Atmosphere is Not Enough: A Limbo and Another World Critique

"Another World is a classic that I’ve been meaning to play for a while and finishing it left me with something. Afterwards, I had to pause for quite a bit. The game is not explicit in what it’s about and it certainly isn’t offering any profound sentiments. That’s something that gets lost when the word theme gets brought up. A theme can be a message or an opinion or an exploration, but sometimes a portrayal is enough. Another World portrays a friendship with so few elements that bigger games with all their material can’t seem to equal, even in good games like Uncharted. The game’s silence allows the player to fill in much of the details as the game itself treats most of the setting with broad strokes and simplistic iconography that the player is more inclined to identify with the avatar than not.

Limbo, on the other hand, falls flat on its face. The first third is strong with set up for the hostile, unforgiving, mysterious environment where it takes place and then does nothing with it. After the set up point you get the feeling the game doesn’t know what to do with itself other than more puzzles. That’s all the game is. Some set up and no delivery. The art, while stylized, is highly detailed. This clashes with the otherwise minimalist presentation. The environments are detailed, even if black and white, but the detail isn’t matched with anything else. Why are we traveling left to right? Hell if I know. Who are the savage children? They disappear after a while, so it’s never explained. Are the spiders the mystical guardians of torment and redemption or the transformed beings of those trapped so long in the cycle they’ve become feral? Answer: why are you hurting my brain with big words?"

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MWH2930d ago (Edited 2930d ago )

i read Another World and clicked in, surprised as only few nowdays remembers this gem. one of my all-time favorites, a true classic imho.