Stuck in Purgatory: Limbo Review

Posted by Byrdie On Tuesday, July 27, 2010 1 comments

Limbo or Purgatory is a Catholic belief that between Heaven and Hell there is a place for the lost and for those who were neither good nor bad. That is where the XBLA exclusive puzzle game Limbo takes you (maybe). You play a boy who awakes in a forest, begins walking around and discovers that this is no ordinary world. It is a world populated by dangerous creatures and traps and other children who don't take well to you being there.

This is no ordinary game either. It is a black and white game with no dialogue, sparse music and very VERY dark places. The game's very unique art style makes it stand out from any other game I had ever played. The art style reminds you of the Film Noir and German Expressionist films and really creates a tense atmosphere. The game at points cuts off lighting except for your character's eyes and a swinging light bulb, which creates a terrifying and claustrophobic atmosphere which will make you jump a few times during the game.

One thing you will do a lot of in Limbo is die. And not only die but die in shocking and gruesome ways. Seeing a little boy decapitated, cut to pieces and have his intestines ripped out will be a shocker to most gamers. However the game rarely becomes frustrating as the plentiful checkpoints will please most gamers. Also the developers have described Limbo as a "Trial and Death" game as you will learn quickly how to beat the puzzles. However, you won't learn too much as almost every single puzzle is different in it's own way.

At the end of the six-seven hour ride through this beautiful game is one of the most beautiful, heartfelt and mystifying ending which is one of the greatest non-cut scene endings I've ever played. It exposes all the main character's motivations and provides a satisfying conclusion to your adventure.

Now the game isn't perfect. The last 1/3 of the game is extremely difficult and might even send seasoned puzzle game players to the online walkthroughs. The 1200 MS points for the six-seven hour game is completely overpriced and should have been somewhere in the 400-500 MS points range.

Now, buy or skip (no XBLA rentals). Well if you’re a puzzle player you should buy this game immediately. If not wait for the inevitable price drop but still play it. Everyone should play it.

Danish developer Playdead has made a stunning masterpiece. The simplistic gameplay combined with the non-repetitive puzzles and brilliant art style make this one of the most original, creative and sophisticated games out there. I'll leave you with this. If I had to choose one game to sum up why video games are art I'd probably choose this one.

Written by Matthew Byrd: Gamertag: ColonelByrd95

To read an alternate review of the game by Gloqwi, click here.


Gloqwi said...

I have to totally disagree with you on the ending. That was not satisfying at all. I didn't even know I stepped into it and when I found out I did, I thought it was one of the worst endings ever.

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