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LIMBO review

Game Review | July 26, 2010 10:19 pm
By Meta

LIMBO is an Xbox Live Arcade game that combines platforming with some logic- and physics-based puzzles. It was developed by Playdead and published by Microsoft Game Studios, released on July 21, 2010.

"Unsure of his sister's fate, a boy enters the unknown..."





That is all Playdead has ever said about LIMBO's story, and really, that's all that can be said. Everything else in this game is purposely left open to interpretation.

The controls for the game are very simple--there is a jump button, and an 'action' button. Playing as the boy, you make your way through levels and solve puzzles while trying to survive. The main "meat" of this game lies in playing around and experimenting with the different elements and objects you encounter, figuring out what they do and how you can use them to progress.

If you are easily discouraged or frustrated, this is probably not the game for you. Death comes fast and frequently as there are many traps, and you will likely trigger them accidentally or even on purpose while experimenting. The developers themselves have even commented that LIMBO is a "trial-and-deaths" kind of game, where you are expected to die many times until you have completed the entire game.

So why has this game earned so many awards and garnered so much praise from critics and the gaming community? Because LIMBO is truly a unique experience. Even looking beyond the striking art direction and sparse-but-evocative atmosphere, the gameplay itself is superb.

The controls are simple but very tight. You never do exactly the same thing twice while progressing through the game, and checkpoints are mercifully frequent. You will die a lot, but you never have to backtrack or solve the same puzzle more than once. This makes LIMBO very fun to play because you are never punished for exploring or experimenting but instead encouraged to do so.

Visually, LIMBO is unique and intriguing. Despite being monochromatic, the game maintains high visual interest and clarity through its simple and sharp graphics. The developers use a combination of techniques like depth-of-field, HDR lighting and a heavy film grain to give the distinct look and feel, but the graphics never interfere with gameplay.

LIMBO's audio is almost as remarkable as its visuals. The game has a very minimalist soundtrack, with music only occasionally becoming audible during certain moments. Sound effects stand out and help add to the mood as well as letting you identify potential threats or puzzle solutions. Much of the game is played in silence only broken up by the sounds of the boy's footfalls on different surfaces, and this adds to the aesthetic.

The gameplay is what we are all actually here for, and LIMBO delivers. Constantly encountering new obstacles and new ways to progress keeps the game feeling fresh. Fans of old-school platformers, puzzle games, and even adventure games will definitely enjoy their time with LIMBO. Action junkies that almost exclusively play Call of Duty, Halo or Madden will probably want to steer clear.

Overall, I give LIMBO an 8. The gameplay is superbly executed, and the distinct art style and atmosphere make the game that much more engrossing. The reason it doesn't get a 9 or 10 is that it is relatively short. Depending on how quickly you solve the puzzles, you are looking at about 6-9 hours to finish the game, then maybe another 3 or 4 to find all the Achievement eggs. Completing it to 111% by getting a zero-death run and all the extra secret eggs will take much longer, but isn't a factor in the score.

Extras: LIMBO has 2 Avatar Awards to unlock. When you get your first Achievement, you will unlock a black t-shirt with the LIMBO logo in white (a male and female version). When you finish the game the first time, you will unlock a pet prop for your avatar; it's hard to describe but you'll recognize it from a certain chapter in the game.

Achievements: There are 10 eggs hidden in the game that give an Achievement each. There is a 100G Achievement for finishing the game, and the final Achievement is for completing the game in one sitting with 5 or less deaths. Most of the Achievement eggs are easy to find with a little experimentation and exploring beyond what is necessary to get from point A to point B.
Rating: 8.0 of 10
Reviewed: LIMBO
Keywords: limbo, playdead, xbla; review

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Re: LIMBO review
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Fucking fantastic review, Meta! I give your review a 9 out of 10 (only because I didn't receive any type of young girl's jewelry while reading it).

It seems as if this would definitely be a great game, although I'll probably wait until the price drops.

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Damn good review Meta. I want this so bad but after DeathSpank I'm not ready to lay down another $15 for an Arcade title. Waiting for a pricedrop as well.
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Great read Meta
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Good Review Meta..........Good Review
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Great review once again Meta, but i'm on the fence about buying a xbla game that costs $15 and only has a 6-9 hour single player campaign. But it looks interersting enough to get if its a DoTW.
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I want this game really bad but I still have a hard time shelling out 15 bucks. Not sure why when I spend more on probably worse retail games.
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Like everyone else I really wanna play this but Im waitin for a price drop. Good review homie :laugh:
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the game is awesome i've only played a little bit but imo worth the 15 dollar price tag
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Quote by FoShizzleNizzle:


I want this game really bad but I still have a hard time shelling out 15 bucks. Not sure why when I spend more on probably worse retail games.



High School Musical 3? :laugh:
Re: Re: Re: LIMBO review
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Quote by Crustyhippy:



Quote by FoShizzleNizzle:


I want this game really bad but I still have a hard time shelling out 15 bucks. Not sure why when I spend more on probably worse retail games.



High School Musical 3? :laugh:



From the waffle thread but yeah crap like that.
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Nice review. Downloaded the demo. Going to try it out.
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meta what a great review ive been reading alot about this game but a review from a fellow gamer instead of some critic puts a differnt viewpoint on the game i think im gunna buy it :0)
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