Tuesday, 10 August 2010

Tilt Shift London

London made to look like a miniature. Can the producers at the BBCs drama unit (Sherlock, Luther & Wallender in particular, but no doubt others) have a look at this and realise that "tilt shift" is OK for fun little YouTube videos and then please stop using it?

Cricket Is A Serious Game

Monday, 2 August 2010

LIMBO: A Review

"Hahaha. You just got squashed."

Andrea. She doesn't always get my jokes —it's a language thing, I tell myself—, but when my onscreen avatar has a large box dropped on him she laughes like a drain. I guess among other things LIMBO is good to watch.

Games must have it down, now. A certain feeling of weight, that is. Batman: Arkham Asylum definitely felt like you were moving something like a real, large person and Assassin's Creed II has you feeling like a much more fleet and agile one.

LIMBO has you controlling the silhouette of a little boy with glowing eyes who has awoken in a forest of shades of grey and obstacles and ropes and giant spiders that are just the right size for the boy to tackle. It's a beautiful, ancient forest that flickers like an old movie and even it's horrors have a delicate allure to them.

But there's a nice weight here to the boy. His movements feel right, he moves at a slight jog and only jumps a foot or two in the air. He can't swim, but he's quite strong. Strong enough to pull helpful boxes around, anyway.

It also has any number of creepy, well animated deaths if you don't get everything just right. They are funny. If you aren't me. The games does have a fine atmosphere everything has the slightly off feeling of a dream. It's Kafkaesque, I think, though what I probably mean is that it reminds me of Orson Welles' take on The Trial.

Sound plays a very important part, too. There are clues in the noises of the game, and sometimes the action takes place off-screen, but you do hear it.

LIMBO is not particularly original. It is a puzzle-platform game. There's nothing that hasn't been done before. But LIMBO does it very, very well. It maintains a consistent atmosphere throughout and some of the later "twists" feel that much larger for the relative slightness of the earlier ones. It also doesn't outstay its welcome. You can probably finish it in a couple of hours. Those who feel that a euro an hour is right for a game will be very disappointed, but for those who will pay a premium for a finely crafted piece of art will be well rewarded by it.