Limbo Review (XBLA)

limbo-xbox-live-cover-artEver since I first saw images of Limbo, I just had to get my hands on the game….and by that I mean get this game downloaded onto my Xbox 360.

I know this game is a puzzle game, but it seemed completely original in every way. The game is all about a boy trying to find what I assume is his sister. The game starts with you waking up in a dream like world with no colour or music. Just complete desolation.

You will meet other living things along the way, but they want to kill you and you have to kill them to progress. For instance, the spider puzzles are some of the best of the game.

Gameplay

The controls are as simple as they can get. A to jump and X to pull/push objects whilst using the analog stick to move your character around the nightmare world you’ve been thrown into. The puzzles start off simple enough, but you’ll end up coming across some real head scratchers which can leave you feeling a bit frustrated. But then when you figure it out, it makes you feel a tad stupid because more often than not, the puzzles just require some common sense and for you not to over think the puzzles.

What I liked about Limbo was it’s generous check points. Whenever you die, and you will die…..a lot, you start from the beginning of the puzzle you’re trying to solve so you don’t have to go back so far and complete 2 other puzzles you’ve already done. Some may see this as being a bit easy, but believe me, some of the puzzles you will take you a while to solve and you’ll be glad for Limbo’s generosity.

As well as the puzzles that you have to solve, there are 10 hidden eggs dotted around the game for you to find which will keep you coming back for more.

The animations on the boy are superb with the physics of the world around you also second to none. Fall into a buzzsaw and watch as you’re ripped apart, or maybe a crate drops on your head and you’ll crumple in spectacular fashion. It’s great fun, in some weird twisted way…or maybe that’s just me.

limbo-saw-screenshot

Graphics & Sound

This is what interested me the most from Limbo. The whole game is entirely in black and white with not even a trace of colour. I was thinking how they’d make it work because I there would surely be parts when you wouldn’t be able to see your character and confuse matters, but this isn’t the case. It works flawlessly and the scenery has real depth so you’re never confused about where you are.

With it being in black and white it really adds to the atmosphere of the game and gives it a creepy feeling. The boys eyes are white and his body entirely black which helps to give him more of a personality. I know it sounds daft, but little things like giving him eyes really makes a difference.

As for the music…there isn’t any. It’s all atmospheric sound and it works brilliantly and really makes you feel like you’re wondering through a nightmare. It’s nice to see a game taking a different approach to music and relying on the sounds of the world but it works really well.

limbo-pipe-screenshot

Overall

There’s not really much more that I could say about the game as you get more of a feel from the game from how it plays. Suffice to say it’s original and completely addictive. It’ll only take you a few hours to complete but I can guarantee it’s a game that you’ll be wanting to play again and again. A true gem of the Xbox Live Arcade!

4 out of 5

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