Metro 2033 was in my opinion, a sleeper hit. It was a game that should have got much more recognition that it did. The only time I hear people talking about the game is when benchmarks are concerned. Based loosely on the novel of the same name, Last Light continues where we left Artyom, but for those who are fans of the book, do not worry, Last Light does not follow 2034’s story line and instead just borrows the settings and characters to tell their own tale. A good idea in my opinion, as it stops me from constantly thinking how far the game deviated from the book.
Artyom is back in the metro, now a ranger and off into the big wide metro on missions, though this game plays more like Lemony Snickets: A Series of Unfortunate Events, much like the first. Artyom does not get a break apart from a shot of vodka, repeatedly finding himself in hot water in whichever neck of the metro he sticks his head in. You will need to sneak or shoot your way through. All the factions are still there, the Red Line has plans for the metro and so do the Nazi’s since the discovery of the mysterious and once laughed at Laboratory D6.
The game plays very similar to the previous instalment with some slight changes. Artyom now has a fancy new watch, not only will it tell the time it also displays how long you have left when your gas mask is on with the amount of filters you have. It also has a flashing light, one means you are in light and are visible to others, off means you’re a shadow. Of course this doesn’t always work, standing 1 foot in front of an enemy shows this; as long as the light is off he can’t see you at all. In combat, you have 3 weapon slots and 4 throwing slots. Throwing is split between a knife and other explosives. If you are one who pre-ordered the game, Ranger mode offers a higher difficulty with damage being increased and ammo being more scarce, though just how scarce I do not know.
Plus my personal favourite part of this game is the monsters, irradiated and transformed into twisted creatures, and almost all of those from the previous game are still here with some new ones. One being some form of spider, thats armour protects it from bullets. Trick to killing it, is it hates light, it will burn the creature until its armour falls off to reveal its flesh. I thought this was a great little creature, until I realised that even with your flashlight fully charged, it will mostly ignore the light and run straight at you, then once causing damage recognise the light and start to back off. This really made the light feel pointless and I do hope this will be fixed before or soon after release.
Graphically the game is beautiful, managing to look better than the first, and thankfully much better optimised, I’m enjoying it on high with tessellation off on my GTX570 and does it look fantastic. Dynamic Cloth looks great. Lighting looks particularly good as well, this is easily going to be the new benchmark game, at least until the new generation comes out alongside the new consoles, or The Witcher 3.
Voice acting wise, you can tell this was a Russian game, and probably should have stayed like that with the voices, all the Nazi’s sound like Coronel Klink, and Russians sound like someone out of a 1960’s cold war film. The voice acting doesn’t stop the game from being fun, but the game does not lend itself to such cheesy voice actors, when I play games like Dynasty Warriors, I expect this.
My biggest gripe with the game is ironically the crouch, though it is just a personal one, I like to have the option to choose between hold to crouch and tap to crouch and stand up, unfortunately Metro does not have this option, but to have to pick fault here goes to show you how polished this game is gameplay wise. Of course it’s not all great, the choice have a pre-order bonus the form of Ranger mode, what looks like an AK-74U and extra premium ammo, seems very disheartening. Ranger mode was my preferred play mode on Metro 2033, having to pre order just to get this mode does not sit well with me, extra weapons or bullets seems standard with pre orders, but a mode that was in the first? Quite annoying.
Metro: Last Light is a fantastic game, and for those who are still waiting and hoping for 2034 with an English translation soon, this will hopefully tide you over until then. Though some odd design choices and the addition to pre-order DLC in the form of a game mode has already lit a fire under many fans, and seems like a choice that will lose them many copies to pirating to get access to the DLC. It’s a shame to see a niche series like this, resort to bonuses to try and increase pre-orders, personally I will be waiting until Steam sales and picking it up for cheap. The game is available now for pre-order on Steam for £35, though if you already own a copy of Metro 2033, you get a 10% discount, bringing the price to £31.
Disclaimer:All scores given within our reviews are based on the artist’s personal opinion; this should in no way impede your decision to purchase the game.