BADGP Reviews: Metro: Last Light
Metro: Last Light (4A Games, Deep Silver)
Released: May 14, 2013
September 27, 2013
Review: Atmospheric FPS at its Best
Metro 2033 was a refreshing take on the FPS genre in 2010. Its deeply atmospheric, immersive, and novel approach to the genre was excellent. It further distinguished itself through a different control style that polarized audiences, and pair that with it being an Xbox 360 and PC exclusive and you have the makings of cult classic. Metro: Last Light homogenizes its controls, but keeps its chilling atmosphere and adds a better story, characters, weapons, and some new mechanics and systems. Last Light may be infinitely more playable than its predecessor, 2033, but one must ask if it loses some its identity that made it a standout in the process.
The Story, The Look
My first observation of Last Light was that it continued a strange tradition of 2033 and that is that the main character is silent during gameplay, but he cannot seem to shut up in the loading screens. This is still a little jarring. Last Light is also still very linear or “directed” as I might say to make it sound more positive. 4A Games takes the player on a journey through the underground metro stations and above ground nuclear wasteland while telling a compelling narrative which focuses on power, politics, and the human condition. Much like 2033, Last Light examines the different sects of humanity and their ideology for how to best proceed since the nuclear war. The groups are largely broken into three groups: the Rangers, which Artyom, the main character is a part of, the Nazis who favor control and purity through avoiding mutation, and the Communists who work for the good of everyone within their group. Last Light has much more memorable characters over 2033 and that folds into the game telling a much more immersive and compelling narrative.
Metro: Last Light is absolutely gorgeous most of the time. Last Light has more color than 2033, but still largely takes place in incredibly bleak environments. I played on an Xbox 360 and experienced a little clipping of enemies through the environment, but otherwise the game was quite technically proficient. And burning spider webs with the lighter was incredibly satisfying.
Do I Need to Play Metro 2033 First?
In short, no not at all. 2033 certainly has its merits in its unique controls set-up and crushing difficulty, and Last Light picks up shortly after where 2033 concludes, but Last Light does a good job of keeping potentially new players informed on the happenings of the first game. It could also be nice to familiar with some of the series’ odd key gameplay elements like the use of ammunition as currency and the need to collect air filters for your gas mask. Both systems make prominent returns.
Metro: 2033 was incredibly difficult and Last Light is no cakewalk, but it is certainly more forgiving than its predecessor. The homogenized, Call of Duty 4 controls make the game familiar. The gunplay is faster and overall more playable, which eliminates some frustration, but also some of 2033’s charm and personality in the process. There are some unnecessary quick-time events that get old fast, but they are by no means difficult or slow the game down. What Metro: Last Light does best however, is stealth. This is an excellent stealth game. Artyom’s watch has a light that will glow a bright blue when he is hidden and disappear when he can be seen. This binary stealth state makes it much less frustrating that most other stealth games that make the player guess if they can be seen or not. Most of Last Lights’ gameplay is centered around shooting with a touch of exploration for secrets or survival gear.
Recommendation and Conclusion
Metro: Last Light’s flow, pacing, and fusion of the action and stealth genre make it an immensely enjoyable experience despite dark themes. The experience is further enhanced by an excellent story, cast of characters, voice acting,, beautiful graphics, and creepy, if not disturbing, enemy design. So, it should not come at a surprise that I strongly recommend Metro: Last Light. Fans of First-Person Shooters, survival-horror, and a good story will be more than pleased with 4A’s second venture into the turbulent metro stations of a post-apocalyptic Russia.
8.8 out of 10