A year back when LIMBO released on the Xbox Live Arcade, I was cursing and jealous of the lucky X360 owning SOBs. The striking visuals caught my first glance as well did the gameplay. I diverted my drive of playing the game towards a ‘creative approach’. Inspired and aspired I designed something vaguely familiar of what I remembered from LIMBO…’Monochrome Ninja’.
Luckily enough day before yesterday I got my hands on it (when it released on the PC) and I was hooked. I couldnt believe that It was just a 70MB download that packed so much punch to it. I booted up the game and was greeted by a film noir title screen with just a ‘PRESS ANY KEY’ note and the titles…and so I did and was teleported into a wonderous yet creepy world of noir, grainy, black white and grey. There was no GAME HUD neither were there any kind of tutorial of how to play. Upon instinct I controlled a silhouette of a boy with the arrow keys to move forward and jump and what drived me was pure curiosity of what lied ahead.
As if the locales and ambience wasnt creepy enough there are the gruesome deaths via bear traps and water pits, brain-controlling worms; the kid has to go through over and again untill we figure out the way around them. The creepiest was when I encountered a spider blocking the path…it had 4 legs that was animated to near perfection..which made it more creepier. And the creepy-crawlies doesnt stop there either..half way thru the game there were other people too. The loneliness was getting into me and it was disorienting and disturbing at times and thats when I see these other silhouettes. The real shocker was when I realized that they were trying to block my path and kill me everway they could.
Brownie points for the sound and physics system. The sounds in itself are perturbing. The way the boys’ body crunches, squishes, cut into pieces sounds as real as possible (or thats exactly mind perceives how it’d sound like :P). Add to that the slow growls, the locust noises, subtle wind and the machinery sounds adds to a well immersive atmosphere.
The Physics system is top notch and its great to see a 2D scroller incoporating a fine system that doesnt feel 2D anymore.
Limbo is short..really short..even if u took an ample amount for the ever-cool puzzles..it wont even take you 5 hours to complete the 50 or so levels. And the other thing that averted me slightly was the shift from the forest to a more abandoned industrial/factory setting…which made me feel-at-ease comparatively…and yes, it was a change I wouldnt have prefered.
LIMBO is indeed an art. Minimal and splendid visuals blended with an ambience and a gothic/disturbing theme. Limbo does exactly what the title suggests…its put you there in one of the nine circles of REAL HELL and the making u feel the best of it. There is indeed a cue for Limbo 2 and I’ve crossed my fingers yet again to visit this circle of hell.