Metro Last Light Review

22May

By Paul Barbara

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Metro Last Light is the latest sequel to the original Metro 2033 released by 4A Games and is based on the universe created by author Dmitry Glukhovsky.  Set in a post-apocalyptic world some decades after a nuclear attack on Russia, you are packed into the subway tunnels with many other survivors where you have lived almost your entire life, underground and safe from the radiation on the surface.  You are a ranger named Artyom and are about to embark on yet another adventure.

Gameplay

The world of Metro is a dangerous place and the tunnels and surface are not safe.  The metro is filled with various factions and groups that tend to fight each other for any resources they can get their hands on.  The surface is no better with radiation that still can boil water, and mutants and other creatures that roam the surface.  Surviving on the surface is near impossible with such vast amounts of radiation however you must venture to the top in order to explore the land for any resources.

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Metro Last Light is once again a pretty linear affair in that you don’t have a massive open post-apocalyptic world to explore say as in Fallout 3.  You guided along a set path with small areas to explore but it’s essentially linear.  You’ll make your way through various outposts and settlements and you will encounter other groups and factions that either will help you or try to kill you.

Metro Last light also builds an environment that’s truly worth exploring.  From the various tunnels, to the outposts where you can just sit and listen to other peoples conversations which give you an insight into what has happened and what has been going on.  You can spend a great deal of time listening to these conversations, building context for and understanding of the plight of the metro’s survivors, holding on to life by a mere string. You can even see things from Artyom’s point of view in the form of journal entries strewn around the tale’s various chapters. In a clever twist, these weren’t written by others; when found, Artyom will write notes to himself in his journal, working around his silent posture and providing players with one of two ways you get insight from the protagonist himself. The only time you ever actually hear him speak is during load screens when he verbally explains what’s coming up next.

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Resources in Metro Last light are extremely precious, from clean water, to electricity, the air you breathe and the bullets you use, all need to be carefully thought out.  Even Gas Masks are your only lifeline between life and death on the surface, so scrounging around and collecting filters is an absolute must if you expect to survive.

Metro Last Light can be played as either a guns blazing experience, or more as a stealthy experience.  I tried going out guns blazing but found that I ran out of ammunition very quickly and it wasn’t readily available to refill my guns with.  So a combination of stealthy takedowns is certainly recommended if you plan or surviving.   You can knock your enemy unconscious or stab them in the throat for an instant kill, the choice is yours.  Then you can collect their ammunition once they are dead and save this for a later battle.

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In relation to your ammunition, bullets still act like currency.  That is, pre-war bullets are worth far more than post war bullets, so use these wisely as they can be used to buy and trade back at the various outposts.  Personally I found that I hardly ever visited any merchants nor spent my pre-war ammunition.  Most of my weapons and ammunition were scavenged from others who lay dead before me.

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Metro Last Light also had a few little bugs such sad the occasional screen tearing and texture pop in which is all too common on most games this generation.  I have not been bitten by the game freezing bug, so I’ll count myself lucky in that respect, however it has been reported as an issue.

Graphics & Sound

Metro Last Light certainly has made some very strong improvements over its predecessor Metro 2033.  Subtle details from the frost, ice and sweat on your gas mask, to the lighting in the underground tunnels, you can’t deny that 4A Studios have really tried to recreate a post-apocalyptic setting.  There are some fantastic details on facial animations during the cut scenes which is clearly noticeable along with some awesome cut scenes throughout the game.    Sound wise, you’ll hear water dripping in the tunnels or creatures scurrying towards you.  I felt the Russian accents were fine however some true Russian gamers may disagree on that point.

Overall

Metro Last Light is a great game despite its linearity of its campaign.  There is a great amount of value here and gameplay to keep you entertained for hours.  4A Studios have done a fantastic job in terms of making you believe your settings and depicting a post-apocalyptic setting so well.  It’s a great title and one that you will enjoy playing for the months ahead.

8 / 10