Metro: Last Light Review


Just like the games setting itself, Metro: Last Light rises proud from the ashes of the now defunct THQ, thankfully picked up by Deep Silver, allowing 4A Games to show off the next instalment of the Metro series.

Taking place one year after the events that occurred in Metro 2033, Last Light joins us up yet again with Artyom, who is now a Ranger working on behalf of the survivors and many factions of the nuclear war. Not having played the first game and also with it not appearing on the PS3, the initial opening is a little confusing, with far too many references to what occurred before, which are made even stranger as from my understanding the previous game had two possible endings; Last Light goes for the bad ending that resulted in Artyom setting off a huge missile strike on the Dark Ones hive, and so with the world around them is still in tatters following nuclear holocaust, the survivors residing in the Metro could get on with life and focus on all of the other horrors that nearly wiping out human existence brings.

We join Artyom and his partner Anna on a new mission; with reports coming in that a Dark One has been spotted around the ruins of the destroyed hive, with the team being tasked with killing it. However Artyom has other ideas as he seems to be the only person able to make some form of communication with these misunderstood creatures, with himself and others starting to believe that the Dark Ones intended to come in peace. Venturing to the harsh surface, it is not just the mutated wild animals that Artyom needs to be wary of but other pockets of human survivors. One of which, the Reich, capture both Artyom and the Dark One. The story then whisks along at a thrilling rate, fighting a variety of mutants and humans like the Reich and the Red Lines, venturing through the Metro tunnels beneath the city and on occasion travelling to the nuclear wasteland that is the surface.

Aside from the initial awkwardness with the story assuming you have played the original, the game does an amazing job of dropping you right in it, submerging you in the subterranean world of the survivors. Survival very quickly becomes key after being captured by the Reich, stripped of your weapons and using your lighter to make your way through their makeshift prison, you soon team up with another prisoner who works with you to try and get out safely and begin searching for the captured Dark One. As you would expect equipment and ammo is sparse, leaving you to rummage through discarded boxes and the corpses of your enemies, grabbing weapons, ammo, health, throwing knives and an assortment of handmade pipe bombs and incendiaries.



It's not just the inhabitants that are dangerous but also the environment; frequent trips topside to the nuclear ravaged city streets, mostly reclaimed by nature but still deadly, with unprepared players choking to death all too easily. A vital piece of inventory at your disposal are the gas masks and air filters, with your watch constantly counting down how long you have left of filtered air until you need to change. When wearing the mask, the glass front is very fragile, with attacks from mutants resulting in damage been taken to the screen, cracking and obscuring your view. It even gets covered in blood and acid, requiring you to wipe it frequently to keep vision at 100 percent.

All of the action is presented in a first person view that never really dips out for cut scenes, which even further places you in the mind-set of Artyom. Now though you do have plenty of guns, its only on a rare occasion that you will need to use them, though you can go guns blazing, setting off traps and alarms and alerting all to you presence; the game is far more satisfying utilising the dark corners and shadows, crawling and switching of lights, using your watches other feature that glows blue when you are in view of the enemy. I have to give credit to the human AI in Last Light as they react to noise and try and pin you in position quite effectively, searching areas where they thought they heard something and not letting up until either you die or kill them all. The same can't be said for the AI of the mutants, though I suppose being exposed to a few million kilotons of radioactive waste will boil your brains, they tend to go for the plain and simple charge attack, turning the game more into a first person shooter at these points. These parts of the game feel not as thought through as the rest of the game but to keep the game fresh there are many other tricks thrown your way, with fending of waves of enemies whilst waiting for a lift quit common one or literally turning the game into an on rails shooter for a while.

The atmospherics, visual and sound effects all add so much to the realism, with the game showing some very impressive graphics, its amazing how even though you are walking through miles of underground tunnels, they never really look the same and manage to keep you on your toes throughout even though nothing is happening other than a few drips and screams from far away. I did witness a few very rare occasions of graphic glitches, mainly slow texture loads, like I say, an infrequent occurrence but it does sadly jar you from the amazing world that has been created.

