18+,  Adventure,  Horror,  Indie,  PS5,  Reviews

The Beast Inside Review

Reading Time: 7 minutes

Fast Facts

The Beast Inside

Developer: Illusion Ray S.A.
Publisher: Movie Games S.A.
Website: https://www.beastinsidegame.com/
Genre(s): Horror, Adventure
Platform: PlayStation 5 (also available for the PlayStation4, Xbox One and Series X and PC)
Release Date: 2/11/2022
Price: £19.99

A code was provided for review purposes

I had no idea what to expect when I grabbed The Beast Inside. However, it was classed as a horror game, and that was enough for me to be interested. Boy, was I not prepared for the game that lay ahead of me. Now, with the credits rolling before my eyes, I am feeling a strange combination of emotions. Find out why exactly by reading this rapid review. 

External woodland scene with a directional signpost and dense trees.
Which way should I go?

Two Games in One?

The Beast Inside makes no attempt to hide the fact that you control two separate characters. What did take me some time to get used to was the vast difference between the two storylines. In one, you are in the 1800s trying to solve a mystery about your family largely revolving around your abusive father. The other is in the 1960s, and you’re a man moving house with your pregnant wife. Yes, the first chapter sees you carrying boxes, painting a wall and searching the attic. Imagine my surprise when suddenly I was a code-cracking secret agent being chased by Russian spies. 

The link between the two centred around the house and surrounding area and diary fragments left behind by the other character. It is not until the end of the penultimate chapter that the two storylines truly converge. 

external shot of the main house featured in The Beast Inside
The classic look of a horror house

A Bit of a Headscratcher

I really enjoyed The Beast Inside. It was a fun game and highly memorable. However, it was far from perfect. The main complaint I have is that the game seemed unable to settle on its own identity. It was a stealthy survival game and a puzzle-solving game. It was a shooter and, at times, a partial platformer. Essentially, it tried to be everything, and to be fair; it managed it quite well. 

However, I feel the game could have been even better had they doubled down on just a couple of areas. The combat in the game was random and pointless. You find a gun, and for the most part, it’s a slow and sluggish affair. Then, suddenly, at the ‘boss fight,’ suddenly firing is a much quicker and more fluid affair. However, after that, you never touch a gun again. 

While the game never seemed to settle on a single style, I must say that the team did a good job of keeping the changes separate. Chapters played differently, and there was rarely any confusion within each section as to how the game was to be played.

Derelict attic at The Beast Inside home
What better place to explore than an attic?

A Good Look With Smooth Gameplay 

I am not a graphics snob, but I do expect a game to play smoothly. I was very impressed with The Beast Inside in this regard. The game looked great. It wasn’t a hyper-realistic experience, but half the time, I don’t want that. I enjoy the escapism offered by playing something that is obviously computer generated. 

What I was really impressed with in The Beast Within was the game’s fluidity. Everything from the character movements and background interactions were smooth, even when running. While it may seem trivial, the running in this game was fast. Too many games settle for running to be a slightly hurried walk. Despite there being times when lots was going on, I never encountered any frame rate drops or performance issues. 

Squeezing through a blood stained basement.
Should I be worried about my basement?

Two Good Games or One?

For 90% of its story, The Beast Inside plays as two very separate games. Both were interesting and enjoyable. Yet, it is only after you see the credits roll and you’ve had a good cup of tea and a nap that you truly appreciate the game as a singular entity. 

I enjoyed the experience of playing through two different eras and seeing the clever changes in the more modern storyline based on my actions in the earlier time period. Because these two storylines have so little connection, I spent most of my playthrough thinking about how each of them would make a good game in their own right. As I mentioned earlier, the storylines only truly connect in the final chapter, and there’s very little in the way of gameplay at this point. 

I really enjoyed the game as I played it. However, I couldn’t shake the disjointed feeling of chasing Russian spies one minute to being chased by a top-hat and mask-wearing butcher the next. The way it came together and how the game ended is my biggest bugbear with The Beast Inside.

