‘Uncertain of his sister’s fate, a boy enters Limbo.’
Limbo is a downloadable, indie adventure/horror game from Playdead. The game follows a young boy searching for his sister in Limbo. That’s it, that’s the base of the whole game, simple and insanely genius. This basic plot turns into the best game I have played all year. Mind boggling puzzles, creepy style and an ending that will play on your mind for hours after, all this from 3-4 hours gameplay and the low cost of £6.99!
Here is the trailer, if you haven’t heard of Limbo you need to take a look:
I’ll start with the visuals and presentation. The graphics on this game are brilliant and won’t need a lot of power to get it running, but it’s more of the style of the game that is amazing. The entire game is done in a silhouette, black/white style that’s as striking as it is creepy and really gives the game the horror edge. It is a prime example that a video-game can be art. There is very little sound in the game, nothing to distract you from the creepy setting and the sounds you do hear just add tension and make you not want to move on. At some points in the game you can hear a kind of industrial drone, similar David Lynch’s film Eraserhead (1977) and gives a real uneasy vibe to whoever is playing.
Gameplay is amazing, I wish it was longer! The puzzles can be really tricky and carry with them the signature style from the game, for example – drag a corpse into a bear trap to set it off so you can continue. There is little interaction with other humans and when there is they just want to kill you, creating more puzzles. In the game you will encounter ‘brain slugs’ - these, once attached to your head will force you to walk in a certain direction, forcing you into danger. The only way to stop this is to get them eaten by another freaky looking monster. The latter parts of the game see you in an industrial setting instead of a Forrest and the deaths become more conventional, like from machine gun turrets. Deaths you ask? Yes you are going to die in this game, over and over but you really feel like you have achieved something when you finally overcome that puzzle, a feeling I haven’t felt in a game for a long time. You really do feel lonely in the world of Limbo, there is no guidance and everything is hostile – it makes a brilliant gaming experience.
To make the review fair I need to go through the games bad points. Some people might not like the ending, I liked it though – it becomes a puzzle in itself. The game could have been a bit longer – would it being longer sacrifice gameplay though? We will never know. The biggest downer on this game then, I suppose is that the controls on the keyboard are locked to the arrows for movement and CTRL for grabbing – once again not a personal problem but some people will miss WSAD on this game.
It’s really no surprise this game racked up so many awards the year it was released, I am so happy now that it has finally hit PC. Better late than never. I honestly cannot praise this game enough, even my girlfriend loved it… so I’ll leave you with a few press accolades
“Limbo is as close to perfect at what it does as a game can get.”10/10 – Destructoid
“The game is a masterpiece.”5/5 – GiantBomb
“Limbo is genius. Freaky, weird genius. Disturbing, uncomfortable genius.”5/5 – The Escapist
“Dark, disturbing, yet eerily beautiful, Limbo is a world that deserves to be explored.”5/5 – Joystiq
Oh yeah, I also want to get a discussion going in the comments below based on the theories of the end of the game. I don’t want to spoil it for anyone but the ending will leave you wondering what has just happened, so please I would love to hear what you think! Thank you.