Review: LIMBO

While most modern video games aim for a realistic appearance with intense detail and a wide colour pallet, LIMBO takes a simpler approach by using only black and white on a 2-D plain. While keeping the appearance simple, it still manages to deliver making this another great Summer of Arcade title. The most common complaint about LIMBO is that for 1200 Microsoft Points, 3-4 hours of gameplay is not enough. While this may be a problem for some, this seems to just be a cover up for the real fault in LIMBO.

When you begin LIMBO you awaken in the forest with no explanation to how you got there. The silhouette art style is fantastic, specifically when you see the sunlight streaming between the trees in the background, or when the blades of grass sway as you walk through it. With almost no sounds except the thud of your footsteps, the rustle of the grass and occasionally the sound of animals, you can’t help but feel helpless in this lonely and mysterious forest.

With no direct story telling seen at all in LIMBO, it was a unique experience to put together the events and try to make sense of it all. As you keep moving right you will encounter some puzzles or obstacles that you need to get around. Even though all you can do is jump, climb and grab, the puzzles can be very challenging for the experienced or people who play casually.

When you die in LIMBO it can be quite gruesome and unexpected, but after a while it doesn’t have the same impact as it did initially. My favourite part about LIMBO being a puzzle-platformer is that it puts the puzzle solving before the platforming. When you get passed the obstacles in LIMBO, it was because you figured out how to do it, opposed to just constant trial and error.

When I reached the end of this adventure, I was left somewhat unsatisfied with how it wrapped up. Although some more levels would have been appreciated, I was most disappointed with why it ended very quickly and abruptly, leaving a lot of questions unanswered. It’s unclear if they will make a sequel to LIMBO, but there are some things that I felt were so important to the story, but weren’t addressed at all.

While it lasts,LIMBO is a unique game that takes something simple and creates an atmosphere that most games can’t even accomplish in a 3-D environment. With the absence of direct storytelling, it is left to the player to interpret what is going on in this shaded world. The satisfaction of solving a complex puzzle is amazing, but all your efforts and time spent reaching the end might leave you disappointed. If you are interested in LIMBO but are hesitant because of the amount of content for 1200 MS points, don’t be because LIMBO is definitely worth it.