2.13.2012

Limbo Review


Limbo (PC, 2011)

And so the unnamed protagonist(?), with signature glowing eyes, is faced with a series of puzzles and obstacles throughout multiple levels, which scale nicely in difficulty. Limbo starts with simple "traps" to dodge, but eventually you'll be facing gravity changers and magnets. While they never get mindbreakingly difficult, the harder ones required both a blend of planning and timing. Even then, expect to die a lot. Sometimes you just can't help it, some of the traps require quite a bit of anticipation to dodge; but since there are no life counters and the restore points are fairly generous, I also found that caution just wasn't necessary though. I laughed a few times on some particular deaths because in hindsight, the traps were so deviously obvious.

Limbo looks really nice and despite really a simple control scheme (movement + one action button), the main character is responsive and item manipulation surprisingly intuitive, kind of like Little Big Planet. The black and white scheme gives the game a distinct look, while lighting and music help to reflect the pacing of the current situation. The sound is surprisingly ambient, and I found that audio cues bailed me out quite often throughout the game.

The main downside is that the story is really lacking and inconsistent, and there's no context for what you're doing throughout the game and why things exist the way the do. The primal, wilderness feel of the beginning of the game transforms itself into an industrial, factory-like atmosphere towards the end, and the props change to match - going from bear traps to machine guns. I kind of preferred the morbid first few chapters because they really fit into the title; the latter levels, while more complex, seemed more standard madhouse styled rather than adhering to its initial setting.

The overall package just lacks that next level intensity and the novelty of the game wears down as it progresses.

Completion Time: 3 Hours (just right).
Rating: 5 out of 10 (average).
Final Words: Limbo is a simple platformer when one doesn't feel like watching a movie.

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