Available exclusively on the Xbox Live service, PlayDead Studio’s Limbo constitutes a hurricane, not breath, of fresh air as it rips through the often mediocre competition on Xbox 360, turning a lot of current videogame archetypes on their head.
First to go is colour – Limbo plays out in macabre monochrome tones – along with any kind of health indicator, map or even tutorial. In another of Limbo’s stark contrasts, the entire game is played with only two controller buttons; one to jump, one for actions, making it one of the most accessible games available.
A classic left-to-right scrolling adventure, Limbo places you in the shoes of a small boy apparently on the search for his lost sister. Game play consists of running and jumping your way through occasionally devious environmental puzzles, never directly interacting with any other game characters but, instead, manipulating what you find in the environment to progress.
Beautifully designed and realised, albeit violent in a polarizing way, Limbo epitomises everything that is great about videogames, providing an immersive, interactive, beguiling, entertainment experience that, like all artistic expression, achieves greatness through inspired design and executional simplicity.
The journey only lasts a few hours, sadly, which doesn’t represent the best value.