Every gamer should play LIMBO before they Die !

#1 Edited by Sieferx2 (107 posts) -

  Before you die, you need to play limbo. I stand by each and every one of those words. Even with the somewhat wasted potential of the narrative its hard to say really anything negative about limbo. Throughout your journey you will spend 5 hours or so wandering one of the most stylistic games ever created, solving some truly memorable puzzles and being completely engrossed in some of the most atmospheric gaming one can find.

When i first heard about Limbo i declared the trailers "horrifically enchanting". Having now played limbo i can honestly say those words ring true. Although " Nightmarishly clever" and " Gruesome mindfuck" also come to mind. It nearly goes without saying that the puzzles are brilliant but i think the true genius of the trial and error problem solving mechanics lie in two areas. For starters limbo gives the player a very reasonable restart position when they die. Usually this spot is right before each challenging puzzle section... but for some of the longer more difficult situations the game may even start you in the middle of your task. Not once in the many times my character met his death in limbo did i become frustrated with where the game check pointed my progress. This works in brilliant tandem with the fact that the game wants to show you all the horrific ways your character can parish. As opposed to a simple fail screen, or something like rewinding time in braid, the limbo uses it's impressive physics based engine to show off all the gruesome results of your failures. Of course after most failures i felt that "oh, now i see what i have to do" feeling that ignites our gaming souls so much.

In some ways the puzzles are not even really puzzles at all. Labeling them as puzzles makes the game much easier to categorize, but in reality they are really just "problem solving situations" organically strewn across this world to test the players mental fortitude. The genius here again(going back to the games stylistic presentation)is that as a player we gladly accept these challenges as long as we can progress and see more of this horrifically enchanting world playdead has created.

In place of your usual musical score is what can only be described as "the groans of a dying world". Almost the complete opposite of the music found in the puzzle classic "braid" the groans of the world and volume swells are all the player is left with throughout their journey. The imagery this soundscape provided in my head was that of the limbo world being crushed by both heaven and hell. A metaphor for that middle ground/purgatory/edge of hell vibe that saturates through our skin as we play the game. These eerie groans and volume swells made me feel as though good and evil were crushing down on my world and the eerie sounds i was hearing throughout my journey was symbolic of the pressure being placed on limbo itself....at least metaphorically speaking.

A good friend of mine claims to have finished the game in just over 2 hours, but my final play time rested right around 5 hours. I played the game at my own pace soaking in my environments and really absorbing each puzzle/area as i solved it. The challenge felt mostly right although toward the latter portion of the game i felt as though perhaps the game became a slightly exhausting gauntlet of puzzles that could have used a little balance from a narrative of some kind...

Narrative you ask? Well lets be straight up about this element of limbo. The narrative is non existent. When i was reading about limbo upon its release i learned it was " the tale of a boy in search of his sister in limbo". Had i not read this prior i would have had no idea that this was the situation at hand. Not once is the player given any inkling of why they are down in this world...which would have been fine had i not been expecting some sort of emotional drive from the beginning. For me personally it was fun to take situations,events,moments from my limbo experience and analyze them in that sort of "what if" manner with my friends, but even then limbo feels a bit too mysterious for its own good. The game is truly outstanding in its own regard but the lack narrative makes me feel like LIMBO could have truly packed an emotional impact on par with the puzzle/platformer classic Braid. As incredible as Braid was what sticks with me to this day is Tim's story and how well the game weaved its narrative within its puzzle/platforming brilliance. When you see how limbo is able to convey certain emotions and ideas without any text or cut-scenes you realize just how noticeable that wasted potential is.

Limbo is a truly unique gaming experience. Especially in a world where 99 percent of what we experience as gamers is rehashed ideas, sequels, and generic trash regurgitated to sell as many copies as possible i found limbo to be one of the most refreshing gaming experiences ive had in quite some time. Roger eberts thoughts on the recently released film "inception" in many ways echo my thoughts after playing limbo. In roger eberts review he wrote "...The movies often seem to come from the recycling bin these days: Sequels, remakes, franchises. "Inception" does a difficult thing. It is wholly original, cut from new cloth". The same can be said for limbo. Sure there are many elements in this game you have seen before, but never portrayed like this. Also, because Puzzle games of any kind are usual at the bottom of my priority list as a gamer my enthusiasm for limbo seems all that more remarkable. The entire design of the game is laced with a sort of intangible grace that is difficult to define. As i was playing limbo i realized how rare games like this are and how rarely we ever get to experience them. My life feels a bit more fulfilled having played limbo, and i strongly believe every gamer owes it to themselves to play this game before they die.  

