When LIMBO was released on XBLA in July of 2010, it received numerous accolades and was praised for being unique. What separates LIMBO from most platformers is that it is quite minimalistic. It uses a monochromatic color palette and the majority of its sound is just ambient noise. While this may appear to be nothing special, LIMBO is definitely a video game that earns its recognition and is an example that proves that video games are an art form. Now that it has been released on the Xbox One, a whole other generation gets to experience such an amazing game.
LIMBO controls like an average platformer. You can jump and interact with objects, and the majority of the game deals with solving puzzles rather than killing enemies. What separates LIMBO from other platformers is its storyline, how it portrays its storyline, and how the player is intended to analyze its storyline. LIMBO is a narrative that follows a young boy that wakes up in a world of black and white. He is ultimately searching for his sister, although he is completely lost to his surroundings. He makes his way into a small forest, then into an inhabited town, followed by a rainy sewer area, and then an industrialized location full of machinery. Right off the bat, one can tell that LIMBO is certainly not an average game. The unique art style is accentuated by the lack of music and the disproportionate beings in the haunting world of LIMBO. The massive spiders, massive saw blades, and murderous figures are there to show that everything is out to get our protagonist. LIMBO is certainly a very dark game, and I’m not just talking about the art style. Our hero will face countless gruesome deaths, and at times, you will wonder how the game got away with a “T” rating. From decapitations to getting crushed by elevators to getting mutilated by machine guns, LIMBO certainly lives up to its name.
At this point, one can interpret that LIMBO is essentially the boy traveling through a limbo of his own. The final scene suggests how the boy may have entered this depressing world, and one can assume that the search for the boy’s sister is relevant to a search for heaven. On a lighter note, the Achievements are fairly simple. One is story-related, most are collectible based, one is tied to a hidden gauntlet, and the last is tied to completing the game without dying more than five times. The last is the only on that poses an issue, and the game itself is enjoyable enough to warrant more than one playthrough.
Honestly, my only problem with LIMBO is its length. It clocks in at less than 90 minutes, which is disappointing, because I really enjoyed playing it. However, to criticize a game for being short is silly. What matters is the experience, and LIMBO certainly delivers on a harrowing and engaging narrative told in an ingenious way.