The nameless boy who searches for his sister on the edge of Hell is finally available for the PS Vita. Known for its brilliant and sometimes morbid puzzles, Limbo redefined the 2D platform genre with its horror-style monochromatic black and white graphics and Silent Hill-style film grain effects.
The PS Vita release is a straight port of the original game with no additional features or touchscreen functionality, but it really doesn’t need it. Limbo is just as engaging as it was on Xbox 360 when it was a Microsoft exclusive.
Gamers not familiar with Limbo may find the game a bit confusing at first. As previously mentioned, you take control of an unnamed boy who is searching for his sister. There is no dialog, intermissions or any color for that matter. Everything is shrouded in darkness, including the main character.
When Limbo first released, developer Playdead introduced a new style of play dubbed, ‘trail and death’. The idea behind this concept was to steer the player away from certain scenarios while trying to solve the game’s many puzzles. When something isn’t done correctly, the player dies in a gruesome, almost unimaginable way. These deaths can include being chewed up in large gear wheels, impaled by stakes, and drowning in deep, murky pools of water.
Limbo isn’t your typical platform game where you kill monsters, collect power ups or achieve goals before a timer expires. The game is puzzle-based and very intellectual. It requires the player to think outside the box during each puzzle scenario. Early on during the game, you are perused by a giant spider. It’s not as obvious when you first encounter the creature, but the spider belongs to multiple puzzles. At first you’re using a bear trap to sever some of its legs to scare it off, but later on its lifeless body is used as a platform to cross a large spike-filled pit.
The entire game is one puzzle sequence after another as you pull levers to fill rooms with water to reach ladders, use corpses to cross deep pools of water, and swing from chains to open large cement pillars. When you’re not solving puzzles, you’re avoiding the few human enemies in the game. Since there is no dialog in the game, it can only be assumed that these human enemies are responsible for kidnapping your sister.
The controls are as basic as they come — movement is controlled by using either the analog stick or directional pad, while the face buttons are used for moving objects and jumping. As mentioned earlier, Limbo doesn’t take advantage of the PS Vita’s touchscreen technology. Essentially, you’re receiving an identical port of the game that has already appeared on both PC and console systems. This can be good or bad depending on your disposition.
If you’re looking to take Limbo on the go, the PS Vita version is a solid port of the original game with crisp, sharp graphics. But if you’re looking for any extended features in this release, you won’t find any. With that said, Limbo still manages to captivate your attention with its morbid death sequences and perplexingly difficult puzzles; just don’t expect anything new.
Platform: PS Vita (Available on PSN)
ESRB: T (Teen)
|The monochromatic graphics are timeless; they still manage to impress even today|
|While limited, what is available sets the mood for this horror-style platformer.|
|Complex puzzles that require more thinking than skill.|
|Despite its age, Limbo continues to be the most original 2D platformer ever released by an indie developer. Even if you have already played it on a different platform, Limbo is one game that every PS Vita gamer should own.|