A good puzzle game, nothing more.
Limbo will ultimately be a very divisive game. Many players will cheer for its artistic narrative and the game's ability to convey emotions along with atmosphere in ways most games don't. Other people like myself look at all the aspects that Limbo utilizes to set itself apart and say “so what”. Limbo is just a physics-based puzzle game that's in black and white, and has a “story” that's very disconnected from the game itself. Limbo is a shinning example on how to make a puzzle platformed in 2010, but it's nothing more than that.
Limbo's gameplay is very simple. You play as a boy as he travels through a dark forest for reasons the game itself doesn't really explain. The game revolves around environmental physics puzzles, like utilizing a bear trap to catch a giant-spider's leg that's in your way. As the game progresses, the puzzles get more and more elaborate. The jumping itself has some of the sharpest precision I've seen in a performer. I know that's a weird thing to compliment, but the controls are accurate and razor-sharp.
The game has a centralized problem solving philosophy of “trial and death”. Most of the time you enter a new section of the level, you'll die. In fact, most steps you take will probably lead to some gruesome demise. It's not an exaggeration to say you'll die once every 60 seconds at least. Throughout the entire game, I was decapitated, limps were cut off, I drowned and was mutilated by a giant spider. This forest is more dangerous that Crystal Lake. It's weirdly not annoying, the voluminous amounts of different deaths are what actually give the game its unique flavor.
My harshest criticism about the game is also the whole point of the game. The lack of music and story telling bring down the experience, and I found it hard to have fun with the game. After reading tons of other reviews for this game, I guess I don't “get it”. Little audio combined with no color and character motivation drags the experience and made it boring for me. The game does a decent job having some stuff going on in the first half with you encountering evil children in the woods, but, whatever.
Limbo ends at a screeching halt. The ending is open to interpretation, but basically turns into a conversation of people making a lot out of a game that didn't give you any plot or many clues to begin with. Limbo is without question a well-executed platformer. It's just everything else about the game makes me roll my eyes. I recommend the game, it just isn't the master piece of art others are claiming it to be.
*As seen in Luchazine #3