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Release Date: July 21st, 2010 Movie Release Year: 2010


Overview -

On the cusp between reality and an ethereal plane of existence, one left purposefully undefined by Danish independent producers PlayDead, LIMBO starts with a boy awakening in an obscure, frightening forest of shadows. As we see nothing but his blackened silhouette and the blistering whites of his eyes, he gets up and begins his journey through the towering trees, murky waters, and rustling shades that immerse him, the crunch of his feet on grass and dirt as the only consistent sound in a symphony of wildness. We’re uncertain exactly what this world is, as no title cards or explanations have been offered; the only glimmer of exposition, really, eventually comes in the young boy approaching a younger girl under a light-adorned ladder, whom we can assume might be his little sister. Don’t assume, though, that the lack of a verbose narrative leaves PlayDead’s brilliant, dark creation void of narrative.

Rating Breakdown
Tech Specs & Release Details
Technical Specs:
Digital Download: 1200 Marketplace Points
Video Resolution/Codec:
Audio Formats:
Dolby Digital 5.1
Release Date:
July 21st, 2010

Video Review


LIMBO is a drop-dead gorgeous game, but it’s not an experience to fully indulge in the capacity of a flat-panel television – unless it’s to flex some muscle in the black-level department. Flickering, grainy images persist in PlayDead’s faux-Expressionist aesthetic, remaining slightly hazy throughout its 1080p rendering of deep, fluctuating black-and-white contrast, which remains inky and robust throughout. Some details remain intentionally hazy due to its artistic aims, such as the lines created by ledges and walking areas; however, there’s also a wealth of truly impressive minute details to embrace in the periphery, from small swarming flies and raindrops to the dust rustling behind the boy’s feet while he’s running. The graphics’ ability to capture his bodily eccentricities – and those of other living organisms – is supremely satisfying, which becomes affective and chilling during the game’s macabre moments.

Audio Review


LIMBO’s Dolby Digital 5.1 treatment offers less room for debate. Atmosphere’s a big driver behind this experience, and the consistent rush of sound elements will stagger on more than a few occasions. Mostly, the buzzing flies, slight raindrops, the thud of a box and the splashing of water become the design’s bread and butter, alongside the consistent pitter-patter of the boy’s feet coming from the front-channels. But when it needs to telegraph more robust, fierce elements, such as the rolling of a boulder or the churning of gears, it reaches deep into the lower-frequency channel for throaty, well-balanced bass delivery. Furthermore, Martin Stig Andersen’s eerie score – which features some scratchy radio elements and a few Silent Hill-esque tones – rounds out the design impeccably. LIMBO does stay to the front of the design, with little to no noticeable echoes reaching the rear-channels, but the clarity of what it delivers from the front and the power of the LFE channel completely immerses those playing.

PlayDead’s orchestration of black-and-white vintage artistry and superb sound design injects a haunting, fierce atmosphere into LIMBO, a cleverly-designed puzzle-platformer that’s masterful within its minimalism. Where it lacks in direct narrative, it overflows the gaps with restless melancholy tone and purely challenging puzzles, delivered by way of a mix of familiar and inventive mechanics that remains engaging. Moreover, it’s surprising exactly how deeply felt the experience of a young boy trekking through the dangerous shadowy atmosphere can be, especially considering that a word isn’t spoken the entire time.