Metro: Last Light Review

There’s a moment in Metro: Last Light when the main character Artyom overhears a child crying about a lost teddy bear and an adult asking the boy where he lost it. Normally this would be a conversation between NPCs that has no bearing on my adventure, but not in Metro. That bear can be found and returned to its owner; I just have to know how to do it.

Helping this child is a brief ray of sunlight in this war-torn hell these people call home. Metro: Last Light shows humanity on the brink, confined to the underground metro stations in order to avoid the nuclear devastation above. This is a world of discord, with the threat of warring factions and mutated beasts going hand-in-hand. This is a story of saving those who are left while putting a stop to the oppressive forces who wish to control them, with a few doses of the supernatural thrown in for good measure.

Metro: Last Light will throw many situations like the teddy bear at you as a sort of morality system, all of which contribute to an alternate, happier conclusion. However, it never shares what will and will not affect the ending; I have to figure it out myself. Some of them are easy: a man surrenders and drops his weapon, and I either spare his life or shoot him anyway. Others, like the teddy bear, are more subtle, making every NPC in this bleak world worthy of my attention. It’s an ingenious way to make me care about the plight of these poor folks, where most other games would simply make them blank faces in a crowd.

The darkness of the Moscow metro and the sense of dread among the denizens of this world combine to create a tension that pervades throughout Metro: Last Light. Every hallway makes me wonder what’s on the other side; every door sends the mind racing about the possibilities. Even in safe areas like cities I never felt truly safe, worried about whom or what may spring an attack next. I get the sense that by creating this everlasting sense of discomfort, 4A Games never wanted the player to be off guard. This is a dangerous world 4A has built, and they don’t want any player to forget it.

Supplies are limited in the metro, so scavenging for ammo and other items is a must. A certain type of ammo even acts as the game’s currency, so running out of ammo in mid-battle could literally amount to shooting money away. While this is a cool concept, I never once had to resort to the currency ammo during the game; there was enough ammo to scavenge from dead bodies and other parts of the environment.

When above ground, gas masks and filters are life-savers required to proceed, making scavenged filters more valuable than gold. Seriously, there’s no worse feeling than hearing the beep of Artyom’s watch with no replacement filter in my inventory. Implementing this gas mask system adds another level of tension to an already tense game, showing that the devs at 4A really thought about what it would take to survive.

If only combat were so well thought out. The A.I. of Metro: Last Light is not very bright; oftentimes their desired course of action is “stand in one spot and shoot,” allowing for easy pickings. What should be insurmountable odds against a group of enemy soldiers becomes a shooting range very quickly. Fighting the creatures above ground is a bit more unpredictable, but there’s a good amount of “run straight ahead and absorb every bullet until dead” going on as well. There will be moments of frustration, but ultimately getting through each battle won’t be too stressful.

Metro: Last Light is a fantastic tale of hope when all is lost, creating a world that is equal parts beautiful and dangerous. It will engage players from beginning to end with its ingenious morality system and gripping story. Fighting the war won’t always be difficult, as the A.I. tends to act very dumb during the heat of battle, but living the tale is worth it. Riding on this Metro is definitely worth the ticket.


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Author: Jason Fanelli View all posts by
Jason lives and breathes gaming. Legend tells that he taught himself to read using Wheel of Fortune Family Edition on the NES. He's been covering this industry for three years, all with the Node, and you can see his ugly mug once a week on Hot Off The Grill.

One Comment on "Metro: Last Light Review"

  1. MingFun June 18, 2013 at 2:07 am -

    am so glad that i bought the game i loved the Original Metro 2033 and this one is great too great review.

    PC Gaming

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