Limbo Review

   21/07/2010 at 20:48       Richard Horne       9 COMMENTS. - Score 5/5
 - Limbo, Playdead, XBLA

A boy lies still, slumped in the grass.
Is he dead?
His metaphorical game over?
Or is he just asleep in the shade,
his weary eyes resting?

I prod with my thumb.
A third time more aggressively.

But then his lifeless body limply stirs.
His brow twitches.
Pin-hole lights glow dimly.
Two piss-holes in the snow.

He sits up.
The sleep leaves his eyes.
His faculties restored.
“Let’s play” I squeal in delight.

The wind ruffles our hair
as we bound through the wilderness.
Hopping over ferns.
Racing through forests.
His short legs slow our progress
but his exuberance remains infectious.
We push on as though spirited along
by an imaginary invisible force.
Our every movement tracked
by overhanging, torrid, shrivelled branches.
Pointing the way
or funnelling us towards a deadly conclusion?

Our relentless pace slows.
Our foot-steps more cautious.
A deathly fog clouds our vision.

Such menacing darkness.
Foreboding, pervasive.
Ominous clouds fill the sky
heavy with despair and full to bursting.
The deafening silence rings out in our ears.
But we continue our chase,
using fallen comrades as makeshift stepping stones.

The silence is broken.
A distant purring resonates.
Its low hum seems reassuring
but experience dictates otherwise.
Are we running from danger
or being lured into it?

Our eyes play tricks on us.
Movement or an illusion?
We tip-toe forward.
Every stride brings us one step closer to salvation.
But the purring gets louder, almost deafening.

And then, without warning,
our arachnid foe appears.
Haunched, poised, ready to attack.
We edge closer,
unsure as to whether it’s spotted us.
Melting into the shadows we try to sneak by.
One step.
Two steps.
Three steps.
Safety beckons.
Our beating heart blocks out the now thunderous purring.
Adrenalin flowing, legs pumping.
Just. One. More. Step.


Its raises its two front legs, high above its head.
A last-gasp attempt at halting our progress.
There’s light in the distance.
We can reach it. Victory is ours.

But then a snap.
A reflex action.
Its razor sharp point, in the blink of an eye
Crashes downwards ferociously.
Incising our soft delicate skin
smashing through sinew, bone and muscle
before escaping out the other side.
The pin-holes close, fading slowly to nothing.
The darkness absorbs
That distant light vanishes.

Our heads fall as one.
A tear drop forms.

“What are you crying for?” She mocks
snapping me out of my depression.
“It’s only a game!”

“I’m not crying, I’ve just got some grit in my eye.”

User Comments:

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peej - on 22/07/2010 at 10:05 wrote:
This is one of the darkest and most atmospheric games I've played this year. Just when you think something like Heavy Rain can set new standards in storytelling and atmosphere, something like this comes along and shows that you don't need to dive into the uncanny valley and come up with a massively convoluted plot-hole-raddled storyline to produce a work of genius.

Absolutely anyone who has a 360 should own this game.

peej - on 22/07/2010 at 10:05 wrote:
Oh and boss, top review, superb!

HairyArse - on 22/07/2010 at 11:18 wrote:
Figured I'd try something different. Not sure if it's any good or not, and is the first 'poetry' I've written in years, but still, worth a try.

The other problem is it's difficult to write a traditional review of a game like this without spoiling anything.

evilashchris - on 22/07/2010 at 12:16 wrote:
Love the review! :D

LockeTribal - on 22/07/2010 at 13:27 wrote:
Great review Hairy, fantastic looking game.

peej - on 22/07/2010 at 13:59 wrote:
I'm still searching for that one person who actually switches all the gore off in the game. I don't believe such people exist.

Bremenacht - on 22/07/2010 at 15:11 wrote:
Two piss-holes in the snow.

Haha! Excellent review, HA.

Ironlungs76 - on 22/07/2010 at 17:51 wrote:
Lovely review Hairy

Stunning game, loving every moment so far

NewYork - on 03/10/2011 at 17:41 wrote:
...what the heck?

Anyhow, good game. If it's not a 5 star game, I don't know what is.

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Better late than never, eh Ror?
Khanivor - In response to: Battle Chasers: Nightwar Review - 281day(s) ago.
Enjoyed this, cheers!
evilashchris - In response to: Reflecting on the Life of a Tomb Raider - 366day(s) ago.
Looks who's back. Shady's back.
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Micro Machines was my favourite!
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i agree chris, the Aliens table makes the others look bad.. because its so goood!! but they arent that bad.. haha! ...
neosalad - In response to: Aliens Vs. Pinball Review - 1000day(s) ago.