#2 Posted by SpiralStairs (1020 posts) -

No thanks, I'll pass.

#3 Posted by Jeust (10448 posts) -

Tough crowd ^^

#4 Posted by cstrang (2381 posts) -
@CaLe said:
" I thought it was meh. 3/5 "
This.  The game is 3 hours long, at best.  And there is little-to-no room for story interpretation of the narrative because there is essentially no narrative at all, unlike Braid.  I, personally, think the comparison of Braid to Limbo is absurd.
#5 Posted by Whisperkill (2969 posts) -

I don't HAVE to play anything. 

#6 Posted by OwnlyUzinWonHan (1478 posts) -

I'll wait for it to go on sale

#7 Posted by TurboMan (7339 posts) -

it's a great five dollar game.

#8 Posted by Daveyo520 (6651 posts) -

I'll try to. I promise.

#9 Posted by JYoung (151 posts) -

It's a great game, but barely above the best flash games, in terms of both puzzle quality and length.

#10 Posted by nail1080 (1975 posts) -
@JYoung said:
" It's a great game, but barely above the best flash games, in terms of both puzzle quality and length. "
haha you just pwned limbo!
#11 Edited by EpicSteve (6470 posts) -

It's not that good. 
 
You're drinking the Kool-Aid, my friend.

#12 Posted by Meowayne (6084 posts) -

I agree with you, but as it's becoming increasingly cool and hip to hate on Limbo - especially among those who cannot differentiate between pretentious (ImorTall) and not - you won't be very successful. Everyone who is interested in these game experiences has already played it, and the rest is haters who are gonna hate. 
 
Personally I am glad to have spent 1200msp on one of the most well-filled hours of this month. I just came back from playing about two hours of Mass Effect 2, and Limbo has single minutes which are more noteworthy, entertaining and longlasting than those hours. 

#13 Posted by Animasta (14632 posts) -

put it on the PC and make it 10 bucks then maybe I'll play it lol

#14 Posted by Scheds (463 posts) -

It's not all that great. Doesn't hold a candle to some of its indie predecessors.

#15 Posted by AhmadMetallic (18955 posts) -
@Laketown said:
" put it on the PC and make it 10 bucks then maybe I'll play it lol "
yup
#16 Posted by Rockdalf (1274 posts) -

It might have had a chance if it was double the length OR $10.  I refuse to pay $15 for it, just like I refused to pay $15 for Braid when it first came out.  Here's to hoping Castlevania is worth it's money come next week.

#17 Posted by rentfn (1275 posts) -

People pay Sixty bucks for six hour long games but get up in arms for a game that is four to five hours for fifteen bucks?? I don't get it.

#18 Posted by Sieferx2 (107 posts) -
@rentfn
 Absolutely. Whats wierder to me is that people make a big fuss about how they would pay "10 dollars" but that "15 dollars" is just atrocious! ....sigh...really people? We are going to argue the merits of 5 fucking dollars? Go support this game its a classic. 
 
@epicsteve
 With all due respect my friend, everyone should be sipping this kool-aid. 
 
@meowayne
You make some great points, but i still have hope that perhaps people who are on the fence with this game will read this outpouring of my soul and take the plunge.  Hopefully the fact that its averaging a 90 over at metacritic and gamerankings will help the cause as well. I wasn't bored for a single moment of this game.
 
mo
#19 Posted by dunderri (161 posts) -

I think you will start to see more and more hipsters like Limbo....  but that's un-related.
 
To me, Limbo was fun, and yes, frustrating. However, I felt like I shouldn't have wasted my $15 on it. That is only because there is no replay value. I knew very well what I was getting in to and I admit I made the mistake of buying. I knew there was no replay value, but that was before I even played the game. Once I sat through, and got the achievements, I sat there wondering what to do next. I wish there was more depth, something else that would grab me in than just "gravity mechanics" and an "eerie atmosphere". You can disagree or not, but to me, there was just something missing in it...

#20 Posted by Sieferx2 (107 posts) -

@dunderri
 
The narrative is whats missing. Although its fun to speculate about the vague events that do happen in the game as well. I would say thats more of a "it could have been legendary but instead its simply classic" sort of a deal. Its hard to fault the freshness of the experience or any of whats actually present in the game....but the narrative potential could have been pushed in a much more interesting direction.
 
