Thursday, May 17, 2012

Quick Review: Limbo

Developed by: Playdead
Published by: Playdead
Released: July 2010 on Xbox 360, July 2011 on PS3, August 2011 on PC
Played on: Xbox 360

Story: Average

I guess the ending revelation is kind of neat in a pondering sort of way, or at least as a culmination of all you've been through, but it's exactly what you've been through that made me yearn for something a little more definitive and satisfactory after slogging through all the game has to offer.

Mechanics: Good

This is a hostile world in which you have a stubby little jump, and the ability to pull things. As a platformer, this is mighty close to bare bones. With that said, the developers have done an amazing job creating interesting puzzles that will have you scratching your head until you figure them out. One criticism i have is that early on the puzzles were a little more centered around the hostile world you find yourself in and the game cleverly used that to its advantage. Later on some of that is thrown out the window for what i'll call 'fun with physics'. They're still clever and interesting, but it does feel a little like they ran out of ways to tie the puzzles into the world.

Aesthetics: Good

For a game based in blacks and whites, there is an incredible sense of atmosphere and mood conveyed in the environment through the visuals. The backgrounds have a hazy, dreamlike quality to them and there is a definite sense of contrast through the use of light and dark. The sound is very minimalistic and accompanies the gameplay quite well.

Technology: Good

While playing Limbo, i experienced no slowdown or any type of graphical issue. The best part though was how quick you respawn upon death. The instantaneous respawn coupled with the well placed checkpoint system makes for a stress free game experience... at least from the technical perspective.

Overall: Good

While i felt the game kind of overstayed its welcome in length, it is a short enough experience full of clever puzzles in a very striking atmospheric world. A must for those who like to use their brains while platforming. If anything, i felt a lot of satisfaction from besting some of the crazier puzzles presented.