Microsoft is running another Summer of Arcade, or some sh*t like that, where if certain games get purchased you will get a set amount of MS Points as a thank you. The first game this summer that qualifies for this promotion is Limbo. Limbo is unlike any game I have ever played before, but this is a good thing. Play Dead Games has managed to create a black and white game with almost zero music one of the most addicting games I’ve played in sometime.
The overall look of Limbo is unlike anything I’ve every seen before. The washed out black and white tones are unlike anything I’ve seen in the next-gen era, especially since most devs are going for those over-the-top visuals that HD gaming consoles can produce. Even though it isn’t flashy I fine myself still appreciating the look of the world, and can’t really imagine it any other way. It seems if color was added to the palette the game just wouldn’t feel the same. The black and white tones set a somber feeling that work perfectly in Limbo to convey the story.
Limbo also has a main character that you really can’t see. You can tell the character is probably some little dude, but you really don’t know for sure because it looks like a shadow. It could very well be a dikey little girl, but for me I’m making him a guy. The only distinguishable features on this little guy are his glowing eyes. If you put a hoodie on him he’d look just like a Jawa. Again, this ambiguity with the main character just helps to add to the look and feel of Limbo.
The abscence of any real type of soundtrack in Limbo is another trick the devs pulled off perfectly. It actually took me awhile to realize that no score was even playing because I was so engrossed in the game itself. You would think not having music in a game would make it very bland, but once again the devs really know what their doing with the tone of this game, so it’s perfect.
As far as the gameplay goes it isn’t anything new like the look and feel of Limbo itself, but it’s solid to say the least. The game is more or less a series of puzzles that are strung together in seemless fashion. Limbo uses these puzzles in side scrolling fashion to segue the character from one screen to the next. The puzzles are very thought provoking even though they look as easy as your local hooker. On multiple occassions I found myself staring at the screen in confusion at what I need to do to progress, which is a good thing.
These aren’t puzzles that make you want to stab your eyes out with a rusty spoon because you’re frustrated. They’re the type that really compell you to solve them without looking on the Net for the answer, and when you do, the emotional pay off is rewarding.
Jumping and moving stuff are the only actions you really have to do in this game. There aren’t any specific save points, or even visible checkpoints, so you constantly feel the world progressing. You never feel like you’re being taken out of the moment with an autosave or cut scene. This also adds to the tone that is set in Limbo. It’s just a peaceful game even though your little dude can get stabbed, lose his head, get flattened, or die other gruesome deaths.
If you like experiencing something new in gaming I’d definitely recommend Limbo. The look and feel of the game will be unlike anything you’ve ever played. The gameplay is challenging but rewarding like none other. You’ll find yourself struggling to put Limbo down once you start playing it. With each puzzle conquered you only want to move on to the next one. I’d compare it to a drug. You just keep wanting to feel that feeling of accomplishment even though you may have real life matters to deal with. I give Limbo a 9/10. You’ve been wondering if your TV is from 1950…
E.B. “Making you a better geek, one post at a time!”