Platform: Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC
Reviewed by Darryl Linington
Let’s face it, most first-person-shooters place very little focus on the single-player campaign; however, one title seems to try and break the mould, that one title is Metro: Last Light.
Warning: Spoilers ahead if you have not completed Metro: 2033.
Metro: Last Light is set one year after the ending of Metro 2033. The ending where Artyom had made the choice to call down the missile strike on the Dark Ones. Skip forward to present day and Artyom and the Rangers have occupied the D6 military facility; however, this time around Khan, the nomad mystic, arrives in order to tell Artyom and the Rangers that a single Dark One survived the ill-fated missile strike. The very same Dark One that they believe is the key to humanity’s future.
Artyom is then sent to the surface to rid the world of the last Dark One; however, something happens which sets Artyom’s story on a different path. A path that not only highlights the current danger, but also highlights the struggles of the remaining survivors who are fighting against each other in order to claim whatever remaining resources there are… instead of standing together to fight the dangerous creatures that populate the surface.
Metro: Last Light’s storyline is deep, intriguing and well-crafted during the first few hours; however, it slowly becomes slightly anticlimatic towards the end. This is redeemed however by the games ability to depict a storyline, throughout, which is not only the main characters, but also involves those around him. You see, while experiencing Metro: Last Light’s story you can listen into various conversations that happen around the Metro. While some are in-depth and entertaining, others can be slightly regular and mundane, which just makes Metro: Last Light all the more authentic.
Overall, when it comes to story, Metro: Last Light allows you to experience a world that will captivate you and a storyline that will entertain you… just be aware that the ending is a bit of a downer, although, the entire game is a worthwhile experience overall.
When it comes to gameplay, Metro: Last Light is not your average run and gun first-person-shooter. This is due to the fact that enemies are a plenty, but ammo is ultimately scarce. Also factoring into the difficult setting of the game is the fact that you need to have air-filters and a gas mask to venture on the surface, which much like ammo, is hard to come by. While all of this may seem natural in the world of Metro: Last Light it is all actually rather frustrating. You see, the path you take is pretty linear. So, if you end up on the surface without any air-filters then you will probably have to reload a previous section of the game in order to scavenge as many air-filters as humanly possible – because, without them Artyom will barely last a minute on the surface.
There was one section of the game where I could literally sprint from one end to the other without using a gas mask; however, much larger sections will not allow you to do this. Furthermore, if the area is populated by the games vicious beasties then you will probably be mauled to death while suffocating, which is not entirely the best way to go… right?
As stated above, enemies are fierce; however, Metro: Last Light seems to suffer from various technical difficulties and A.I issues. These issues can be seen when you are either attacked left, right and centre by mutants or blatantly ignored by them. There were a few times where I could simply stroll up to an enemy and not have them notice me even though I was pretty much waving a gun in their face. Additionally, the damage system seems to be slightly skewed. This was due to the fact that at one stage I could drop a mutant, on the surface, with one shot in certain areas; however, in others I would have to unload clip upon clip in order to pacify them.
Furthermore, Metro: Last Light has a tendency of freezing up your console as soon as things get a little too intense. Throughout my entire 10 hour playthough I had to restart my game around about five times. While this was indeed frustrating, Metro: Last Light’s interesting storyline kept me coming back for more – even though the game is in desperate need of a patch or two.
Graphically, Metro: Last Light exceeded my expectations when it came to the games overall look and feel. Each character and enemy model has been crafted with great detail. This detail is further expanded by the games stunning set-pieces and beautiful environments. Furthermore, Metro: Last Light does a great job when it comes to lighting as well as water effects. During most first-person-shooters one can fire off a round into water and be rather disappointed at the results; however, it seems as though the developers have placed a lot of work into making the bullet’s splash head up into the air as well as drop down into the water naturally. This is something you don’t get to see in games of this stature, which was actually rather pleasant to witness.
Another thing that I would like to point out is the fact that Metro: Last Light features a fair amount of nudity. Yip, that’s right… naked people! While this was indeed a surprise to witness at first, it just goes to show that developer 4A Games has not opted to censor anything from players in Metro: Last Light. This is one thing that I appreciate most about this title as it does not sugar coat the world around you.
While Metro: Last Light is a stunning title, it does however suffer from various graphical glitches. These glitches include screen tear, random floating objects and character models passing through what seem to be solid objects. Additionally, when you follow a few NPCs around an area, you will notice that at the end of their path they may start doing something random with what seems to be an invisible object.
While the above mentioned graphical glitches are pretty much expected in a game of this size, they will not ruin your overall experience. I did however happen to get stuck underneath the games map. This only happened once, as I was unable to replicate the factors that caused it, despite trying.
Metro: Last Light features a slightly uneven voice cast. While some characters have been voiced to perfection, others seem to sound as though they have been voiced by some random person who seemed to fit the part. You will have to listen out to the various conversations in order to pick this up; however, it is pretty easy to come across. Apart from the uneven voice acting, the overall world and environments featured within Metro: Last Light sound rather authentic. The game uses its musical score rather well and does not con the player into thinking that something scary is waiting around a corner when it is clearly not.
Metro: Last Light features an amazing setting that not only draws the player in, but also makes them want to venture further into the games rather unique storyline. While gameplay can be on the frustrating side, it is still worthwhile to experience what Metro: Last Light has to offer.
All in all Metro: Last Light should take you around 10 to 12 hours to complete; however, the game does include various difficulty settings to extend upon the overall experience as well as add lasting appeal. While not recommended for first time players, Ranger Mode offers up combat that is even more deadly than the Original Mode featured in the game. So, if you are looking for a challenge be sure to check it out.
Overall, Metro: Last Light may need a patch here and there, but it is still a game that took a lot of risks while managing to exceed overall expectations.
Lasting Appeal: 9/10
Predominantly reviewed on the Xbox 360.