Limbo – The PS3 Attitude Review
Every so often, a PSN game will come along that rivals most full-retail titles in terms of its scope, innovation and presentation. Braid and Flower are just two examples, and now you can add Limbo to that list, which is a definite contender for our favourite PSN game of the year.
Limbo comes from the disturbed mind of Danish developer Arnt Jensen, and is the first title released by his independent Copenhagen-based studio, Playdead. The title was originally released last year, but finally made its way to the PS Store last week, complete with an exclusive new area.
But what exactly is Limbo? The game’s plot revolves around an unnamed boy searching for his missing sister in a strange purgatory-like world. However, much of the story is up for interpretation, particularly the ending, which is as ambiguous as it is captivating.
In gameplay terms, this basically means that the player must make their way from the left side of the world to the right, jumping on platforms, solving puzzles, and avoiding obstacles along the way. However, Limbo is much, much more than just a standard puzzle platformer.
For a start, the world of Limbo is a deadly place, where exploring will often get you killed. Trial and error is a key part of the gameplay; nothing is explained to you, with not a hint of a tutorial, so the player literally has to discover and experience everything for himself.
Other than using the left stick to move, there are only two useable buttons; X to jump and circle to use objects. However, as you may have guessed, the simple controls do not mean the game is easy. You will die a lot, often in very gruesome ways, such as being crushed, drowned or impaled.
While some gamers may not appreciate the trial and error nature of the gameplay, we felt that Limbo offers a refreshing challenge, as there is a huge sense of accomplishment when you finally make it past a puzzle you’ve been stuck on for twenty minutes.
The presentation is yet another highlight. The entire game is coloured in black and white, but despite its monochrome visuals, it really is a beautiful game, and the unique art style and fluid animations impress throughout. There are also no in-game load screens, so you’re never taken out of the experience.
The sound design is similarly minimalist, with very little music heard throughout the game, so the primary noise comes from the boy’s own footsteps. When another sound does invade the silence, it is immediately followed by a sense of dread for the player, as whatever is coming can probably kill you.
Limbo will probably take you around 3-4 hours to complete, so $15/£10 may seem like a lot, but it’s worth every penny. There are several hidden collectibles to find which will no doubt add to your play time, as well as a couple of trophies in particular that will take some serious dedication to unlock.
Simply put, Limbo is a title that deserves to be played by everyone. It really is more than just a game; it’s an experience unlike anything else. If you’re still unsure then you can always try the demo first, but every gamer owes it to himself to at least try this game.