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Limbo Review

Posted by Sean On February - 16 - 2012 0 Comment

The typical formula for a great game is to fill it with as much great content, visuals, and story as possible in order to create an experience that blows us away with its amazing sensory overload.  Limbo is a game that does just the opposite, proving that sometimes less really is more.  Without any text or dialogue, and only a handful of characters along the way, Limbo manages to create an atmosphere that is incredibly visually and audibly powerful.  It’s striking art style, haunting scenes, and brilliant puzzle gameplay makes it one of the most unique and captivating games of 2010.


In Limbo, you control a nameless young boy who awakens in a mysterious forest.  You set off into this strange land, only to discover it to be filled with deadly traps and creatures.  Limbo can be best described as a puzzle game.  As you proceed through the game, you will encounter various enemies and devices that can instantly kill you, often in brutal and shocking ways.  You will often find yourself being slaughtered by the same puzzle several times in a row before finding the solution.  Fortunately, this “trial and death” gameplay is rarely frustrating, as the game is liberally sprinkled with checkpoints, and you won’t have to stare at long loading screens each time you’re decapitated by an unexpected bear trap or saw blade.  The puzzles of Limbo are constantly shifting, using various elements introduced throughout the game in different combinations, meaning that you’ll need to be creative in order to survive increasingly nefarious situations.  Limbo isn’t a long game; most players will be able to complete it in 5 hours or so.  However, its short length is more than made up for by its amazing gameplay and presentation.


The addicting puzzle gameplay of Limbo is supplemented by a unique art style, featuring grainy black-and-white graphics reminiscent of film noir.  The striking landscapes are both dreary and beautiful.  Supplementing the excellent graphics is the powerful use of both sound and silence.  Limbo rarely features actual music, but the silence is punctuated by subtle ambient sound effects, such as the rustling of leaves in the wind, the soft footsteps of your characters feet in the grass, and the occasional drips of water.  The tastefully minimalistic style of Limbo creates a world that immediately draws in the player with its blend of mystery, wonder, and horror.  The bare minimum of context given in Limbo means that the player is given a large amount of freedom to muse about the various details of the story, characters, and locations, almost as if interpreting poetry or abstract artwork.  The few encounters with people along the way are often short and rarely provide explanation for their motivations, enhancing on the sense of mystery.  The final scene of the game is one the most astonishing in video game history, and leaves you with a sense of awe.  Limbo’s ambiance and atmosphere will draw the player in to the game world in a way that few games can.


Limbo is not just a video game; it’s a work of art.  It’s amazing gameplay and unique experience makes it one of a kind and a must play for anyone.

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