METRO: LAST LIGHT REVIEW
Immerse yourself in the Russian apocalypse.
Posted by PlayDevil.com Staff on Jun 20, 2013 13:57 (307 days ago)
Written by: Alex
Metro 2033 was a gorgeous looking game when it released in 2010, and surprisingly technically refined considering it origins with the small Ukrainian PC developer, A4. Now, 3 years later, A4 has returned with "Metro: Last Light", to continue the story of the Metro and further demonstrate its technical prowess.
2033 told the tale of Artyom, a young man born in under the streets of Russia after a nuclear strike made the surface uninhabitable. Everyday is a struggle for survival as the new societies and rivalries that have formed, along with monstrous mutations, make the Metro a dangerous place to be.
Metro: Last Light follows soon after the events of 2033… except for me it didn't, as apparently the 'canonical' ending was not the one I chose. It seems the result of the original was meant to be that the Dark Ones, who were the main antagonist of 2033 are almost eradicated, so that now in Last Light Artyom has been tasked with killing the few that remain.
Heading above ground, the hunt for the last of these creatures begins. Artyom is attacked however, and becomes caught in a fight for his own freedom, and to prevent war in the volatile Metro.
On top of the story lies a moral choice dynamic. This runs subtly throughout the game but is never directly referenced, with only a slight tint to the screen when a choice is made. It's a deep system, with numerous decisions affecting it, but all it really dictates is Last Light's ending.
It is the look and feel of the oppressive underground world, that makes Last Light's story convincing. Everything about it is designed to perfectly illustrate the hopelessness and decay of a people forced to endure for years in an environment only designed to support life for months.
Settlements within the Metro are crowded, survivors packed in like rats, struggling to survive conflict within their own ranks and with other settlements. Some of these groups are peaceful, while others seek to impose their beliefs.
Whatever the philosophy however, each settlement bustles with life, their constant chatter giving texture to the world. For me it is these areas that proved the most interesting areas of Last Light, filled with both story and texture.
Unfortunately the density of content in these areas also them the most prone to technical issues. Getting caught on geometry, texture pop-in, and NPC's walking through Artyom mid-conversation, make up just a few of these. True, these are small complaints given the world's detail, but enough to break the emersion.