Confession: Ive never played Limbo before, I missed it for some reason on XBLA and then didn’t seek it out on any of the other platforms I own, it wasn’t until Microsoft dished it out to Xbox One early adopters that I decided to sit down and play the high acclaimed Limbo and I’m glad I did.
A story of a young boy in the midst of some sort of maggot-induced apocalypse looking for his sister Limbo is a really wonderful game. The art style immediately stands out, the black, white and grey shaded imagery combined with eerie minimalistic sound is really distinct and comes across well, the game oozes in atmosphere.
The gameplay itself is pretty basic not that I find it a problem, you can walk, jump or grab stuff stuff, I always find it interesting how games which use so few buttons still manage to provide a decent challenge with their puzzles (I felt this way about Unmechanical Extended too) and the puzzles in Limbo are very good. Some are more challenging than others, as is usually the way they get harder towards the end of the game but they’re incredibly well designed as the whole game is.
It has a decent amount of variety in what you do, the sections themselves are pretty short and self-contained but it fits together really well.
I liked how the world was presented, I enjoy being told things in the story of games but I also don’t mind just seeing what the world is, how the story is told by the surroundings, the darkness of the game and its style. Its very gruesome in the way the main character can die, having the maggots used as a gameplay mechanic at times by having them burrowing into your head was very dark and nicely done, its a game and world you want more of.
Limbo isn’t especially long I got through it a few hours there are 40 chapters in all but thats not to it detriment, short yes but a great experience that is really one of those must play things in gaming to experience the atmosphere and whats been created for yourself. The game maintains a steady pace of difficulty in the beginning, focusing on the imagery and setting the scene for the dark and horrible world which makes up its setting but as you go towards the conclusion you’ll find it becomes a deeper puzzle platformer to add more depth to go with the style.
A particular highlight for me was early on is your fights with a spider which is very satisfying to go up against a few times before it meets its natural conclusion, there are a few of these especially memorable sections whether its moments against foes or a particular piece of imagery that sticks with you, Limbo is certainly something you will forget about in a hurry.
Limbo is a wonderfully produced game that holds up years later on Xbox One (and in late February on Playstation 4), the port by Double Helix is without issues and the sign of a perfectly translated original.
Each section in Limbo felt unique and fun, it is clearly a labour of love and meticulous design as the first game from Playdead (now almost 5 years old!) its an incredible achievement for a new studio to make such a popular game such is the high quality of the experience on offer. If you haven’t played Limbo yet you should really do that, you won’t disappoint.
Formats: Xbox One (Played), Playstation 4, PC, Xbox 360, Playstation 3, iOS
Developer: Double Eleven/Playdead