Prepare As We Enter Into Limbo
LIMBO is a game that is both very familiar, and almost completely alien upon picking it up all at once. Like its spiritual forefather Mario that came before it, you arrive in a strange new world preceded by no tutorials, cutscenes, or advice of any kind. Given that this is a platformer you know it is almost inevitable that you will wind up moving to the right, but don't be surprised if you find yourself hesitating before taking those first tentative steps.
Where as the Mushroom Kingdom was a colorful, musical land, full of whimsy that almost begged to be explored, the world of LIMBO is aesthetically its polar opposite. The forest and industrial areas where the game takes place are totally devoid of colour, and there is no traditional soundtrack in place to speak of. The stark yet visually pleasing black and white palette, is backed only by the sounds of flies buzzing, feet scampering, and the occasional snap of a bear trap or any number of various devices scattered about to hinder your progress.
With these minimalistic graphics the game manages to create a style all its own and the atmosphere is unmatched by and unlike any other video game available on the market... at least for the first half of the game that is. You see you spend the beginning of the game in a creepy forest where death looms around every corner, whether in the form of a giant spider who's hunting you down, or fellow children who seem to want nothing more than to string up your corpse. It is in the games initial hours where the it artistically shines the most, and it comes as little surprise that these were the locales they chose to show in promotions as the game changes it's scenery, replacing the forest with a generic industrial setting.
To the games credit, it's not as if the second half of the game is actually weak enough to fault on it's own. In fact speaking quite honestly you could argue that the second half of the game is when LIMBO is at the top of its game technically speaking as the puzzles are at their most brilliant requiring you to manipulate gravity itself in order to reach your destinations.
However it is in the first act of the game where art, gameplay, and sound are merged perfectly to create an experience unlike any other, with an example being the very first death you are likely to encounter. To actually detail what this encounter is would be to take away from the experience for those yet to play but that's just a testament to the simple brilliance the game regularly employs. The game also recieves credit for making giant spiders scary again, because I will say that the tenacious bugger who chases after you for a portion of the game is easily it's standout character.
Controlling LIMBO is easy as a dream and simple to explain to even the most casual of gamers. You jump, you grab, and you run and frankly LIMBO manages to due more with those 3 simple controls than most games manage to use with every button on the controller (and this is with the majority of games employing a "do it all button" nowadays). It is gaming at it's purest essence and it is executed perfectly.
With all my praise and gushing over the title like a school girl, you must think that LIMBO has no flaws and thats not exactly the whole truth. Coming in at around 4-6 hours on your first playthrough, and considerably less on subsequent runs LIMBO isn't exactly the longest game in the world. Besides for brushing up on Achievements, attempting to climb the leaderboards, or playing it just to relive the brilliant experience there aren't exactly a whole lot of reasons to play through the game multiple times.
All things considered though LIMBO is a game I can't help but to recommend to everybody I know as it is simply a breath of fresh air in an industry full of sequels, shooters, and annual sports titles. It's a a title which possesses tremendous amounts of creativity, polish, and obviously love put into it and all of these things have truly combined into something special. While the game isn't the longest out there, it also leaves you eagerly awaiting Playdeads next title once you're finished. Oh and the sense that you've completed one of the truly great titles of this console generation.
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- Limbo coming to iOS July 3, let a giant shadowy spider nibble on your fingers 0
- LIMbO 2
- Limbo studio's Project 2 "at least two years away" 1
- Limbo Walkthrough 0
- Sony wanted full exclusivity of LIMBO, lost deal 7
- Limbo re-released in physical form with special edition goodies 6
- Just released on PS3 2
- I don't get it... *SPOILER* 13
- Achievements 0