In which I review the unpredictably terryfying game LIMBO by Playdead.

The Afterlife Is a Harsh Mistress

788 words about review — 20:13 · 16th Oct 2011

Or “How I realised there’s lot of games I have to play”.

Examining some of my earlier posts, for instance this one, dating as far back as May, 2010 I realised that there’s actually quite a number of games of my “to-play” -list that I still haven’t gotten around to. Although in the “Games, I’m eagerly awaiting..” I have played two of those. And sort of reviewed them too. Here’s the one for Fable III, and here I talked about Halo: Reach(link removed). But I will be the first to admit that the one for Halo: Reach has almost not even a review, at least in comparison to proper real reviews. Good thing I’m not comparing myself then.

Anyway. So yeah.. what about the other two games on that previously mentioned list of mine?, I pretend you ask. Well.. Batman: Arkham City is coming out next weekend, and my bat-penis is still very stiff about that. I have given it some thought as to whether I should buy it right away, or not, but I haven’t decided yet. And as for Fallout: New Vegas I promised myself I would wait until they release an edition that contains all the DLC’s and since that hasn’t happened yet.. I’m still waiting. For good reasons though as they just released the final DLC “Lonesome Road” a couple of weeks ago or so, so maybe I’m coming to the end of my waiting.

Of course there’s been other games along the road as well. Such as Alice: Madness Returns(link removed), which I really should try to acquire. Then there was Dead Island(link removed) that gave me a raging zomboner™ (zombie boner, pay royalties every time you use it) but failed to live up to its own trailer. Now, don’t get me wrong, the game as it stands seems to be quite good. But I was hoping for an emotional survival story about a family torn apart by the outbreak of zombies.. or something like that. And unfortunately in all it’s 4-player-co-op-melee-fest glory, Dead Island was not what I hoped and wanted when I first saw the announcement trailer. Which is too bad, because if someone makes that game, I will shower them in all my hard earned money. Or well.. at least the appropriate retail amount.

This brings me nicely to LIMBO, released originally on Xbox Live Arcade in 2010 and then later for Windows and PS3. Here, do yourself a favour and go buy it on Steam right away. It’s fucking worth it just to consume your hard-drive space. I was eager to play this and since I realised how many games I had been waiting for, yet not played yet, this is where I started. Limbo is awesome! It’s creepy.. it’s scary and unfamiliar. It teaches you the ropes through failure.. hard, deadly failure in it’s gruesomest form. Although I actually had a chuckle at one of my many deaths. And not to spoil anything but I will tell you about this death of mine.

In my path was a stone-block of sort hanging mid-air. On the ground under that block there was a semi-clearly marked protrusion indicated a button of sort, and yes, sure enough, the idea was that I had to jump on top of that button so that the stone-block wouldn’t fall down and brutally murder me. Took me two deaths to figure that out. Managing to not get myself killed I pranced onwards with my journey only to notice an identical looking contraption ahead. Same looking stone-block. Same protrusion on the ground. So I of course pranced in my merriness and proceeded to jump on to the button. Only to have to stone-block come rushing down and brutally murdering me. Haha, Limbo, you get me good there! Turns out.. First stone-block, jump ON button to avoid certain doom. Second stone-block, DON’T jump on button to avoid certain doom. Pretty sneaky of them. But it exemplifies Limbo perfectly. Because the entire world you are in, is out to murder you as much as it can. No puzzle is exactly the same, so don’t expect things to get predictable. The only thing you can know with absolute certainty is that if it doesn’t get you murdered the first time, it will keep on coming until it does.

LIMBO gets 5 shit-stained underpants out of 5. Check out the in-game teaser if you don’t believe me.

Screenshot of the main character from LIMBO standing and looking at a boy, hanging by a noose from wooden ledge.

You’ve just read The Afterlife Is a Harsh Mistress.

In which, 12 years ago, I wrote 788 words about review and I covered topics, such as: video games , and limbo .