This review is for everyone who missed this Xbox 360 exclusive when it was released back in March of 2010, I know I did. I remember seeing some previews, reviews, and some gameplay video’s, but what I can’t remember, is why I never picked Metro 2033 up. Now a sequel has been announced, Metro: Last Light, and I want everyone who hasn’t played this game to at least try it before the sequel arrives hopefully in 2012.
Here’s a little insight into the games plot. It takes place in a post-apocalyptic Russia where the surface is covered in radioactive fallout and infested with mutated beasts. People have taken to Russia’s metro tunnels for shelter and have created “cities” in some of the many metro stations. You play as Artyom, who has to leave his station that is in danger, in search of help from an elite group known as Rangers. Metro’s story is very strong, and you’ll find yourself easily immersed into this story.
First things first, I loved this game. Metro 2033 is a unique experience, one that was a pleasant change from the other games I’m playing. Metro is a survival horror FPS, and it plays this part extremely well. A lot of the metro is dark, damp and gritty, the only light is from lamps and torches half the time. The sound in this game is amazing, if you have surround sound be prepared to be paranoid, the beasts growls and footsteps echo off walls and always seem to be running right behind you.
The weapons in Metro are basic with some small customizable features, such as scopes, silencers, laser sites, bayonets, etc. Ammo is scarce, and is also used as currency, so planning what weapons you want to use, and ammo conservation are essential.
Your light source is from a flash light, and later in the game night vision goggles, both of which are powered by a hand pump “generator”. When your light dims, you pull out the generator and pump it back up to full strength.
Air on the surface, and sometimes in the metro, is toxic, you wear your gas mask at these times. The gas mask uses filters that you can buy or find, and these filters need to be changed often depending on the total toxicity of the atmosphere.
These unique aspects of this game are what I enjoyed so much about it. You fear running out of filters, you have anxiety about your gas mask breaking and not being able to find another one in time, and running out of shotgun ammo is always a bummer. This is the way great survival horror games are supposed to be.
But, this game did have some chinks in it’s armor. The gameplay mechanics are not the greatest. Guns don’t feel “real” when fired, and seemed at times extremely inaccurate or ineffective. The game in certain chapters want’s you to “sneak” through the shadows, showing how “hidden” you are by 3 lights on your watch. I found sneaking very difficult, and broken, with throwing knives being ineffective, and guards seeing you from a distance in the shadows when your watch says you’re hidden.
Lastly, it’s not my goal to get every achievement, but when you finish a game and there’s still 10 “secret” achievements, there’s something wrong in my opinion. Achievements should be achievable, and I don’t want to go searching the interwebs for “secret” achievements. I feel these are only minor inconveniences in what is a great overall game.
Metro 2033 is an example of developers doing something bold and imaginative with a new IP. I would highly suggest any fan of survival horror, first person shooters, or post-apocalyptic sci-fi thrillers to pick up this game.
Metro 2033 scores an A.
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