Fans of the first person shooter genre are in for a real treat. Metro 2033, a shooter based on the popular book of the same name, was made in 2010 by 4A Games, a Ukrainian game studio. Three years later, the studio has produced a sequel for the PS3, Xbox 360, and PC called Metro: Last Light.
Similar to the previous Metro game, Last Light takes place in the year 2034, where the world has entered a post-apocalyptic state. Humanity has moved underground to survive, with the game’s survivors living the Metro tunnels of Moscow. All animal life forms, including humans, who have come in contact with the toxic elements of the surface have mutated and take any opportunity to hunt down the remaining humans. The surviving humans battle the forces of the mutants, as well as each other for resources and weapons, especially a well known military doomsday device.
In the game, you take control of the protagonist Artyom, a man who survive the hectic environment and save humanity from its downfall. The game give you the option of making custom weapons from parts you find that can be used to combat anything that tries to stop you from progressing. As you perform actions in the game, your karma is affected, which determines the kind of ending you get from the game.
Originally the game was shown during E3 2011, with footage included in Nintendo’s E3 show reel, although the Wii U version was ultimately cancelled, due to development problems and the size of the 4A team. Huw Beynon of the company stated that they might return to development of the Wii U version, but no promises are given.
Last Light’s predecessor feature many technologically impressive elements, with sharp graphics and physics that were regarded as some of the best of any game to date. Its sequel is no slouch in this area, improving on the features of the first game with even better lighting and physics, making it top of the line for console and PC game. Such a feat is especially impressive given the size of the 4A development team and the harsh working conditions they had to face in Ukraine.
Upon release of the game, many positive reviews were given, with many praising the story of the game and the impressive graphics. Although many took favorably to it, the game did receive some criticism for its linearity. Game Informer, a magazine that features information related to games, praised the game for it’s AI, control, and sound improvements, but felt that character animation and voice acting could be better. They also felt that the game’s monster battles weren’t particularly interesting.
Metro: Last Light takes everything great about its predecessor, and improves upon it greatly. The action and atmosphere get more tense as you progress through the ruins of Moscow. The game has a level of appeal that newcomers to the series will enjoy, while those who enjoyed the first game will be amazed at what the game has to offer.