It is a truth universally acknowledged that a film grain filter and a big old vignette effect make everything scarier. F. W. Murnau knew it, as did Robert Wiene - and so does Limbo developer Playdead. Though, to be fair, that game would be plenty unsettling without either - what with all the death and spiders and stuff.
UPDATE 25/11/14 12.05pm Microsoft has confirmed that its recent surprise free gift of Limbo was sent to anyone who used their Xbox One during the console's launch weekend.
The platformer's new Xbox One port will be made available to purchase for everyone else "soon".
"We're looking forward to launching Limbo on Xbox One," a Microsoft spokesperson told Eurogamer. "As a thank you to our earliest adopters, fans who played their Xbox One the first weekend of launch received early, free access to the game.
Divekick, Limbo, Spelunky, more set for PS3 and PS Vita.
At the Game Developers Conference this evening Sony announced a number of new PlayStation games.
The PlayStation 4 will get Blacklight: Retribution and Primal Carnage: Genesis courtesy of Sony's Pub Fund, which is being continued as the company looks to make it easier for developers to self-publish on PlayStation.
Zombie Studios' Blacklight: Retribution is a free-to-play first-person shooter that first released in April 2012 on PC. There's a PS4 trailer below.
Haunting XBLA hit Limbo was almost a PSN exclusive, but Sony's request for the rights to the IP caused developer Playdead to sign on with Microsoft instead.
"We had issues when we were trying to sign Limbo because of the IP," said Sony Computer Entertainment executive producer Pete Smith, speaking at last week's Develop Conference in Brighton, as reported by Edge.
Sony now regrets passing on the game - much as it did with Demon's Souls - because Limbo found huge commercial success, selling 300,000 copies in its first month on XBLA July 2010, and over a million by last November. It still sold well on PSN - where it was the highest-selling third-party PSN game of 2011, but there's no doubt that it would have sold much better on Sony's platform had it arrived there first.
Danish studio Playdead's follow-up to its critically acclaimed debut Limbo will be a 2.5D platformer rendered in full colour, according to a new report.
Citing information gleaned from a Danish government grant site, Kotaku has written that the game, currently codenamed Project 2, "tells the story of a boy's struggle against evil forces trying to take over the world through questionable experiments on human bodies."
Its intended platforms are listed as PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PC and Mac. See above for an accompanying piece of concept art.
This week sees gaming's first Western since last year's epic Red Dead Redemption. Can Call of Juarez: The Cartel compete? The third entry in Techland's cowboy series is taking a very bold tack - uprooting the shooting from the genre's classic timeframe and dumping gamers in the modern day.
Welcome to Cheap This Week, our weekly selection of discounted games. There's a great selection of games available for good prices this week, including two hot pre-orders for less than 20 quid apiece. If you want still more cut-price gaming, make sure to visit home of cheap games on the internet: SavyGamer.co.uk.
Playdead Studios, the developer behind hit Xbox Live Arcade platformer Limbo, has announced that it's working on a brand new IP.
The Danish studio's CEO Dino Patti told Joystiq, "I can't tell much, but I can tell you that if you liked Limbo, it'll definitely be for you. The gameplay style you'll really like. You'll feel it's the same team who made it, but everything will be changed."
Patti went on to explain Limbo was an Xbox exclusive because Playdead "used a lot of time and a lot of money" developing the game and he hoped it would help "get the money back."
Limbo, the moody, monochromatic game that kicks off Xbox Live Arcade's Summer of Arcade this Wednesday, looks gorgeous. Any screenshot will tell you that, and playing the game drives it home. The developers, Playdead, execute their aesthetic - like a gloomy Eastern European animated short seen through misted glass - with beauty and consistency. The game's real success, however, is in refusing to be satisfied with looks alone.
Creativity thrives in limitations, and Limbo is rigorous in its self-imposed limits. It has no colour, no dialogue, minimal music, no cut-scenes, no on-screen health meters or other clutter. Yet you can't expect limitations alone to make your masterpiece for you. After cutting away the fat, the obligation is to use what remains as convincingly as possible. That's what Limbo accomplishes. The game steps back from audio-visual sensory overload so it has room to make inroads to other senses: a sense of wonder, say, or of compassion and vulnerability.
Microsoft's marketing materials say that Limbo is about a boy who's trying to find his sister, because marketers are paid to think in blurbs and back-of-box copy. The game itself is more ambiguous. I can at least confirm that you play as a boy, one who journeys across a 2D world, cutting through a forest, an abandoned city, and a malfunctioning factory.
Uncertain of his sister's fate, a boy enters Limbo. That's the remit. Those are the only words you'll get before watching a bright-eyed youth wake up in a silent monochrome world and valiantly set out from left to right.
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