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Review: Limbo

Review: Limbo (Xbox Live, PSN, PC):

The Mona Lisa is so much more than just a painting for people who love art. Mozart’s music is so much more than just music for musicians. Limbo is so much more than just a game.

The minute you’ll start playing Limbo you’ll notice that this game is very different from other games. It’s hard to describe this on paper; you really have to play the game to understand. Limbo gives you a feeling that a lot of games fail to give you nowadays. It’s not about complex controls or high definition graphics. It’s about how you feel during the game. Limbo is very simplistic and yet so deep that you won’t be willing to leave this beautiful world.

You’ll notice this simplicity when you look at the graphics. You won’t find high definition 3D structures full of colours in here. Limbo is created entirely in black and white. This gives a vibe that you won’t find any time soon in other games. The world of Limbo is beautiful and is created with a lot of love. Black and white colours don’t mean that the creators didn’t put a lot of details in their world. What they did is the opposite. They created a world so unique in the gaming industry that you’ll just wonder around the first minutes you play Limbo. It’s a very beautiful world but then again, it’s not a safe place to hang out.

Perhaps you could have guessed the world can’t be safe if the name of the game is Limbo, the place you’ll stay before you enter hell. If you want to know the story about the little boy who ended up in Limbo, you can get a little disappointed. There isn’t really a story to be told in this game. You’ll wake up in the middle of Limbo as a little boy. How you arrived at this mysterious place is an unsolved riddle. You won’t receive a clear goal, character background or introduction of the enemies. The story is created by the gamers themselves. Everybody who plays Limbo will create their own ideas about the story and will find their own ways to justify their presence in this dangerous world. They will die a lot of dead doing so, but in the end, the sacrifices will be worth it.

Although the gameplay in Limbo isn’t hard to understand, you will die a lot more than you do in other games. Dying has become an art form in Limbo and there are many ways to do so. You can die by falling in the water, get smashed by a rock, lose your head in a trap and many, many other ways. You’ll mostly die when you’re trying to solve a puzzle using the environment and the little clues that are given to you. That’s what Limbo’s all about, solving puzzles and making your way through the game trying to stay alive.

The puzzles start of very easy; you’ll just have to move a box or a boat for example to reach the other side of the map. The more you play the more complex these puzzles will become. The tricky part is that most of the puzzles look very easy to solve but there’s always a catch you’ll notice too late. When you notice the catch, you’re probably already dead. This gives the puzzle sort of a trial & error feeling, but not in a negative way. It’s what makes Limbo so much fun to play, you’ll never know what to expect, so you’re always walking around trying to anticipate the danger. This feeling of uncertainty is what gives Limbo such a unique vibe.

It’s not only that specific feeling or the unique style of graphics that make Limbo such a unique game, the music plays a very important role in creating that vibe as well. During your stay at Limbo you won’t be able to hear a lot of background noise because there simply isn’t much background music at all. The only thing you will often here are the footsteps of the little boy and the sound effects used for giving away important structures in the environment. Sometimes you’ll hear music playing during the most breath-taking moments of the game. This rare use of music makes the experience much richer than it would be with an overload of music playing every time.

In the end Limbo is a very good game and is definably the best game up for download on the Xbox Live or PSN network. The only downside to this story is that the game isn’t very long; you’ll be able to complete it in three hours’ worth of gameplay. That’s because you’ll have a safe point after each puzzle you solve, you won’t be forced to replay a lot when you die. Don’t let this be a reason however to not play this game. It is by far the most unique game of this generation and needs to be played by a lot of people. I’ll give you my word; you won’t be disappointed at all.

Game Rate: 9.5/10

Got interested in games since I could read. Started with Nintendo but evolved into an all-round gamer. I love all kind of games; triple A games to Indie. If the vibe is right, I'll enjoy playing it.