Game Review: Metro: Last Light
Artyom is back a year after the events surrounding Metro 2033…the activation of the D6 silo and the ensuing missile attack on the Dark Ones. As a result, Artyom is promoted to Ranger. Controlling D6 has become a primary concern as it has been discovered there are enough resources to sustain the remaining population for a lifetime. It comes to Artyom’s attention that one Dark One has survived the attack and instead of setting out to finish the job, Artyom is led to believe that the remaining Dark One is the key to the future. Thus, the quest to find the Dark One again places Artyom in both above ground and in the Moscow Metro combating not only mutants, but other rival human factions determined to seize the rumored D6 stockpile of sustenance. Seems easy, but Artyom is faced with conflicting orders. 1 – Artyom’s commanding officer Colonel Miller sends him to find the Dark One and kill it and 2 – Kahn the mystic nomad advises to make peace with it because it is the key to the future. And so the adventure begins. Decisions will have to be made.
Much of Metro: Last Light mirrors the first game in several ways. Most of the game takes place in the metro and some portions above ground where a gas mask is needed. There are vicious mutants in the way, rival human factions to deal with, and the dungeon that was once a bustling metro is dark and difficult to navigate. Certain control issues that plagued the first game were fixed and it is much easier to navigate the weapons & equipment menus. The new installment is much more polished and the story a little deeper than Metro 2033 – or I shall say expanded. Though there is a second novel that followed up the popular Metro 2033, Metro: Last Light is only a sequel to the game, not the actual book.
One of my main issues with the first game was the inability to hoard ammo. Because the mutants moved around so quickly it was easy to fire away not always making contact. As a result, there were lots of lost ammo rounds. Ammo was a precious commodity and sometimes difficult to come by in Metro 2033. This time around, there are more humans to deal with than actual mutants. Though mutants are annoying, Arytom’s interactions with them are less frequent. Because there are more humans to deal with, the option of picking up their weapons and ammo keep Artyom pretty well stocked. There are still points in the game where Artyom can upgrade, purchase, and customize his weapons sets. It’s still best to scour the area after a battle to maximize ammo and equipment such as pipe bombs.
One thing that appealed to me in Metro: Last light was the available options for Artyom. You don’t have to kill everyone in your path. The game is set up so stealth works just as well. Most of every level is dark with plenty of hiding spaces. If you have the patience, you can navigate your way through an area by sneaking though and only picking off a few guards with a silenced weapon here and there. I found this tactic to me the most fun part of the game. If you get caught, they will all be on to you and you will have to introduce them to bullets. The choice is really yours, but the ending of the game is dependent on your karma. If you are a cold-blooded killer, it might not all be champagne and chocolates for you at the end of the game. Hence, the option to replay the game and see what you get for being…civil.
While sneaking around, you do have the option to either kill or choke out a guard. If I didn’t shoot them, I choked them as a result I got what I perceived to be the good ending which I won’t spoil for you. I can’t say that I will play it again though. I have a habit of loving them once and leaving them. It was fun and I enjoyed the in-game story-telling. One thing that threw me off a bit was the supernatural interactions with the Dark One. It sort of took the post-apocalyptic style game to another level with channeling of minds and stuff like that. I guess if there are mutants in the game anything goes, but I would have rather seen this particular game be a bit more straightforward. Overall it wasn’t a buzz kill, just my personal preference.
Metro: Last Light does show improvements in-game mechanics and flow. It doesn’t take too long to complete; about 8 hours or so on normal. It still remains a franchise I want to see grow and develop a bit more; perhaps start regaining more of the above-ground world. If you are interested, it’s worth checking out; perhaps when the price drops.