by Lisa Thrasher, reviewed on
Hey wait, I know this…
The year is 2034. You are Artyom, an unassuming man living in the Metro under post-apocalyptic Moscow, Russia. As Moscow was being bombed, the citizens poured into the subway stations in order to survive, though many were locked out as the bombs came closer. In this survival-horror first person shooter, Artyom is joined by his partner Khan as they take on the Nazis, and other things that go bump in the night, in vicious firefights and stealthy impersonation missions. If you have played Metro 2033, this probably all sounds very familiar to you. But don’t think you’re getting the same experience twice in this story, Ukrainian developer 4A Games have changed many of the poor aspects of the first game while keeping the fantastic atmosphere that built a cult following.
Unlike Metro 2033, Metro: Last Light is not based on a novel. While Dmitry Glukhovsky has written a sequel to Metro 2033, aptly named Metro 2034, the story is of a completely different style. Where the sequel novel is a pseudo follow-up, the author describes the book as an “art-house thriller.” Instead, 4A has decided to write their own story for the game in-house that starts where 2033 left off. However, Glukhovsky is still involved in order to make sure that the story is following his vision for the series.
The future depends on you… once again
Monsters and mutants are everywhere, both below the surface and walking the poisoned land above. Unfortunately, the cities of subway stations are more focused on fighting a war against each rather than against the true threat. The goal of every station group is to gain control of an apocalyptic device from the military vaults of D6 and wield the ultimate power. As a civil war begins to develop that could destroy humanity forever, Artyom is the one that could sustain humankind’s survival… but it will require braving the surface.
If you played Metro 2033 you probably had issues with the combat and stealth system. Thankfully with this second chance at the license, 4A has heard the complaints and claims to have rebuilt all the gameplay systems from the ground up. Last Light will have better stealth, better weapons and better core combat. But don’t think this will become a generic, safer shooter experience. Huw Beynon with publisher THQ says “We don’t want to dumb this down, or westernize it.” The studio is getting complete creative freedom to make the apocalypse their own, and 4A has proven how unique they are.