Metro Last Light Dev: Our Engine Is “Amazing”
After an impressive visual display during this years E3 demo, 4A Games’ follow up to Metro: 2033, Last Light, has been making great strides in its visual design, despite using the same base technology as its predecessor. In a year that has seen more visually advanced games pushing the Xbox 360’s tech in all manner of ways, 4A’s game certainly has its work cut out for it. Last Light’s producer, Dean Sharpe, is quietly confident that the underlying engine powering the game is advanced enough to evolve with the times and offer players a far richer world to explore.
“Well, the tech is still the original engine running from the first game,” explains Sharpe, “which we continue to improve and optimise. You can really see it in the E3 gameplay demo, specifically the scene with Artyom sneaking through a crowd of enemies. When I first saw that, even in the studio, I just thought it was amazing. Our lead programmer never ceases to amaze me. He’s just continuing to push the envelope, and I remember he came back from GDC this year and he was like, ‘Damn it!’
“So I said, woah, woah, what’s going on? And he’s like, The other programmers, they keep doing new stuff, so I guess I’m going to have to go and make my stuff better.’ I just said, ‘Yeah I guess you are,’ (laughs). The guy is great, he never quits. I mean I could get into the specifics of the game engine, but I think that’s probably a different conversation.”
It’s easy to see where the work has gone. Metro: Last Light is making significant leaps in visual design and this is hopefully going to be accompanied with a fresh design approach. Though 2033 could never be accused of being short on ideas, the sequel is looking like it will streamline much of the superfluous gameplay to present a far more visceral and tense affair. With so many games pushing what players expect of their machines, the twilight years of the Xbox 360 should be wall-to-wall with beautiful games.