Review by hyjinx17
"A bleak Universe realized in a beautiful way"
Metro Last Light is the sequel to the great survival shooter Metro 2033 inspired by the book of the same name. Has it improved on the formula set down with the first game?
The story opens a year after the end of the first game and our hero Artyom has been drafted into the Rangers, an elite group of soldiers that has discovered a part of the Metro known as D6, an abandoned military facility. Artyom is told that one Dark One, creatures who are able to employ psychic powers to destroy the minds of those who come in contact with them, has survived his missile attack on their nest(from the first game). He is ordered to find and kill it, while is friend insists they must save it. In the process, he is captured by the Nazi Reich, but quickly manages to escape with the help of Pavel from the Red Line. There are really 2 sides to the story; The fight between the different factions of the Metro and the one including the dark ones and this is the games biggest problem. The story with the different Metro factions is just your generic, run of the mill, espionage story where betrayal and gun play abounds. Meanwhile, the story with the Dark ones is the far more interesting of the 2. Through your interactions with the last Dark One, you gain new insights about the world and it's inhabitants. You come to realize that these are not monsters, rather they are animals who behave as such.
The world of Metro Last Light is easily one of the best realized in this generation of gaming. The world is very bleak and crushing in theme, but beautiful in presentation. I'm not a stickler for graphics, but this game is absolutely gorgeous, even on console. The textures are phenomenal and the lighting is second to none. The creatures are fantastic and believable mutations of the animals we are familiar with. The subway stations where the average citizen lives are amazing in there execution of showing off the cramped, dirty places these people call home.
The gameplay is where the game truly shines. Every gun, though cobbled together with makeshift parts, all the guns feel great to use. The guns feel like you would imagine they do. You're flashlight plays a huge part in the game and it's one of the few games that realize that yes, flashlights do eventually run out of power. For this you have a charger that you use and trying to make a brief moment in combat for yourself to charge it adds tension to your firefights with various creatures of the metro and surface. You also have the option of stealth that works extremely well against human enemies, but not so much against creatures. You have the option of both lethal and non lethal take downs. The one problem is, the stealth is a little wonky. Sometimes you can be standing right in front of someone and they won't notice you as long as there isn't a light on you and other times people will spot you climbing a ladder on the other side of the room. There are also several boss fights with powerful versions of the various mutant creatures you fight. These all have solid mechanics and are always fun. The one letdown is the final battle which feels like a firefight straight out of Call of Duty, complete with the only gatling gun in the entire game. The game is linear with some optional areas of exploration that reward you with money(in the form of military grade bullets, which you can choose to fire for some extra damage) and filters for your gas mask.
The sound design of the game is fantastic. The guns sound meaty when fired and the eerie moans of the subway are haunting. The howls of the various creatures will give you chills knowing there is something out to get you around the next corner. The biggest let down is the English voice overs. Bad Russian accents abound. The game has a Russian language option, which is the preferred way of playing for immersion, but many of the passing conversations don't have subtitles so it's recommended you play on English the first time through.
All in all this is on of the best shooting experiences of this generation, with a level of realism seldom seen. One minute you are lighting a spider web on fire with your lighter and the other you are wiping the blood of the person you just blew away with a shotgun off your gas mask's visor. You owe it to yourself to play this game. I wish it was a bit longer, clocking in at about 10 hours, but that's only because I enjoyed my time in that world so much. If you like FPS and/or post nuclear worlds, you need to play this game
Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 06/04/13
Game Release: Metro: Last Light (Limited Edition) (US, 05/14/13)
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