Metro: Last Light Review

Metro: Last Light is a 2013 post-apocalyptic first-person stealth survival horror video game developed by 4A Games, published by Deep Silver, and released for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, OS X, Linux, Xbox One, and Xbox 360.  Sequel to the 2010 Metro 2033, the story follows Artyom, a Ranger living in Moscow’s metro system after a destructive nuclear war, tasked with finding the mysterious Dark Ones while fighting different factions and mutated monsters.


Positives:

  • Fast paced combat
  • Great graphics
  • Good voice performances
  • Great score
  • Suspenseful atmosphere
  • Dark tone
  • Great gameplay
  • Interesting story
  • Extensive campaign

Negatives:

  • Linear campaign
  • Lackluster enemy NPCs

Campaign:  It is pretty lengthy and challenging overall.  Players take control of Ranger Artyom who is tasked with seeking out the Dark Ones.  The single-player campaign follows his journey through dangerous territory fighting hostile humans, mutated monsters, and the elements themselves.  The story is pretty interesting but not as compelling as it could be, though it does takes its time to gradually unveil.  Perhaps if Artyom wasn’t by himself for the majority of the story and he was partnered with Anna or the little Dark One there could be a stronger emotional connection.  Also, when it comes to the characters, they aren’t really that engaging.  The most pronounced of all the characters is Pavel Morozov. (3 out of 5)

Gameplay: There are multiple routes for exploration as well as different tactics for combat situations.  The game does take place mostly in the metro system, but some missions bring the player above ground.  It would make more sense to have it an open world, especially with all the traveling.  Mutants attack the player in swarms and do provide a challenge especially with their unique abilities.  The in-game currency is military-grade ammunition found throughout the levels which can be used to purchase weapons and ammo, both of which can be found or scavenged from corpses. Weapon attachments such as scopes and silencers can be purchased as well.  Players must collect air filters for the gas mask they must where due to the toxic air on the surface and sections within the Metro that are severely irradiated.  Keeping the air filters filled helps the gameplay tense.  Made the mistake of walking off to make something to eat from the kitchen and forgot about the filter and nearly suffocated.  The game lacks any map or objective marker, which can be frustrating at times, but there is a compass that points towards an objective.  There are some moral choices in the game that do affect the ending.  It is greatly appreciated that players can also choose what chapters they want to go to to complete unfinished missions, find hidden notes, or replay certain scenarios. One of the biggest problems with the gameplay is the AI.  Sometimes while playing, sneaking around some of the enemies they wouldn’t see me even though I would be right in front of them.  (4 out of 5)

Graphics:  Thumbs up to the well-designed graphics which crafts a brilliant looking game.  The character designs are well detailed.  The landscape and environment is highly detailed having a dreary, sickly, rundown look.  The attention to the water, steam, lighting effects; the dark atmosphere that definitely helped with the survival horror elements. Everything from the toxic gases, to the webbing, to the rubble, to the destroyed buildings and massive craters just keeps the world immersive.  Players can take advantage of the destructible environments.  Though the cinematics are good they could be better.  (5 out of 5)

Score:   Thumbs up to the soundtrack.  There are plenty of intense moments that can have players on the edge of their seat and the music definitely helps.  Moments where Artyom is in a secluded place sound isolated and the metro itself sounds claustrophobic.  The voice performances are really good give depth to the characters.  The sound effects are terrific; especially when it comes to the environment, the creature noises, and gunfire. (4 out of 5)

Replay Value:  The game lacks the replay value that it could have.  For one thing the campaign is pretty linear and aside from notes to find on each level as well as some moral choices in the game, there isn’t much to keep the campaign engaging.  Another problem is the fact that the game doesn’t feature any additional modes outside of the dlc.  Some of the most should’ve even been in the game already.  The DLC includes four downloadable packs as well as two additional weapons (Abzats and RPK Machine Gun which should’ve been unlockable in-game): Faction Pack (players take on the role of a Red Line Sniper, a Reich Heavy and a Ranger Trainee, and their different perspectives during the events of Last Light. ), Tower Pack (player must fight their way through a combat simulator, battling humans and mutants with all of Metro’s weaponry), Developers Pack (a fully stocked Shooting Gallery, an AI Arena, a Metro Museum, and an additional mission revolving around the Spiderbugs – Spider Lair. ), and Chronicles Pack (Players take on the role of Anna, Khan and Pavel, in their respective levels, as an accompaniment to Artyom’s story). The dlc isn’t really the problem but the game’s lack of actual content outside of the main campaign is.  (2 out of 5)


The Verdict:  In the end, Metro: Last Light is an awesome video game that does have a solid gameplay experience.  Despite the lack of actual in-game content outside of the main story, a linear campaign, lack of focus on characters, and the idiotic AI, the game does have a challenging gameplay experience, awesome graphics, great score, good voice performances, extensive campaign, interesting story, and a tense, suspenseful atmosphere.  Metro: Last Light is a 3 out of 5.

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