That being said you can go buy a dinner at applebees for 15 bucks and its gone in 20 minutes. Saying 15 bucks is a bit steep for such and incredibly unique transcendent artistic experience seems a bit ridiculous. Its only 15 dollars people. Have we become that cheap? Shame...

#21 Posted by LordXavierBritish (6320 posts) -
@Sieferx2 said:
"Especially in a world where 99 percent of what we experience as gamers is rehashed ideas, sequels, and generic trash regurgitated to sell as many copies as possible"
Anyone who thinks this doesn't deserve to have opinions about games. The only way one could accomplish such a feat of logic would be to aggressively deny one's self of new gameplay experiences. New games are released every day with new or interesting ideas, they just aren't always on shelves.
 
Limbo was decent, it is by no means a revolution.
#22 Edited by Sieferx2 (107 posts) -

@LordXavierBritish
says..
 Anyone who thinks this doesn't deserve to have opinions about games.
 
To tell someone they do not deserve the right to an "opinion" is an extremely childish statement to make.
 
Limbo has elements from other games, but never presented in this overall Package. Limbo stirs up emotions within ones soul that not many games can. Revolution isnt quite the word i would use...but the game is a classic. Wholy original taken as a WHOLE not dissected in its many parts. Not only that but it serves as an incredible example of the type of experiences a video game can deliver. The game is on another level.
 
As far as the statement of mine you quoted...now its easier for me to see who is buying the regurgitated generic shit that floods most game stores. 
 As brad shoemaker said the game truly is an accomplishment.
 
mo

#23 Posted by Animasta (14632 posts) -
@Sieferx2 said:
" @dunderri
 
The narrative is whats missing. Although its fun to speculate about the vague events that do happen in the game as well. I would say thats more of a "it could have been legendary but instead its simply classic" sort of a deal. Its hard to fault the freshness of the experience or any of whats actually present in the game....but the narrative potential could have been pushed in a much more interesting direction.
 
That being said you can go buy a dinner at applebees for 15 bucks and its gone in 20 minutes. Saying 15 bucks is a bit steep for such and incredibly unique transcendent artistic experience seems a bit ridiculous. Its only 15 dollars people. Have we become that cheap? Shame... "
or, you know, I can buy 4-5 pretty awesome things for 15 bucks during a steam sale.
 
and jeez dude are you part of the studio
#24 Posted by Sieferx2 (107 posts) -

 @Laketown
 
Well that is true, although your paying for much much older material.
 
Its just frustrating when the only issue people seem to have against this game its its length. Thats when you know you have a truly special game on your hands.
 
mo

#25 Posted by Ravenousrattler (1417 posts) -

i might pick it up, a year from now if they have another one of those xbla sales, but not right now. I have heard the whole spiel before, most notably about the kingdom hearts franchise and psychonauts. If its not your kind of game, its not your kind of game, and nothing is going to change peoples minds.

#26 Posted by Raymayne (1226 posts) -

"  solving some truly memorable puzzles" 
 
I have to say, I wanted to stop reading there. Anyone who has ever played a decent puzzle game will surely agree that there are no 'truly memorable' puzzles in Limbo whatsoever, the fact that it only takes most people a few hours to complete, and that I don't think I got stuck on a single puzzle for more than one or two minutes of head-scratching is testament to the fact that the game is a very poor example of a puzzler. I pretty much disagree with the entirety of your post I'm sorry to say. The first hour or so of Limbo is excellent, moody, atmospheric, mysterious, you genuinely don't know what to expect as you move across the screen and some of the sequences in the forest area are certainly exciting, and rank up there with some of the best 2D platforming I've played in recent years. But the second half of the game (more like the last 3/4s really) is a complete disappointment, tired old gravity puzzles were not what I wanted from Limbo at all, the lack of suspense and mystery does nothing to help the game's cause, and the ending was wholly disappointing to me. To this day I still don't particularly understand the inexplicable amazement some people have regarding the ending of the game, sure it's one of those 'open to interpretation' things, but that doesn't mean it's good, just lazy, like most of the game in my opinion. 
 
Limbo begins as a great-looking, wonderfully atmospheric 2D platforming adventure, but rapidly descends into a formulaic, dull, and generally weak imitation of a puzzle game that, in my opinion, should leave most gamer's feeling utterly astonished at the potential this game had, and how it was so poorly sqandered thanks to repetitive, bland environments, and mind-numbingly simple gravity puzzles. I don't think any gamer needs to experience Limbo before they die, lest they wish to see an example of how a brilliant premise manifested as a very poor final product.

