Metro: Last Light (Deep Silver) Rated M PS3
Metro: Last Light is the sequel to 2010’s Metro 2033. The sequel was set to be published by THQ but when that company went bankrupt the rights were purchased by Deep Silver. Metro: Last Light is a first-person shooter and the game picks up a year after the events in the original game that places you in a post nuclear apocalyptic future Russia. You again play as a ranger named Artyom who called in a final nuclear barrage against the creatures referred to as “The Dark Ones”. As the game opens, Artyom has been incorporated into a squad of Rangers who find themselves caught up caught between warring factions as well as the deadly mutated creatures spawned after the war.
A mystic named Khan arrives at your military facility to inform the Rangers that a single Dark One survived the missile assault. The campaign begins as a mission to wipe out the last Dark One but Artyom soon finds he is conflicted when the last of the creatures turns out to be just a child. Artyom learns that the Dark Ones saved his life when he was just a child and that the last may hold the key to the survival of the human race.
Metro: Last Light is not only a fine first-person shooter but also a terrifying survival horror as well. Developer 4A games as created a truly macabre future world. As you travel to various outposts along your journey you’ll be harried by enemies both human and non-human and the game sets up a palpable sense of fear that few games have been able to manage quite as well. While the game progress in a linear fashion (perhaps too much so) it does a nice job of changing the pace of the levels by having those that are action-driven battles with those that are more story-driven and further the plot and character development and also feature some outstanding cut scenes. Artyom’s character will have important decisions to make which further elevate the emotional punch of the game. While the plot sort of fizzles out by the end I still found it deeply enthralling.
While Metro: Last light is a shooter, it’s not Call of Duty. I’d liken it’s action more to Crysis where shooting combines with stealth. There are a lot of dangers in this world, especially on the surface and you don’t want to one breakneck and guns blazing into action. I’m generally not a huge fan of stealth games as they have a tendency to be unforgiving but here there’s a good deal of fun and strategy involved in creeping about slowly, gaining the advantage over your enemies. Turning out lights allows you to get the drop on human foes. This is relatively easy to do as the AI of most enemies is weak. The same can’t be said for the AI of the creatures who can quickly and easily wreak havoc on you from above or emerging from some aquatic goo. Stealth goes out the window here and you need to just fire away and hope you survive. Not helping matters is the scarcity of ammo. It’s not Resident Evil but it certainly pays to make all your shots count. As ammo is also the game’s currency you’ll have some tough decisions on what to buy and upgrade.
The most troubling aspect of Metro: Last Light is the technical issues. This brings it down at least half a grade. There’s several instances of bad screen tearing and jittering and frame rate slowdown. The auto saves take far longer than they should and freeze the screen for several seconds. In one instance it completely locked the PS3 and resulted in a reboot. Honestly these sorts of quality control issues are simply unforgivable and usually speak to the desire to rush a game to market before it is ready. Does it totally sink the game? No, but it’s also not something that can be overlooked either.