You rise and shine in a forest, the world around you is a mix of black, gray, and white. Armed with nothing but your own courage, you must begin your extremely far-fetched journey without any knowledge of how you arrived to your current location, or where your final resting-place is. All you know is that you must face the fear of the unknown and continue onward.
[spoiler intro=”Definition” title=”Limbo”]A little bit of background if you didn’t know. Many christians used to believe and still do believe that if a child dies before it is baptized, then it goes to a place between heaven and hell called ‘Limbo’.[/spoiler]
Limbo was originally developed and published by Playdead Games for Xbox Live Arcade (you know, for the Xbox 360?) and released almost an entire year ago on July 21st, 2010. The gamereceived universal praise and was hailed as a shining example of video games as a valid art form. It’s proof of the fact that Indie developers rock, and in my opinion deserve way more credit (where credit is due)!!
At its core, Limbo is a platformer combined with many puzzles throughout the experience. Playdead Games injected a plethora of robust puzzle physics that keep the experience mostly fresh through the 3 to 5 hour romp that is Limbo (depending on how many times you plan to die, or not, on your journey). There is no dialogue in Limbo and the only characters other than the child you play as are a hostile group of silent children that you never truly have an opportunity to interact with. The graphics here are utterly beautiful as the black and white old time feel gives an eerie sense of hidden danger to the game and keeps you focused on what is before you on screen.
Limbo is a game for those who like to be challenged–constantly. To progress in the game, you’ll need to think creatively and find seemingly impossible solutions. Oftentimes, though, finding the solution is not the hardest part– carrying them out is. Many of the puzzles require precise timing (down to the last second), and even if you’ve successfully made it through before you won’t always nail it the first (or the thirteenth) time. When you do finally make it through, you are greeted by yet another seemingly impossible task. And then another. And another. And after that? A bit of peace and quiet… and then ANOTHER!
The sound design is similarly minimalist, with very little music heard throughout the game, so the primary noise comes from the boy’s own footsteps. When another sound does invade the silence, it is immediately followed by a sense of dread for the player, as whatever is coming can probably kill you and ALSO wants to do just that.
Limbo shines most in its amazing story that doesn’t come together until the very end, which I shall not spoil (and that is open to many different interpretations and opinions). With the play time of Limbo, a $15 price tag may not appeal to most as many have criticized the vague ending of Limbo as a let down to the time invested in the experience. The flow of the game starts of strong at the beginning but tends to slow down in the middle, not really speeding up until the final sequences of the game. Though if one had to choose between the Xbox 360 version or the Playstation 3 version, one should go with the latter for Playdead Games added a very hidden level hidden level to the Playstation 3 version of Limbo: a ridiculously challenging experience that is enough to provoke a fist-fight with you and television. Turn up your TV volume as high as possible or you won’t have a fighting chance. On the other hand the 360 version has a leaderboard and extra hidden eggs but for me the extra level (and trophy) is a better deal.
Simply put, Limbo is a title that deserves to be played by everyone. It really is more than just a game; it’s an experience unlike anything else. If you’re still unsure then you can always try the demo first, but every gamer owes it to himself to at least try this game.
We’ll soon have a giveaway for Limbo (your chance to have your little own piece of black and white pre-hell for toddlers!) so be sure to stay with us!
[review pros= “Artistic and creepy
You won’t see any other game like LIMBO
Ace says yes to Indie games” cons= “Game can get stale at moments
$14.99 is a bit too much
– Game was completed before writing this review
– Total amount of time played: 8 hours.
– This review is based on a retail copy of the PS3 version of LIMBO provided by Playdead Games.
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