#27 Posted by haggis (1677 posts) -

The over-the-top praise for Limbo absolutely astounds me. It is at best an average game. Zero replay value. Extremely short. Flat playing experience. Repetitive art. Simple puzzles. No music. People talk about the experience, but I was always getting bored after about fifteen minutes. I still can't quite get myself to push through the last bit of it that I haven't finished because it's so damned tedious. The more I play the game, the lower my score would be. At first I'd have given it a 3/5, but my opinion is closer to 2/5 now.
 
As for those who are complaining about those irritated with the price, there is a big difference between $10 and $15. A $15 game is %50 more expensive than a $10 game, after all. Yes, it's only five bucks, but for such a short game, a %50 price difference has a huge effect on perceived value.

#28 Posted by Sieferx2 (107 posts) -
@raymayne
 
Well i must say that had you read further i did say eventually that "puzzles" is just an easier way to label each new area.....but in actually its more like "unique problem solving situations". It was refreshing to play a game that didn't rely on the generic lock, key switch puzzle mechanics most of the time.
 
I respectifully disagree about the challenge of the "problem solving/puzzles" as well. For example every game that plays the game is going to have a unique experience. It took me about 5 hours...some of my friends took about 7....and another good friend of mine claims to have finished it in under 2 hours. Which is precicsley why every gamer should play this game before they die. They can experience the game for themselves and form their own opinion on their time spent with limbo. For me it was incredible refreshing and mostly unlike anything ive ever really played. The game has some elements of other games but never presented like this...and thats what makes the game so incredible.
 

I actually agree that the potential was there for something even more incredible....but that doesnt change how remarkable the game actually is in its own right. Its fun to discuss much like we are discussing now.....all the more reason that ever gamer should experience LIMBO for themselves. Its not about whether each gamer enjoyed it as much as i did per say...its about the discussion and the reflection on such a unique gaming experience..very few games can incite this much thought provoking discussion.
 
mo
#29 Posted by Ursus_Veritas (383 posts) -

Hey guys, Limbo isn't about puzzles... it's about 'Unique problem solving situations'. Hate to break the news to you Seifer, but 'Unique problem solving situations' is just a fancy way of saying 'Puzzle'. You're sounding like a hipster, crying out against the mainstream with 'No man, you don't understand, it's so deep!!!!! You don't understand because the industry is full of mainstream sequels and regurgitated trash for the masses!!!!!!'.
  
Limbo is fantastically atmospheric. Wonderfully so, that's the best bit about it. But it is hardly as unique as you make it out to be, because behind the artistic flair lies an good platformer and at best a fairly hum-drum puzzler. It's not a game that honestly merits as much discussion as you think it does, outside of 'hey this is a gorgeous looking game'. It is certainly not THE game to play before you die. Limbo is a fun, but short, experience. There is no need to put it on this throne of aggrandisement and act like it is the pivotal, perennial gaming experience - because it is not.

#30 Posted by Sieferx2 (107 posts) -
@Ursus_Veritas
 
Every gamers limbo experience is going to be different. Labeling the "problem solving situations" in limbo as puzzles is just an example of how many people(much like yourself) are trying to water down the experience.
 
However you are missing the point. I never said LIMBO is THE game to play before you die....just one of the many games every gamer must experience. If nothing else for the sake of forming an opinion of their own. You dont want to miss this game.
 
As far as it being a pivital, perennial gaming experience..for me at least it was. If you play the game in the middle of the day with your kids running and screaming across the living room then yes perhaps your LIMBO experience might be a bit different than mine. Turn the lights off, crank up the sound and experience the game yourself.
 
mo
#31 Posted by WoodenPlatypus (1365 posts) -

Paranoid now. I havent played it yet but I have this loom that I will die in my sleep. 
I was just about to go to bed aswell.. :/ 
 
On track, I really want to buy it. Waiting to when I can be bothered to go buy some.
#32 Posted by Whisperkill (2969 posts) -

Fuck limbo. Go play Braid

#33 Posted by Ryax (4630 posts) -

nah i think ill survive not playing it

#34 Posted by ThatFrood (3373 posts) -

It's a good game. I enjoyed it.
It certainly isn't earth-shattering in its innovation, however.

#35 Posted by Sieferx2 (107 posts) -

@thatFrood
 
Not necessarily earth shattering innovation.....but everything is presented in an overall experience that truly IS unlike anything else available.
 
mo

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