Metro: Last Light - Brutal, Challenging & Brilliant - Preview
Metro: Last Light may be looking at a 2013 release date, but developer 4A is using its time well. Find out why in our preview.
Published on Jul 3, 2012
We don’t think we’ll surprise anyone when we say that the original Metro 2033 failed in a number of ways to realise the vision at the heart of its post-apocalyptic setting.
A brooding FPS experience that placed a heavy emphasis on character, story and the depressing world in which we discovered humanity scratching out its survival in the Moscow underground, it painted a bleak and yet enthralling picture.
Mutant creatures, underground fascists and all manner of spooky happenings occurred around the struggling survivors, and though rough around the edges, Metro 2033 offered up an experience that many compared to Valve’s Half-Life 2.
It was lofty praise, undone by the game’s obvious issues, but it highlighted just how ambitious Metro 2033 was. Ukraine-based 4A Games injected its own Eastern European brand of culture into a genre rammed with me-too military shooters and now, Last Light is aiming to create the FPS that was originally envisioned.
The setting remains the same and Artyom, after surviving the events of Metro 2033, has become something of a revered figure in the underground. He finds himself pulled between the mystical world that’s been revealed to him and the survivalist nature he’s had to adopt to endure the world’s apocalyptic rules.
Moscow may be thawed, but the climate is still punishing.
Rules that stated the bullets in your gun are also the currency of the world and if you’re a little trigger happy (like us), you might find yourself running out of supplies pretty quickly.
One of the original’s more esoteric concepts, Metro: Last Light, rather surprisingly, isn’t doing away with any of Metro 2033’s confusing ideas. 4A is confident the ideas weren’t the problem; that it was how they were presented to the player that dragged the experience down.
The design has become much more focused, improving the core gameplay concepts and Metro: Last Light will ensure it tells its story and explains the concepts in a way that keeps its cinematic styling but also doesn’t confuse players.
It’s one of a number of changes that should see players are never left quite as much in the dark as they were before. That’s not to say that Metro: Last Light will hold your hand the entire time.
You can cut the atmosphere with a knife.
4A Games is still encouraging players to manage their resources as they explore the dank metro and the (now thawing) ruins of Moscow. Juggling everything is no easy task, especially when the massive rat-wolf Watchers are intent on ripping your face off.
Keeping on eye on your oxygen, wiping your visor clean of anything that splatters across it and ensuring, most importantly, you have enough ammo ups the tension considerably.
This makes Metro: Last Light appear much more like a survival horror action game but 4A is adamant the huge hub areas and roaming cast of characters to interact with will balance things out.
It’s an encouraging direction that’s exploiting everything that made Metro 2033 such an interesting game. With Last Light learning from past lessons and improving the visuals considerably, we’re quietly confident this will be the perfect antidote for the unending wave of military shooters.