Promising start, but then just loses focus and goes nowhere
There are plenty of reasons why I should love Limbo. Another World is my favorite game of all time and Limbo is in a lot of ways a modern revision of the same concept. The presentation is slick and polished with a unique art style. And it has one of the best uses I have seen of a physics engine in a 2D game so far, as it uses the physics engine to simply enhance the jumping and running in the game, not make it the physics the center-point of the game. Everything you can grab, jump on or hang on to feels interactive and the character animation, even so a little rag-doll'y, looks for most part pretty good, as the little guy will grab objects and ropes in a convincing way, even if things are moving around. The audio is minimalistic, but effective, as it limits itself to mostly environmental noise, not actual music.
The area where Limbo however falls fatally short is in the story or lets say the lack there off. The game starts out mysterious, but promising, with a little guy waking up in a forest. Exploring the forest confronts him with a big dangerous spider along with a bunch of aggressive children. Then however, after around a third of the game the thing just loses focus. From the forest you move over to an industrial environment and things become much more mundane. Instead of building on the creatures established earlier, it just moves on to saws and boxes. This by itself wouldn't be all that bad, as the puzzles in the later parts of the game are still solid enough, but there is never any explanation of what is happening or why or what you are even trying to do. I don't expect a big story and dialog from this type of game, but I expect a feeling of purpose and progress and Limbo is lacking that. At the start of the game you at least have the spider that hunts you, but with that gone, there is just nothing left. You end up being left with a series of arbitrary puzzles in an arbitrary world and then when the end comes, you don't have any build up to it, tension or anything, it just happens. You solve a random puzzle, one like every other, and then the credits roll.
It's not that Limbo is a bad game by any means, it certainly very well implemented, but for a game that tries so much to build up atmosphere, it just fails to fill it with substance. The game feels hollow and utterly failed to make me care about that little boy or anything that happened to him.
The game takes a little over three hours to beat.