LIMBO: A Milestone In Gaming

We preview the gorgeous-looking platformers, with the game finally released on Playstation Network this week...

Limbo, from Danish developers Playdead Studios, is a milestone as to how far the game industry has matured within its relatively short history. The game demonstrates the artistry, of this relatively young and exciting medium, which I feel is able to communicate feelings and emotions just as well as other expressive means such as film, music and photography. Parallels in the growth of games can be drawn with the early days of cinema. With the birth of film, the focus was to inform or entertain the viewer; it was not until the medium was allowed to mature that filmmakers began to take on more compelling themes and subject matter. The same can be noted about the games industry, but games have matured at a much faster rate. Within such a short space of time the 2D side-scroller has evolved from fast action entertainment to, with Limbo and other titles such as Braid, something much, much more.

Limbo is a platformer, the player must run and jump through the games various thought-provoking puzzles, continuing the pursuit of an ever illusive girl. From this description the game does not appear to be dissimilar to other 2D platformers of the last 30 years. Yet it is with its atmosphere that the games designers have been able to create a game that stands out from most others that share the similar gameplay ideas. Throughout the games colourless environment the player is immersed in an eery, dark and unforgiving world that it is hard not to be effected by. The dark foreboding forest, the sinister figures and creatures, as well as the creepy, and distinctly minimal audio, all come together to create a player experience and is greater than the sum of its parts. Limbo finally gets its release on the Playstation Network this Wednesday.

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