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LIMBO

LIMBO Xbox Live Arcade Game Review

(LIMBO HAD ME IN LIMBO)

I can say that this is one of the most unique games I have ever seen.

A boy wakes up in a forest. Ahead of him lies fear, uncertainty, death … and his sister.

A two-dimensional, side-scrolling adventure with a heavy emphasis on puzzle-solving, Limbo turns this time-worn gaming genre on its ear:

It’s presented in grainy, flickering black and white, with characters existing simply as dark silhouettes against soft-focus backdrops.

No health meters, no maps, no dialogue of any sort and very little music.

And yet it’s stunning, beautiful and unforgettable.

As the boy, you make your way to the heart of the matter, and to get there, you have to overcome a series of logic puzzles and enemies.

The developer, Playdead, doesn’t hammer you over the head with a story. Instead, it unfolds slowly as you make your way through the various sections of Limbo, from industrial wastelands to shadowy forests.

As you progress through the game, there’s an almost hypnotic, dream like quality to the whole world, as you’re immersed completely in it.

You don’t encounter enemies often, but when you do, they’re certainly memorable, whether it’s light-fearing brain ticks or one of the creepiest renditions of a spider I’ve seen in any medium.

Even the boy himself is nothing more than a black silhouette against a charcoal sky, and the only sign of life or character other than his motions is the whites of his eyes.

There is no colour – everything is black or white or shades of gray – and the only sounds are those you create by exploring and an occasional twang or random chord.

The game’s controls couldn’t be simpler: move using the analog stick, press A to jump and B for action/grab.

After just a minute of playing Limbo, it becomes clear that atmosphere and tone are the game’s greatest strengths.

While there are some very cool and clever puzzles a handful can stop the game dead in its tracks.

On at least three occasions, I discovered the solution to a puzzle entirely by accident –

running back and forth across an area until something triggered.

You’ll often die to things that you have no way of knowing are there until they kill you.The same goes for multiple-step puzzles.

For both, the lesson will cost you your life: Die and remember what to do next time.

There are two things that ease the pain. The first is that the checkpoints are evenly distributed and the loading times aren’t too bad.

The second is the death animations.

Horrifyingly dark, disturbing and violent – especially when you pause to consider that this is all happening to a child.

There is one point in the demo, were your stuck in some sort of slime type trap, only to realise that a few seconds later a horrifying creature comes out of nowhere above you to… stop the demo and force you to pay for the game it’s that hooking.

Overall It’s a Hauntingly beautiful game, well worth paying £15 pounds (1200 Microsoft points) for.

9/10

So everyone on xbox, get to the Marketplace, and download the demo. I want you all to come back to the poll that I’m placing on my blog and review the game for yourselves!

AFTER COMPLETION.

So I actually completed the game and can make a rough assumption on what you’re buying.

The game had me in a few tough spots, all of them took me the best part of an hour to complete.

There could of been many more puzzle’s to complete in the game itself (Roll on DLC!)

After completing it however I felt rather cheated.

There could of been more emphasis on more puzzles that should of been much harder, and I find that I unlock a small animal like creature for my avatar, which makes me pause to think.

Is that what I payed for?

Because the animals in the avatar marketplace are at least 800Microsoft points. So maybe that’s what came with the price of the game (1200 M Points). The game being worth £5 pounds maybe?

All of this has made me change my standing on the game. Everything else is still perfect.

Overall It’s a Hauntingly beautiful game, but I don’t think it’s worth paying £15 pounds for.

Not that I regret purchasing it of course.

8/10

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