Developer: Telepaths Tree
Inner Chains is a beautiful mess of a first person shooter adventure. The story opens up with a very intriguing opening cinematic, but unfortunately, that’s about all the story you seem to get. You play as a character in this dystopian biomechanial world, and you are on a mission to escape this hostile place. That’s about all of the story that I understood, and the game doesn’t make much else clear. I don’t know if I just somehow missed the entire story while playing, but the opening cinematic felt like the only part of the story to me.
Gameplay wise, the first chapter of the game felt like a surreal walking simulator. Walking around, and pressing tablets, having some bizarre visions, and then moving forward to find the next one. It wasn’t until chapter two that you get weapons, and the action begins.
The weapons were actually interesting, and I liked their functionality. Aside from combat, you also need them to progress through the world by electrifying control consoles that are out of reach, or burning down barriers. Each of the three weapons has its own ammo type that you replenish at the booths found around the levels. Not only do these booths replenish ammo, but your health as well. They were generally positioned well, and frequently enough that you can keep topped up, and not have to worry too much about your overall ammo supply. If you do happen to run out of ammo on one of your weapons, you can still fire it, but you will take health damage for doing it. The weapons will overheat, and go on a short cooldown to keep you from spamming them too much. Overall, the gunplay is alright, it’s not great, but it’s not too bad for the most part.
- opening cinematic is interesting, and done very well
- interesting weapons that you need for both combat and progression through the world
- graphics are excellent: all of the environments look amazing and the stylistic design of the game is fantastic
- the music and ambience are decent enough to enjoy the atmosphere
- performance is atrocious – if it was just minor frame drops here and there, it might be okay, but there are so many times where the game stutters and lags hardcore, to the point where it is briefly unplayable (on max settings using Win10, i7-6700k, 32GB RAM, GTX 1070)
- there are a ton of spots where you can noclip through parts of the terrain, and see through walls; it definitely hurts any sense of immersion that the game might have had
- after the opening cinematic, there doesn’t seem to be any story (or at least not any that was made clear to me)
- [bug] game breaking bug that you can reproduce causing crashes to desktop (in at least one part of the game)
- [bug] during the final boss fight I couldn’t figure out what to do, and the boss wasn’t attacking me, so I climbed up and jumped around the final, skipping the boss entirely, and rolling the credits
- [bug] some issues where the enemies you burn don’t catch on fire
- [bug] you will take damage or die from enemies on the other side of pillars that have no line of sight on you at all (they shoot through some things)
- [bug] some sound effects bug out occasionally and your weapons are silent
- (nitpick) melee attacks are extremely ineffective, and there doesn’t seem to be much point in even trying to punch things
- (nitpick) options menus are seriously lacking, and will not be enough for some people (while others might not care)
- (nitpick) keyboard and mouse controls are not customizable, but most people will be ok with the defaults (WASD, EF, Shift, Crtl, Mouse) – only partial controller support right now
The game took me roughly 3-3.5 hours to get through the game, and I uninstalled immediately, and can’t see any reason to play again.
Inner Chains looks fantastic, but sadly that’s about all the game has going for it. Along with the terrible optimization, there’s also noclip issues, and plenty of bugs. Some small bugs, but others that are game-breaking that ruin any fun you might have had. At this time, I strongly suggest avoiding Inner Chains.