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Review: Limbo (PC)

by Steven Williamson on 1 August 2011, 16:24 4.5

Tags: Puzzle

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Traverse through Limbo on the search for your missing sister

Among the deluge of big budget first person shooters and action adventures currently available, Limbo is a breath of fresh air. While its monochromatic art-style and hand-drawn animations create a unique visual style, its soft ambient sounds and dark undertones give it a Tim Burton-like eeriness that manages to keep you on edge throughout.

Having already been released as a timed Xbox 360 exclusive, Playdead’s indie game has had plenty of time to make a positive impression ahead of its PC release, and the addition of “secret” content may prove to be enough for console adopters to play through its immersive five hour campaign once again.

At its core, Limbo is a good old-fashioned 2D side-scrolling platformer, following a blueprint that will be familiar to many. Avoiding traps and enemies while timing jumps to perfection and solving environment-based and physics-based puzzles is the order of the day across its 24 testing chapters. Limbo’s uniqueness then largely stems from its dark, black and white art-style, which also features film grain effects and subtle and haunting ambient sounds that serve well to keep your palms sweating.

The sharp visual style utilises light and dark extremely well with the jet black silhouette of the main character contrasting powerfully against the various lighting effects, and shadow effects are used well to hide and disguise traps. Indeed, the art style is the perfect companion to the gloomy tone of the game, which sees a nameless boy searching the “edges of hell” for his missing sister.