Monday, 7 October 2013

Metro: Last Light

Gamespot Score: 9.0 (Editor's Choice)

My Score: 7.7

(+)Pros: - Interesting story with few likable characters, - Atmosphere feels amazingly dreadful, - Breath taking surface world and abandoned Metro tunnels, - Innovative creature designs and its fun to fight against them, - Playing stealthily against human foes is pretty fun, - Good array of customization weapons.

(-)Cons: - Most of the main campaign is dreadfully shallow and linear, - Human enemy AI is bad, - Zero replay value.

Gameplay time: Less than 10 hours

Its a huge surprise I even played this game, not only to me, but to almost every friend I know. I didn't even finish the first "Metro", I did play it, but I couldn't stomach the game after the first 20 minutes. So with that in mind, I didn't know what to expect heading into "Metro: Last Light", until I realized that I beat the game the moment I booted it up for the very first time. Does that mean that the game was fun? Yes, of course, its a glorious shooting gallery with many great touches to it here and there, but honestly, its short on content. If you're looking for an incredibly in-depth shooter that allows you great lengths of exploration, you should look elsewhere. If you want a simple shooter against awesome mutant enemies and a fairly nice story, you can take a swing at it.

You play as Artyom, returning protagonist from the first game. "Last Light"'s story follows up from the default ending in the first game, which is the ending where the nuclear missile was launched, wiping out the entire race known as The Dark Ones (which weren't exactly a bunch of bad dudes). Apparently, Artyom, now a ranger, has been called on by his old friend Khan, saying that there's a surviving Dark One left on the surface, which he pleads you to go rescue. Of course, the rangers have a different plan, and sends you on a mission to go and KILL the final remaining Dark One. Turns out that this surviving Dark One is but an infant, and Artyom has troubles putting a bullet to its brain. However, things don't turn out to be so easy, as Artyom is attacked by Nazis and captured. After waking up and listening on the Nazi's plan, he manages to escape with the help of a fellow prisoner. His new journey begins.

Shoot with guns, kill guys, easy as f**k.

There are many factors that decide shooter games for me, the story is one of them. Most shooters have decent to good stories, while some are just plain bad. "Metro: Last Light" has a surprisingly good story, filled with good amounts of emotion and tension at the right times. As someone who missed out the first game, I could still manage to get hold about what the game was going on about, so its safe to say that newcomers won't feel left out, except for the first few portions of the game where they are reminiscing about the past.

Because of the nature of the game's world, "Metro: Last Light" goes to great ends to make the atmosphere as dreadful as it can be. The very sight of the world spells complete dread and despair, crumbled surface buildings, destroyed roads, caved in tunnels and the very feeling that you get that an unknown creature can just pounce at you at any time....the game nails it HARD. You'll be on your toes for the majority of the game, and as you explore new areas, you will never let your guard down. As for these areas, the surface world and abandoned metro tunnels are the best. These specific areas look beautiful to immerse yourself into, and these are the sections of the game that provide a good deal of exploration for you itchy players. Be careful though, these areas are always filled to the brim with mutant creatures.

Immerse yourselves!

For those of you unfamiliar with how "Metro" works, you go from area to area, killing all enemies in your way until you get into "unsafe" areas, where the air is polluted. Here is where you put your gas masks on, which you have a timer for. Run out of oxygen and Artyom starts to f**king die of a lack of oxygen, though you can find these oxygen casks scattered around, so its kind of hard to die of a lack of oxygen unless you're really careless. That or getting your mask broken by enemies. There are 2 types of enemies that stand in your way, clumsy, "can't aim for f**ks" soldiers or mutant creatures....with the latter being the deadlier kind.

These mutant creatures have varied designs, and all of them threaten you in their own ways. Wolf type enemies travel in packs and swarm you with their massive numbers. Demons are flying foes that swoop at you from high above, attempting to pick you up and fling you for massive damage. There are scorpion like enemies that take no damage from gunshots due to their thick armor, and you have to shine light on them to make them cower away until they fall over, then you can shoot their undersides. There are bear type enemies, an underwater boss....these mutants come in many different shapes and sizes, its always fun to fight against them as they require that little bit more effort to take down.

When I first saw this creature, my thoughts were "f**k me"

Human enemies are a lot easier to take down, as these are just long, drawn out shooting galleries. Human enemies usually swarm you like madmen, so much to the point that you'll die instantly if you're seen out of cover for a single second. Killing them in straight out gun fights is one way to deal with them, but stealthily approaching these people from the back and killing them or just outright avoiding them can make you feel badass in a way. To top things off, there's a huge array of weapons at your disposal, though you can only take 2 along. You can also customize them, though this is a feature mostly taken from the first game.

Into the tunnel....

Considering that "Metro: Last Light" is a post apocalyptic game with some of the best atmospheres around, the game is surprisingly linear. Other than the surface world and some of the tunnel segments, the rest of the game is pretty straightforward, just follow the path, shoot dudes, and you're done. And this is commonly ranted on by reviewers, the stupid AI on human enemies. They just run around for no reason at times, with guns sticking into walls. Also, since there's no multiplayer or no new game plus AT ALL, there is pretty much zero replay value as you can just reload your save to get the other ending that you didn't get once you finish the game (there are only 2 endings based off your "karma").

Well, that's that. Won't be any shooter reviews for awhile, because I haven't played any in a long time (none really interest me ATM other than "Bioshock Infinite". "Metro: Last Light" is a pretty good shooter, though I figured that it could have been more. If not for the brilliant designs for the mutant monsters and the great atmosphere, the game would have fared much worse. You don't have to play the original to jump into the game, so there's that. After all is said and done, its a niche title for all you shooter maniacs.

Happy gaming.