of the most enjoyable aspects of the game. The game is just stunning at times. It's all heavily inspired by H.R Giger and the world captures the feeling of his artworks very well. The Graphics overall look great even by today's standards, with only some models being a little blurry. The Visuals are the main draw of this game.
The Audio on the other hand is not great, not only the audio spikes and the fact that zombie enemies death noise has no direction and plays all around you making you think that you're surrounded, but also the soundtrack. The Soundtrack is extremely generic, I don't think I can remember even a single distinct part about it.
The Gameplay is Serviceable, you have fists, arc gun, flame gun, and gun gun. They all feel pretty satisfying to use and all have unlockable alt fire mode, for arc gun it's the energy ball of death, for flamer its fireball and for the gun it's a shotgun. In order to replenish ammo and health, you have special fleshy stations that refill both at once. When you run out of ammo (and with the amount of tentacles you're going tu burn, you will run out of flamer ammo) you can still fire at the cost of your health, quite fitting for a biopunk game. The game introduces new enemies at a good pace, and they're pretty varied, but not very unique. For example, you have the "big flamethrower guy" whose fuel tank of course exploads as you shoot it.
One more interesting mechanic in this game is falling. Falling doesn't deal damage, it deals death, because no matter how short of a ledge you think this is, it will always be too tall, and your fragile femural bones will snap like twigs as you attempt a daredevil worthy, dangerous manoeuvre of descending from a 2 ft tall elevation.
When you're not shooting cool guns or breaking bones for fun, you're going to explore the environments, and doing so is quite nice. You have collectibles in the form of alphabet letters, which fuels my theory that the game itself is actually an epic retelling of a story about a kindergarten child, trying to learn how to read.
On the negative side, this game has a bossfight... on the positive side, you don't have to beat the boss in order to get all the achievements. Trust me, you're not missing any story details.
The first chapter is one of the worst introductions to a videogame I've ever seen, I played through it fully expecting to drop it and go to the store page to leave a negative review saying something unconstructive like "game bad, I go to bed". Instead, I am writing something unconstructive but much longer while living a positive review. Once the game reaches chapter 2 it gets better.
I rate it as "I bought it cheap and had no expectations"/10