Real Talk By: The Ax
Metro: Last Light isn’t a bad game. It does many things right, but it doesn’t strive to make itself any different from most games today. Perhaps I’m jaded as I still haven’t played Metro 2033, but Last Light did very little to hold my attention for the 10 hours I spent playing it. There are a few things the game really does well, like the visuals and atmosphere. Then again, Rage was a gorgeous game, and Aliens: Colonial Marines nailed the atmosphere of the James Cameron film and seemed to dot every i in that respect. One could argue that in today’s gaming culture, you either make a pretty game or a great game. Metro: Last Light definitely fits in the “pretty” category. But is it great?
Metro: Last Light starts you off as the hero from 2033, Artyom. You are on a mission to hunt the last surviving “Dark One” as it allegedly is the last of a race that is the bane of human existence in post-apocalyptic Moscow. If you are confused right now, you know how I felt at the beginning of my experience. The plot quickly diverges into a political power struggle about who gets to maintain control of D-6, the underground base that Artyom and his faction, “The Order”, make their stay in. What happened to the “Dark One”? Well, looks like you are going to have to put in another 5 hours at least just to pick up where the very opening of the game leaves off. The plot of Metro: Last Light is intriguing at times, but it never succeeds to capture my imagination the way that Ni No Kuni or even Call of Duty: Black Ops II do. I can relate to Last Light in the way that I have trouble keeping on topic too. Unfortunately for those who spent $60 on this game, there is no medication to help that. Oh yeah, and there’s Nazis. Briefly.
The visuals in Metro: Last Light are hauntingly gorgeous and breathtaking, and it is very clear that the development team poured their hearts and souls into transporting you into their vision of the future. The textures are very crisp and the attention to detail is impeccable. I really felt like I was Artyom when I had to wick the blood from my gas mask after an intense firefight, and the water droplets on the mask were beautiful enough that I frequently found myself staring at the screen and then getting eaten. The game is absolutely beautiful, but every time you stop to smell the roses you end up mauled by mutants. The color scheme is very reminiscent of Fallout and Resistance, and I often forgot I was playing Metro and wondered why I wasn’t encountering and Death-claws or Chimera. The sad thing about Last Light is when I had those moments and realized I wasn’t playing Fallout 3, I wanted to quit and play Fallout 3.
If you have ever played a modern first-person shooter, you know exactly how to play Metro. There are a few intricacies though, like having to pause to charge your flashlight or pump your weapon like it’s a Nerf gun. These didn’t take away from the experience but made it all the more tense as your light is your lifeline when you are exploring the inner workings of the metro. The enemies aren’t particularly difficult, and it is a lot of fun to try to sneak around the bad guys and pick them off one by one without getting caught. However, the human AI is dumb more often than not, and sneaking isn’t necessary. Ever. I just like to feel bad-ass like Comrade Snake (that sounds awesome when you say it with a Russian accent). The mutant creatures are also fairly harmless if you know what you are doing, with the exception of one species. It’s sad when a 4-barrel shotgun can’t take down one of these things, and it really sucks when you have 5 of them chasing you into a corner and oh! Look! You are out of filters for your gas mask and you are suffocating. Or better yet, you have plenty of filters but these freaks claw at your face and shatter your mask. Good luck finding another one, comrade.
In short, Metro: Last Light feels like Doom and Fallout mixed with generic modern first-person shooters. Maybe I was upset because I was hoping to be scared. Maybe it was because I spent $60 on a game I know I will never play again. That’s not to say that Metro: Last Light isn’t worth your time; it was fun, but I felt like I was dragging the game along instead of the other way around. I felt like I was a part of the developers vision of the future, but I didn’t once feel like I wanted to be there. If you like the bang-bang-shooty-shooty that seems to plague this era of gaming, by all means pick up Metro: Last Light. If you want to be completely absorbed in a story and feel like you are actually making a difference in a fictional universe, save your money for the Mass Effect trilogy or Bioshock Infinite. Oh, and there are boobs. Just not $60 worth of boobs.
Metro: Last Light Gets
Out of five
+Visuals are breathtaking
+Gameplay is easy to jump into
-Story isn’t fleshed out enough and is often predictable
-Gameplay gets repetitive and stale
-Doesn’t live up to the hype
-Bad guys are stupid
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