by William Thompson
reviewed on PC
Into the darkness
The darkness often works to Artyomís advantage though. In the darkness, he is able to creep around, hidden from enemies of all types. Artyom has a flashlight that he can use to find his way around, but it only has a limited battery. But it pays to turn it off as much as possible as well as other lights and lamps so Artyom can sneak around more effectively. I was even able to shoot out distant lights with my pistol equipped with a silencer to darken the area. He also wears a special wristwatch that has an indicator showing whenever he is clearly visible. It may be that you simply need to crouch to avoid the light.
I mentioned prior that the flashlight has a limited battery. Thatís not entirely true. Although the battery drains down, Artyom carries a hand powered generator which can be used to build up the charge for the battery. Another gadget that Artyom carries is his gas mask, required whenever he decides to head to the surface. The gas mask requires filters which must be replenished. They can be hard to come across at times and thus, must be used sparingly.
Ammunition must also be used sparingly, because as well as using it to shoot at enemies, it is also used as a currency in the underground city. Bullets can be used to buy other types of ammunition, med kits, batteries, filters for the gas mask and even weapons. Weapons are the crux of FPS, and so it is with Last Light that there are quite a few variants located throughout the game for gamers to have some fun with. Each handles quite differently and as is the case with most FPS, each has a preferred use. I found my playing style of sneaking around worked well with a pistol with a silencer. It allowed me to keep my position relatively unknown as I took out enemy troops one at a time. The enemy AI is fairly intelligent and will investigate noises in groups, but if they donít know where the headshots are coming from, itís all the better for you. Of course, the pistol is of little use against some of the mutant hordes in the above ground locations.
A worthy successor
Metro: Last Light has a wonderful story, with an atmosphere filled with doubt and indecision. Right from the start, there is clearly an indication that there is a conflict between what Artyom is ordered to do, and what he feels is right. He has visions of a Dark One helping him and his friends when he was younger and as you progress, you garner a feeling of reluctance to eradicate the Dark Ones. And there is always the feeling that those that are helping Artyom may be doing so for their own gain. The eerie background music and the dark tones used with the visuals enhance the feeling of desperation, especially up on the surface. The fact that there are two endings based on your moral choices throughout the game (this was the same in Metro 2033) just go to highlight the detail that the developers have put into the story. If youíve played the original Metro title, youíll definitely want to pick this one up. But, like me, if you hadnít set foot in the Metro landscape before, then you might wish you had given the quality of the sequel.
Compelling story and great audio set a wonderful atmosphere
Some of the cut-scenes are overly lengthy