Sticking with the main story and just following the compass on your work board will result in missing an awful lot of hidden experiences that are dotted all over the place, little side rooms and hidden coves are ripe for a little adventure through, checking out what goodies are there for you to plunder, plus you may pick up on some notes, adding more depth to the story or just witness the horrors of what life is now like. Most missions will require you to travel from A to B, putting enemies in the way, the occasional puzzle to solve but most also harbour little extras that are not so well signposted; listening to other characters interact you may hear one ask of a favour, be it releasing prisoners, locating a teddy bear for a child or helping captured refugees escape. Most of these moments occur in the town hubs, where large groups of survivors have created a makeshift town, like the theatre district that offers shadow puppet shows, jugglers and even chorus girls or Venice, an underground maze of flooded tunnels with makeshift huts built on top, hosting rat target shooting and some more 'risque' adventures.

Sensibly all of the programmer's attention has been placed on the single player aspect, dropping any sort of online multiplayer and it really shows in the overall experience. From start to finish, Metro: Last Light is a marvellously realised game, offering outstanding graphics and an entertaining storyline chock full of action and suspense.

Words by Ash Buchanan.

(Version Tested: PS3)

Pros

- The game never gets dull, throwing all sorts at you to keep it fresh.
- Stunning light effects.

Cons


- Assumes you have played the original.
- A few graphical glitches.

Edited On 13 May, 2013

Comments
17
It does look amazing. And I would gladly pick it up if it wasn't for that one con. It's not really a con, every sequel I think comes with the assumption, if not the expectation that you have played previous instalments, but when the previous one wasn't released on your platform of choice, it can be an issue without a mass effect 2 style "previously on" kind of thing. I'll grab it, but it'll have to wait until I've played the copy of the original I grabbed in the humble bundle recently
troublemaker 11 months ago
another good review seriously cannot wait till friday now this is gonna be epic
Dark-Assassin 11 months ago
reviews across the sites suggest its getting 7 -8's so day 1 buy for me missed the first so would like to experience this. may get a cheap 360 to play the first
Dark-Assassin 11 months ago
top notch review ive played the original so 1 less con for me! always going to be glitches there was in 2033! hope lovefilm send it me for day 1!
Shep _1 11 months ago
how long is the 2033 one shep is it worth picking up a 360 for it
Dark-Assassin 11 months ago
i wouldnt go out and pay for a console for the soul benefit of playing metro 2033 no! great game story is interesting shocked me its based on a book in all fairness lol! you could do it in 7-9 hours just have a read on the net so you know the basics ready for last light, i didnt think it was a direct sequel until today!
Shep _1 11 months ago
Lol. No one game is worth picking a 360 up for, I would say just go watch a Let's Play on Youtube. I'll see if anyone of the people i'm subbed too has one. (When I get back from walking the mutt)
Loli-Nox-Tan 11 months ago
good point just watch the you tube vids , i am sure this one will be more improved on
Dark-Assassin 11 months ago
If you've got a half decent PC Kratos, 2033 regularly goes dirt cheap on steam
troublemaker 11 months ago
Here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ador77tnLHQ or here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JNAjM4aiLUI
Loli-Nox-Tan 11 months ago
Nice review. I'll definitely be picking this up....when it has dropped to £20.
HappyNoodleBoy 11 months ago
"Sensibly all of the programmer's attention has been placed on the single player aspect, dropping any sort of online multiplayer and it really shows in the overall experience." Yet the PS3 version includes this in the description. "Wage post-apocalyptic warfare online, as Last Light delivers an intense multiplayer experience amongst the dark Russian ruins"? I think the way Ranger mode was described as 'the way the game should be played' and then being set as a pre-order bonus/priced dlc is abit offputting for me.
trebor88 11 months ago
Pretty sure there was no online. Worried I missed something now. Will double check
Ash Buchanan 11 months ago
I haven't heard anything about there being an online? Maybe it's a typo for a different oen of their games :P
LFC Bywater 11 months ago
When it was annouced there was talk of multiplayer for this, but since then i have read that they are going to release the multiplayer as an arcade/psn tittle or something similar. You never know they might release it later for free.
yoda soldier 11 months ago
won't be getting this out of principle... I am not paying to unlock hard mode!!
Pyroloveridge 11 months ago
They did do the same thing with the first game mate. But this is how games are going now and that is why i won't rush in to next with these season passes etc i can just see it getting worse to be honest.
yoda soldier 11 months ago
PS4, PS3, Xbox360, Xbox One, 3DS, Wii U
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