"Back to the Tunnels"
It's been a long journey for Metro fans to arrive here at Last Light. Metro 2033 was an FPS developed by 4A Games and showed a lot of soon-to-be-fans the Eastern European flavor of game design. For those of us who were fans of the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. series of games waiting for more FPS games that had the same sort of feeling, Metro 2033 was an amazing release for us that won our hearts. It brought a dark, atmospheric world of resource management which blended the FPS genre with survival horror. Metro: Last Light was originally intended to be published by the now bankrupt THQ, but the IP was snatched up by Deep Silver (of Dead Island fame), who received a nearly complete game, saving it from being lost to oblivion and getting into the hands of gamers. It's a good thing too.
Metro: Last Light takes place in the same world of Metro 2033, underneath a post-apocalyptic Moscow. The survivors live in the old metro system, which is filled with plenty of mutants and all sorts of environmental dangers. If these nasty things weren't enough to contend with, men themselves battle for power and control, joining different factions rather than working together.
Metro: Last Light excels in the sort of dark, eastern European story telling that brings a certain freshness and breaks new and important ground in a market usually ruled by the U.S. and Japan design and plot. There's a certain sort of art to Metro: Last Light told through sound, story, visuals, and atmosphere. Wandering through the beautifully detailed ruins, not just seeing but feeling the lighting effects, really immerses you into the world. Everything within Metro: Last Light feels moody and real.
Storywise, Metro: Last Light moves much faster than 2033. You'll go through big story moments and stunt pieces, but you'll always want to keep moving, exploring, and seeing what will be coming at you next. While Metro: Last Light, at its heart, may be a bit linear, it never feels that way.
Fans of Metro 2033 will know that Metro is all about managing your resources as you make your way through the world. Whether its ammo or oxygen, you'll always be wondering if you're using too much. But never fear, different difficulty modes will make this resource management easier or more difficult, and you choose on what level you feel comfortable playing. Of course, there is the infamous ranger mode available in DLC or with pre-orders, which will set you to the most difficult level at which Metro: Last Light can be played.
For those who have played the Dead Island games, you'll know they aren't exactly the highest caliber when it comes to the FPS genre, but don't worry because Deep Silver hasn't touched a thing or interfered with 4A's work (as far as I can tell). This means Metro: Last Light is just as tight and accurate as you'd hope, with great gunplay for gamers who know their way around the FPS genre, feeling much more spot on than the original. Stealth moments are also amazingly well played. Keeping to the shadows to take down your foes is both easily done and slickly satisfying. Even those who have trouble with stealth will find it easy to get a hang of. Even so, there is a good mix of run 'n' gun too; they've done a great job in Metro: Last Light to cater gameplay towards both types of gamers. Overall though, Metro: Last Light attempts to balance difficulty a bit better, though it may still frustrate some players.
The above the ground areas of Metro: Last Light have a Fallout 3 feeling to them (with better gunplay, of course). However, the game seems to get a bit difficult in these parts. As you begin to hunt more mutant than humans, things can tend to get frustrating. For those of us who remember old PC game Thief: The Dark Project (released in 1998), it was a lot of fun when you were stalking and killing humans, but not so much fun when you were trying to stalk or kill monsters. Metro: Last Light seems to have the same issue, though additional weapons make this sort of explosive, fast-paced FPS gameplay a bit more broad; it takes away for those who like to creep around and kill.
Metro: Last Light brings a lot to the FPS genre. Fans of the original won't be disappointed, and new players will want to go back and play Metro 2033. Still, it's not going to win over those who absolutely hated the original, and that's all there is to it. But Hopefully Metro: Last Light won't float by as sleepily as 2033 did, which will mean more Metro games for us all in the future.
GameDynamo's Score for Metro: Last Light (PC)
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