Limbo (XBLA) Review
This isn’t Narnia, and we’re certainly not in Kansas.
Limbo will easily be the most original game you’ll play all year, PlayDead are coming straight out of Copenhagen and dragging you back into your childhood nightmares with their first game. It’s hard to categorize Limbo, there is no tutorial, hardly any menus and zero on-screen prompts. The art style is, literally, nothing you have ever seen in a game before and the atmosphere sucks you in to a point where base instinct takes over and no further words are necessary.
The main, and truly only, mode in Limbo starts you in control of a young boy who has just awakened in a shadowed dreamworld. Without any prompting, it’s soon very clear your objective is just to get out of here. I said before that this game was hard to classify but, for review purposes, we’ll call it a platformer. Throughout the game you will jump, move boxes and time movements through a series of puzzling environments. The puzzles are often unclear and this was one of the best parts of Limbo, you solve a puzzle without even realizing you really started one. The environment, sound track and atmosphere bring you back to the nightmares of childhood. When giant spiders, huge spinning saw blades and bottomless pits were very real dangers. Despite the fact that you die a lot, and you will, Limbo is a very short game. You likely wont spend more than four hours here on your first playthrough and the hidden eggs are the only reason to play again. The very thing that makes Limbo great, the fantastically laid out puzzles, is what brings down the replay value. By the nature of the game, the puzzles are all the same the second time around.
There are no multiplayer modes in Limbo.
Aside from one to finish the game, and one to finish the game while dying less than 5 times (ridiculous), all the achievements are to collect hidden eggs throughout the game. A decent challenge for the dedicated.
Limbo is truly a step forward in terms of the ‘video games as art’ debate, you will enjoy playing it immensely, but it is ultimately short with little replay value. Still, I think, you will come away thinking your Microsoft Points were well spent.