Limbo is a remarkable creation, one which is probably unique on the market. I’ll assume that all of us had that one night, where we woke up scared in the middle of the night after a nightmare. We don’t know suddenly where we are, and have a bad feeling in our gut. Like the nightmare is still continuing. This is how we should imagine Limbo.
It’s not just a simple platformer, with a few interactive mysteries to solve, but it’s the foundation of the entire gameplay. The puzzle parts are especially thought out, and leave an eerie feeling after them. Thanks to the game’s thought process, the experiences will make us rethink certain things, once we finish The Boy’s adventure
Intersting visuals, with an original atmosphere.
I can easily say that I have not such tenseness in a game for a long time. The sounds, visuals, the play with shadows, will provide such a feeling as if we were in an animation movie. You can forget the traditional 2D display, it provides something more. The black and white silhouettes are well planned, and are animated in a great way. In Limbo the level’s depressing look, and the music themes are entirely upsetting, where some are totally scary yet beautifully woven together to create something pretty.
It was a neat idea by the developers to manipulate the light sources, plus the sounds / music create the atmosphere of the game. By mixing these elements up, it can switch to a nightmarish experience in mere seconds. While progressing through the story, we’ll see that this more than a few magic tricks, and the switching is done intelligently.
The gameplay is simple, clear yet sophisticated
Limbo’s main mechanic is centered on what the game actually lacks. Now this requires a bit of an explanation. The Boy’s movement is done with the left hand stick, there’s also a jump button, and a use button. The latter will have the most important part as that is how we will move around in the game. There are no tricks to learn, or tactic throughout the entire game. Every puzzle is part of the environment, which have to be completed by pure logic.
Some were created with creepy precision, as some of the puzzles you won’t even realizes they are there due to most of them being blended into the environment. Nothing is hidden, or difficult to find, there are no powers up, and all you have to do is solve the puzzles, since they are “right” in front of you. We have to rely on our instincts to complete the game. If we think the answer for the puzzle would not work in real life, try it since in Limbo it will probably work. Movement speed, drop speed, and even the vibration in some levels are important.
This provides a perfect balance between complex puzzles and simple gameplay in a game with gorgeous visuals. Amazing. We have to bring down an object from above, which hangs above our head? Find the way up via platforms and jump on the rope (which snaps) and the item drops to the ground. Need to throw two boxes on each other so you’ll be able to cross a ditch? Throw down one from the moving platforms then slide the other one on it… and myriad of other such puzzles will stand in your way when trying to complete the story.
The best part of Limbo that it’s similar to Mario-Galaxy in terms of design philosophy there’s no central trick or move that defines the game. The Boy moves entirely freely in the environment. Every puzzle requires new ways to tackle them. Limbo is a game that trusts the gamers thought process, as in there are no tutorials that would show us what to do in order to succeed. This creates an interesting connection between the player and The Boy.
It’s a scary game
I must admit that Limbo is one of the weirdest games I have ever played during my career. It’s a well put together, intelligent horror game that has deep themes, and depth. The silhouettes shed light to the lurking horrors, and before I start spoiling something, not everything has to be taken seriously that we see in Limbo. In every corner there is some kind of horrific creature lurking around, and weird shadows in the distance watching us as if they’re about to attack us. Every real attack, and escape is well made, and will be nerve racking. I must say it is a scary game. The paranoia about attacks and dangers are in our head constantly, even if we’re in a calmer part of the game.
We’ll love the story
The story of Limbo is pretty simple. The Boy loses his sister, and enters the world of Limbo to find her. There are no cutscenes or pointless dialogues, subtitles during the game. There is only The Boy, and his adventures, and the details are slowly revealed to us. Limbo speaks for itself with its dark visuals, these represented in dark etheric pictures which are like from a dream. New characters are formed, and seared into our mind, scaring us, then disappearing. Still they leave such an impact hat we will think of them long after they’re gone.
If you like intelligent horror games, or really atmospheric visuals, then you definitely should play Limbo. It’s an immaculate product that is almost perfect. Best played alone and in the dark.
+ Great Atmosphere
+ Original puzzles that do not tire the player to solve them.
+ Interesting and great visuals
– Wish it was longer
– Some parts of platforming are difficult
– Lame achivements
Genres: 2D, platform, action,
Publication: January 2015