by Quinn Levandoski
previewed on PC
Not that playful
When asked, many a gamer would probably say that living in a post-apocalyptic world could actually be pretty cool. For some reason, video games usually take a more light-hearted look at the end of civilization as we know it. Sure there might be the occasional gang of bandits, abnormally dangerous creature, or angry mutant, but it’s nothing that can’t be overcome by a quick trigger finger or lead pedal foot. In all honesty, though, the apocalypse would probably be a pretty big downer, full of dangers - both physical and mental - tearing at the few lucky (or unlucky) survivors until they are but a shadow of their former selves.
4A Games’ upcoming sequel Metro 2033, Metro: Last Light, opts to treat the situation like the latter, closer resembling Cormac McCarthy’s dystopian classic The Road than the more playful Rage or Borderlands. If everything comes together, Metro: Last Light might well be the atmospheric gem that its predecessor wanted to be.
Metro 2033 was based on the post-apocalyptic novel of the same title by Russian author Dmitry Glukhovsky. Metro: Last Light is a direct sequel to the 2010 survival-shooter but doesn’t follow the plot to the books sequel. In Metro, the world as we know it comes to an end in 2013. Russia, facing the brunt of the attack, becomes an inhospitable tundra of death and clouded darkness. Faced with certain death on the planet surface, the people of Russia are forced to live underground, seeking refuge in metro system of Moscow and other cities. There, in the bowels of Mother Russia, civilization carries on via small, partially secluded posts of varying comfort and productivity. Not everyone is lucky enough to make it underground, however. Those trapped on the surface become victim to radiation mutation, turning them into violent, horrid creatures known as “The Dark Ones.”
Not much is known about the plot of Metro: Last Light at this time, but what is known is that antagonist Artyom returns as the protagonist from the original game and that he is somehow key to the survival of mankind. This could mean just about anything. 4Games might just use the (somewhat tired) “his DNA can be made into medicine to save everyone!” trope. It is pure speculation, but being that he is immune to the mind-melting effects of the post- apocalyptic hallucinations affecting nearly everyone else, it wouldn’t be too far a stretch. Of course there’s always the chance that it is simple marketing department hyperbole. We also know that a doomsday device known as D6, somehow capable of wiping all life off earth, has been found in an underground military installation. Obviously this is incredibly dangerous if put in the wrong hands, so it’s safe to assume Artyom will be trying to either retrieve or protect that. Beyond those details, all that’s for sure is that there will be plenty of sneaking, shooting, and battling mutants and radical survivors.