Footsteps in the Dark: Limbo for the Xbox 360

BadearkeStarred Page By Badearke, 4th Feb 2011 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/pwxa-.gt/
Posted in Wikinut>Reviews>Games>Arcade & Platform

One of the best indie games to come out for the Xbox in the last year, Limbo deserves a lot of love for being hard, mean and creatively frustrating.

When you look into the abyss, the abyss looks into you... wait, is that a buzz saw?

When starting up Limbo for the first time I was struck by just how... dark it was. Everything was in shades of black and grey, my character was a little silhouette barely distinguishable against the background. So I begin to walk, and I come across a little puzzle involving a log and a pond. I won't spoli it for you, but this was the first of many times I had to stop and think about my surroundings. All my character could do was run, jump and pull or push certain objects. It was limiting at first, but I found it strangely refreshing after a while, knowing I could solve every puzzle with only these basic actions and my wits. So I ran on, into the dark, looking for more puzzles...

Treading on bear traps

... and died by running into a bear trap. It was a real shock: I hadn't seen the trap. a barely perceptible row of spikes pointing up from the similarly monochrome grass. Thankfully I was back in seconds, ready to find a way over the trap... and died again. Death is common place in Limbo; often you'll need to use a death to find the right way to pass a fiendish trap, or elude a monster (oh, the monsters...). The game is short; I finished it in 6 hours, and probably could have finished sooner if I hadn't been such a fool at points. But those hours were truly wonderful; a great blend of puzzlement, celebration and, at points, real fear for my little character. The world of Limbo is not kind, and you'll find yourself resorting to devious tricks just to survive.

Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there, wondering, fearing, doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before...

I mentioned the game's unusual colour scheme (or lack thereof) in the first section, but the colour scheme is just one part of the brilliant atmosphere which draws you into the game world. The story, such as it is, is that you are searching for your sister in Limbo. But the real story has more to say about humanity, about our world, about our hopes and fears. It sounds pretentious, but I really was gripped by this game; I felt sombre as I guided my little character past forgotten villages, abandoned cities mysteriously silent, through grim factories in which every gear tried to crush me, jets of steam blotted my vision. I almost forgot I was playing a game at points, so carefully was the narrative of your actions woven into the game world. For those of you who like your games to be games, don't worry, Limbo is a challenging little platform/puzzle game which will keep you occupied long after you've finished your first playthrough, with hidden secrets and achievements galore.

Conclusions. Dark ones.

Overall, Limbo is well worth picking up; at 1200 microsoft points its cheaper than a full game and just as fulfilling; you'll remember playing the game and how you felt long after you're done. If you decide to get it, I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. Oh, and watch out for... spiders...

Tags

Arcade Games, Atmosphere, Dark, Limbo, Live, Microsoft, Noir, Platformer, Xbox 360

Meet the author

author avatar Badearke
I'm a student, but I've got a fair bit of life experience... I think. I love art, photography, cooking and way more cups of tea than are healthy for me.

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Comments

author avatar Denise O
5th Feb 2011 (#)

First of all welcome to wikinut. Just a wonderful review. I love how you used the pictures and good writing. I really enjoyed it. Congrats on the star page, it is well deserved.
I was on here, gearing up to write again and I saw your article on the front page, looked cool. I look forward to reading more of your work/art when I get back in a week.
Thank you for sharing.:)

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author avatar Badearke
5th Feb 2011 (#)

Thanks Denise, that's so kind. I felt quite vulnerable just putting my work out there, and it's really nice to know people appreciated it. Your how to write a good article guide is brilliant, and it's given me some great ideas for the future, thanks!

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author avatar Retired
8th Feb 2011 (#)

Excellent work.

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author avatar Badearke
9th Feb 2011 (#)

Thanks Martin, think I'm going to do more reviews as I really enjoyed writing this one. Your work's excellent, by the way, just having a look through it all now.

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author avatar chalam
9th Feb 2011 (#)

Gamers delight.

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