Thursday, 16 May 2013

Metro Last Light - Final Round Review

When you think post-apocalypse you think of bleakness and sadness, of the struggle to survive each day, and this is the world that is portrayed in Metro: Last Light. Everything from the tunnels you walk in to the people you talk to, you can feel the ever present dread of a painful death waiting around the corner. The tunnels that once kept you safe are becoming more dangerous by the passing minute and there nowhere left to hide.

It rained so hard i could hardly see at times.
When Metro begins its story, you are greeted with a griping cinematic that immediately grabs your attention. It reveals an important piece of back story to main character Artyom’s childhood and what his life was like before the bombs fell. This opening sets the standard for the level of narrative that has been weaved into the new Metro; unlike the original which would go long stretches without so much as a monolog between the loading screens. Each of the characters introduced to Artyom play a part in building on the strong narrative with both other characters and yourself. 4A Games worked closely with Dmitry Glukhovsky (the author of Metro: 2033) to craft a deep and engrossing story with memorable characters, which is a hard target to hit in any game let alone a first person shooter.

Metro has some of the best controls in a first person shooter I have seen in a while, and this is attributed to the fact that you have lots of options on how you want your gun to operate. Adding in scopes and stocks to your weapons allows you to think about what you want out of your weapon; do you want an extended magazine to go John Rambo style, or would you rather a silenced rifle with a night vision scope to pick off your enemies from the dark? 4A games has built on the weapon types in Metro 2033 and added more features to customise your weapons to your particular shooting style. Stealth is defiantly an option this time around; you can actually approach enemies from behind and kill them without the entire metro finding out your location. I find myself scoping each new scene checking my inventory to see what my options are, and enjoying the hell out of it.

Unfortunately Last Light does suffer from some repetitive moments that can be a pain, namely the ‘defend yourself while waiting for someone to pick you up’ moments. This always seems to happen towards the end of a level while holding a single clip of pistol ammo and no med kits, and is really only an issue when said level consisted mostly of beast and creatures, not allowing you not save your precious ammunition for a hard fight. A plus side to this is that you get to have intense close encounters with the large variety of enemies and creatures.

Last Light can be truly beautiful in a dark sort of way
Metro is a gorgeous looking game, but it is not without its bugs. On a few occasions my lighters flame has become a white block on the screen where the flame should have been; this can also occur while switching to my night vision goggles and firing my weapon. This is not a big issue but it does break the immersive gameplay that is otherwise nearly flawless. While above ground the world is full of more colour and variation then before; the lakes, swamps and cities are slowly being taken back by nature is a sight to behold and the accompanying score is glorious. The voice acting in Metro Last Light is greatly improved over the previous installment  giving most characters a more authentic Russian accent. Occasionally you may come across a bug where the weapons have no sound effects, though this only lasts a second or so, I have no doubt that 4A games will have this cleaned up with a day one patch.

With its mix of atmosphere and explosive action, Metro: Last Light will have you traversing its tunnels for hours on end; if not for the refreshing narrative then for the awesome shoot outs and crazy monsters. This is a refreshing approach to the first person genera which has become rather stagnant in the last few years. If you are a fan of post-apocalyptic settings, or even just first person shooters in general, Metro will have you covered.  


– William Flynn

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