Despite the fact that Metro 2033 was not a long game and lacked an engaging multiplayer or co-op mode, Artyom’s single journey was engrossing, with a terrific atmosphere, tense moments, and a perfect mix of action and horror aspects. With this background, I sat down to play Last Light, the feature sequel to Metro 2033. I finished the game and, to be honest, I’m not dissatisfied. However, not everything went exactly as planned.
Last Light’s plot picks up around a year after the events of the previous game. Artyom utterly destroyed the City of Shadows, which were strange entities whose motives were never quite obvious. However, it turns out that not all opponents were burned in the fire of bullets – at least one survived. So Artyom must apprehend him, and the chase serves as a prelude to the events of the full tale campaign.
The plot of Metro: Last Light is clear, yet not shallow. There is no shortage of spice in the shape of historical references, observations on human nature, and conflict effects. Example? The archetypes of communists, fascists, and the capitalist group are clearly depicted here; one wonders if history will repeat itself and the subway will become a metaphor for a globe engulfed by globe War II. The Sparta case appears to be intriguing as well, but you can find out more about it in the game. I’ll conclude my thoughts on the narrative with a simple statement: it’s fascinating and compelling. It makes you want to learn more about the characters’ fates and what the subtleties conceal. In other words, it’s excellent. This is a unique feature, particularly in the FPS genre, as this portion of the game is frequently pushed to the second or even third plan.
However, the plot is not everything, and the game must just be enjoyable. Anyone who saw Metro 2033 will be perfectly at home. In terms of gameplay, we get all that its predecessor did, plus a bit more. Although the bloodshed is also quite entertaining, the game promotes avoiding open conflicts. If you choose to act quietly, you have several alternatives, including cutting necks, throwing knives, and employing pneumatic weapons (which make no noise but need “pumping”) or silencers. Because darkness becomes an ally, it’s worth shutting off the lights, blowing out the blazing oil lamps, and yanking the fuses. The benefits are straightforward: you conserve ammunition and avoid a dumb death. However, if you opt to sneak into the enemy’s camp while wielding a machine gun, the path is clear. However, keep in mind that the supply of bullets is limited, and the called reinforcements may taint your blood.
Personally, I attempted to utilise the first choice more frequently, even if the game occasionally forces us into a shootout and closes the door behind us. The proportions, on the other hand, are wonderfully proportioned. Sometimes we sneak, sometimes we fire, and sometimes we simply avoid the opponents. And, most importantly, fights with other human subway dwellers are not everything. Of course, we’re talking about mutants, which nearly invariably go hand in hand with radiation. Several additional copies were added to the “one” copy. While individuals may still be fooled, avoided, or murdered without wasting ammo, the situation is obvious in the case of mutants: the stronger the pistol in your hand, the better your chances of survival. Creatures frequently strike in bunches to compensate for their short stamina in numbers. Stronger copies arise in the form of bosses, with whose confrontations provide a welcome respite from the game’s normal rhythm.
Metro is a survival game; we had to cope with unique gameplay changes in the first chapter of the series, and the same is true this time. A gas mask, which helps you live on the surface, is an essential piece of Stalker equipment. You must take care not only of its state but also of filters, which we will have enough of later. Artyom also has a generator that he uses to charge batteries, flashlights, and night vision goggles. The battle for survival in the underground, however, is best evident in the arsenal, which is built in some places in a cottage industry. Pneumatic weaponry, firearms constructed of anything, and grenades made of pipe pieces all add to the game’s atmosphere. The entire thing is topped by the cash we use to make purchases – pre-war ammo. It is of considerably higher quality than the one made in the subway – you can shoot it, but it is preferable to swap it for weaponry and purchase additional inferior seeds. The quantity of weapon attachments isn’t exciting, but their usage is – numerous types of sights and upgrades in the shape of bigger magazines, silencers, and lengthened barrels are more than plenty.
Because the single player campaign is just 8-9 hours on normal level, there is nothing to complain about in terms of boredom. Many times, we are given the option of finishing a specific sequence softly or with a boom, which is wonderfully linked with the scripts propelling the tale ahead. There are some moments “on rails” (literally and metaphorically), some extremely evocative acts in the style of the escape from the Nazi metropolis shown a long time ago. We also make a few moral decisions, and towards the end of the journey, the game is spiced up by an unexpected companion. I don’t want to give too much away, but honestly – these few hours of the campaign are non-stop action, with tiny breaks for theatrical performances, shooting range fun, and… striptease. Yes, I did 15 rounds of sexy dancing. I afterwards regretted not having enough money to purchase the essential equipment.
As for the setting, it’s fantastic. The proprietary 4A Engine may not leave as strong an impact as it did in the previous instalment, but we are still dealing with one of the better-looking games in recent months. Graphically, Metro: Last Light is impossible to blame because it can handle it on medium settings. The only thing that concerns me is the optimization – even though my system is very near to the ideal settings, the game may fail with poor framerate and artefacts at times. Perhaps it’s the fault of the hardware, or perhaps it just needs better optimization, because the drops arose as a result of the buildup of particle effects and elements subject to sophisticated physics. It’s a shame that you can’t turn off these extras in the graphical options. What about the sound? Great. The underground tubes buzz with conversations, muted music, and the hum of ventilation on the occupied floors. The roar of mutants may make your hair stand on end, and Artyom’s heavy breathing signals that it’s time to change the filter on your gas mask. In fact, every journey to the surface is the most thrilling time since you never know which side the attack will come from, and every now and then you hear monster groans in the distance that are interwoven with the noises of the Geiger counter.
Unfortunately, Metro: Last Light contains a few glitches, however these are mostly technological flaws. Scripts not firing was a common incident – either loading a checkpoint or attempting to rig it up such that it ultimately catches helped. I also giggled a few times when I saw the visual flaws. If this was meant as a joke, the children in the train would have experienced some form of mutation. Artyom occasionally astounds with the agility of his left hand’s fingers, which, instead of brandishing a gun, leap gleefully in all directions. Character mixing is the norm, albeit it is becoming increasingly unusual. Finally, aside from the vexing delay in script initiation, the Metro problems are minor and do not greatly detract from the overall experience. However, I am hopeful that 4A will improve these little details in one of the first patches.
Last Light is precisely what I was hoping for. It’s a story-driven first-person shooter with a scripted scenario interwoven with more open-ended parts. The tale pulls you in like a swamp, the shooting is exhilarating, and the acting is even more so. The developers also made sure that there was enough comedy, terror, and diversity in the world, which appears to be terribly destitute and empty. You will be happy if you did not expect dramatic changes in game mechanics. However, the next game in the Metro series will have to go much farther. He won’t be able to refute the claims of the secondary city otherwise. Last Light continues to defend itself against them since both the “one” and the sequel are, in some ways, unique in their category.