Limbo Review (Xbox 360)

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<em>Limbo</em> Review (Xbox 360)

Developer: PlayDead
Publisher: Xbox Live Arcade
Platform: Xbox 360

Put away your childish things

In the dark you open your eyes. As they adjust to the gloom, you try to make out your surroundings, but all you can see are shadows looming in the distance, masked as if by some sickly grey gauze. You hear flies buzzing, water dripping, and underneath a metallic, keening drone. You can’t recall how you arrived in this fetid place, nor why.

In the shadows, something is moving.

You sense you’ve lost someone, but you don’t know whom. She’s somewhere up ahead, off in the distance and out of sight. So you slowly climb to your feet, blink your eyes and quietly set off into the unknowable.

The trials of boyhood were harrowing enough in life; here in Limbo, they are reborn as deadly specters, eyeless embodiments of the terrible powerlessness of youth. The world was so big, so dangerous and cruel, and you felt so small, with only your frail body and your imagination to see you through. Here in Limbo, you have no choice but to move forward, to tiptoe up to the edge of the abyss and jump.

Thank God for your eyes; at least you have your eyes. You take a deep breath and open them wide, focusing on the nearest shape you can make out, trying not to think about what lurking malevolence, what grisly death might lay beyond the edges of your vision.

They never really close, those glowing eyes of yours; they are your fire and your salvation, two shining points of spirit pulling you ever onward. Fixed on the horizon, on the light. Fixed on her, and the end of this beautiful nightmare.

Kirk Hamilton is a musician and writer in San Francisco. He is editor of the gaming site Gamer Melodico and writes about music, games and culture for a number of publications. He can be found on Twitter @kirkhamilton.