I don’t think there has been a better game that drops the player into the unknown while creating an astounding atmosphere from the very start of a game. Seemingly without any explanation players are dropped into the world of Limbo. This 2D puzzle platformer has the perfect combination of graphics, sound and gameplay blending perfectly together to create the platformer experience of the generation.
You start off waking up as a young boy in a quiet peaceful forest with no explanation of how you got there or where you’re going. After exploring this unfamiliar place for a short time you soon realize that danger is hiding in every shadow with traps that are seem like they are set just for you. With this in the back of your mind, you trudge forward not knowing what new dangers lurks around every corner, but with the hope of getting out of there alive.
What sets this beautifully crafted world apart from other games, besides the clear different definition of the term beautiful here, is no loading screens or breaks in the gameplay at all. No menus or dialogue boxes interrupt the adventure, which can be played from start to finish without any interruptions. The first play through should hover around the 5-hour mark.
The game is noticeable broken up into 2 main sections, each being distinctively different. The first is the forest area that you awake in while the rest of the game takes place in an industrial setting. While the bleak dark world that the game creates sets the mood that you are the only one there, there are other children about, that want nothing more that you kill you in the most gruesome way possible.
Whether it is by blindly walking into a bear trap, or catching a swinging spike that takes your head clear off, you will die in this game, a lot. The trial and error gameplay will be sure of that. After getting diced to pieces by a trap, you will restart right before said trap to have another try of getting past it. Not having to back track to where you died really helps to keep the flow of the game moving.
Clues will be giving to some of the puzzles via sound effects to help you get past them, though I don’t think it added too much to the experience. The game doesn’t contain a music track throughout, but does have ambient noises that help create the outstanding atmosphere, but are more pronounced in some parts than others.
As you progress through the areas the puzzles that you encounter become increasing difficult. Not only does the difficulty ramp up, but they get more complicated as well. Unlike some puzzle games; you never feel a sense of frustration while navigating through the traps.
There is a leaderboard to keep track your completion percentage and that’s all it keeps track of. Why they decided to not track completion times and the amount of deaths is beyond me. A game like this could thrive for a long time, with everyone trying to get the lowest completion time possible.
Limbo is one of the best experiences on any console and should not be missed by anyone. It took awhile for it to come to the PlayStation 4, but now that it is hear, every PlayStation owner should own it. Not only does Limbo contain an amazing atmospheric world, but also has one of the best game endings you will ever see, yes I do mean ever. While the ending may be near perfect, the build up to ending is a bit on the anticlimactic side, but don’t let this stop you from enjoying one of the best experiences this generation.
Note: The Limbo review was written based on the PS3 version of the game provided by the publisher.