Just got back from a hands on with an upcoming XBLA title, Limbo. The first thing that strikes you about the game is the unique visuals. Everything is a creepy, black and white silhouette. You play as a little boy, or at least as the outline of a little boy. There is no intro, no tool tips, just you, the controller, and the subtle, atmospheric audio. The physics are smooth and tightly tied to the platforming, and the animation is top notch. Seeing our heroic shadow grab the edge of a boat and pull himself up, amid rocking and rolling on the waves, is a thing of beauty. The visual simplicity forces you to scrutinize every scene and scour the audio for queues. "Oh, good, I heard that branch splash down, that means I can probably cross the pond now." Game play is largely trial and error based platform puzzling, with the penalty for failing to look before you leap as a grizzly decapitation by bear trap. The story is minimal, little more than a tag line delivered by the developer, but the atmosphere created by the visuals and sound is more than enough to draw you in and produce genuine anxiety for what might come rolling down the hill. Look for it on XBLA this summer, and look for an interview right here soon.
Posted in: Video Games– March 27, 2010