Friday 1 October 2010

Limbo - Review

I'd read a glowing review for this XBox Live exclusive about a month ago in Games™ and thought it sounded interesting.  It's an old school platform game that uses some of the most effective graphics I've seen in a long time  combined with some frustrating yet rewarding puzzles to create one of the best realised game worlds I've seen.

I'm a sucker for a great 2D platformer and this is one of the very best I've played.

The games set up is simple.  You play as a small boy who has lost his sister and you must navigate Limbo to find her.  Who or how you've lost her is never made clear, but the world you're in is a dark one full of unpleasant arachnids and evil children with deadly bows an arrows.  

The whole thing is in black and white with a grainy style and minimal sound.  For the most part the only noise is the boy's footsteps on the ground. 

It's a joy to play.  The rag-doll psychics of the lead and his often violent deaths, as you misjudge a jump or get impaled by a giant spider, only add to how atmospheric the whole package is.  At times it's unnerving at other moments you're stuck trying to work out how on earth you get the poor boy past a convoluted and confusing puzzle.  Like all the best platformers when you solve something, that has had you confused for 20 minutes, you'll kick yourself for not seeing the answer earlier.

Couple of issues though despite the brilliant gameplay.  It's not cheap.  At 1200 Game Points it's around the £10 mark which is pretty steep for a game that will probably take a few hours, at most, to complete.  It's actually a shock when it ends because it all feels over and done with way to quickly.

If you have a 360 and £10 sat on your account this is a must have though.  It's not easy to make such a tried and tested formula feel original but Playdead succeed where many others have failed.

If you hate big spiders though, I'd probably leave well alone.

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