The game falls into the trap so many others have fallen for and taken an overused and much-abused horror trope as their ending. I won’t give it away, but you will most likely work it out for yourself. That said, the storyline set back in the 1800s feels well-rounded despite my personal opinion on the style of ending. The second storyline, while something I worked out earlier, feels rushed and leaves a lot unexplained. 

Burning hotel as a boss fight backdrop in The Beast Inside
Hotel was too warm. 1 star would not recommend!

Code Cracking Done Right

The main puzzle aspect of the game plays out in the 1960s storyline. Your character is a government agent who is working on cracking codes used by the Soviets. Armed with a cypher tool, you need to solve various puzzles in the game by solving the code using the clues provided. While these puzzles are not overly complex, they were fun and had me reaching for a pen and paper in order to keep track. 

There are also lock boxes scattered throughout the game that contain lore-building documents. These boxes are also protected by a coded password. These puzzles played out in three parts. First, you needed to find the boxes which were scattered through the stages. Second, you needed to find the clue to cracking the code. Third, crack the code and get your prize! 

Code cracking tool used for gameplay in The Beast Inside
Crack the code if you want to live!

A Rather Unique Cave System

During the middle of the game, you find yourself trapped in a cave system. I really enjoyed this part, especially the puzzle-infused approach you need to take in order to escape. Again, it wasn’t necessarily difficult, but it added an extra dimension to gameplay that could otherwise have been rather bland and formulaic. I must add, however, that evading the miners was a little too simple and removed some of the tension I think the team were hoping for. 

The game was filled with ghosts and other strange creatures. However, the caves stand out as a rather unique location. I won’t give it away as that contributes to the puzzle. This doesn’t really fit with what comes before or after, and yet, it works. It shouldn’t do, but it does. 

Bloody torture chamber inside a hotel room.
Ooooh this hotel has themed rooms!

Over Reliant on Jump Scares

Jump scares are great when done right. Sadly, The Best Inside certainly, for the first half of the game, leaned so heavily into jump scares they became boring. A well-timed jump scare can really put the wind up you, but for some reason, The Beast Inside missed the mark on this. I’m not even sure of the thought process behind it because the scares themselves were not overly too frequent but also completely pointless. 

None of the jump scares had any impact on the story or the way you played the game. Open a cupboard, boom, a ghost jumps out, and it is gone. Never to be seen again or even mentioned. They felt like an afterthought. While The Beast Inside was engaging, it was never truly scary beyond a few nice moments. I can’t help but wonder if the jump scares were added in after the main game was done as a means of trying to add some edge-of-your-seat tension and uneasiness. I am glad they tailed off as the game went on. 

Scene of a main character cutting himself free from handcuffs in The Beast Inside horror game.
Excuse me, can you give me a hand?

A Game That Gets Better Upon Reflection 

I enjoyed playing The Beast Inside. There were times when I was a bit frustrated with the lack of direction with things, and there were sections that I thought were a bit too long-winded and uneventful. However, overall, it was an enjoyable experience. Then the credits rolled, and a few days passed. I reflected on the game before sitting down to write this article and realized I had started to like the game more and more. 

There is a lot to enjoy in The Beast Inside, and while it is far from perfect, it is a game that I feel may be even better the second time around. Much like the Sixth Sense movie, knowing what is happening helps you pay attention to the smaller details you overlook the first time around. 

screen showing the lock picking process.
The lockpicking mechanic was simple but fun

Final Thoughts on The Beast Inside

The Best Inside is a strong game. It’s fun to play and offers plenty to see and do. It’s not consistently good all the way through and has a few patches that were a little strenuous to play. However, on the whole, it’s a fast and furious game that I enjoyed and would consider playing again in search of that platinum trophy. 

The dev team at Illusion Ray have two titles announced on their website, The Beast Inside II and Lightmare, both of which sound like fun games and are going straight onto my watchlist. 

Rapid Reviews Rating

4 out of 5


You can buy your copy of The Beast Inside from the PlayStation store today. 

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