While Billy is just a simple black cutout with white blinking eyes the world he travels through is a stunning Gothic fantasy replete with hauntingly beautiful gray-scale forests and cold gray factories. It’s an interesting mix as the foreground action is simply line animation presented against stunningly detailed and animated backgrounds. It’s an interesting experience and one that’s fairly unique in a world where games are measured by the amount of polygons they can cram onto the screen.
Sound design is minimalistic but perfectly complements the game. There is no soundtrack to the game but instead the game is littered with wonderful ambient sounds. The audio cues in the game can be a little too subtle at times but the overall sound-scape is perfect.
A lot of people will measure the value the game on a two dimensional scale of cost and length and if you’re in that group you might be a little disappointed that your $15 doesn’t get you much more than four to six hours of entertainment (or more if you struggle with some of the puzzles like I did).
However, if you’re one of the people that has a third dimension of enjoyment and quality to the grid you’re going to be very happy with your purchase as Limbo is one of the more unique gaming experiences I’ve ever played in that you’re in a constant feeling of unease while you play the game. Sure the game is fun and amazingly well craft but the world of the game is so bleak and it maintains that feeling throughout the game (versus something like Flower which has a triumphant return to happiness at the end).
Limbo is one of the more unique games on the market in that it’s open to a lot of interpretation and you never really feel at easy playing the game. If you’re open to these kinds of ideas the game is a no brainer purchase, if you’re not check out the demo and see what you think as you might be surprised at how good this title is.
The lack of plot may turn some people off but the excellent puzzles and mood make this a must have for hard core gamers.
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