Hope for the first person shooter genre survives with Metro: Last Light

Daniel Woodhouse

 

It’s funny how fictional post-apocalyptic settings are presented to be dismal and depressing — yet they have this aesthetic beauty about them, which inspires awe and wonder in the viewer.
The game Metro: Last Light, sequel to the excellent Metro: 2033, which is based off a Russian novel of the same name, fits into this realm of aesthetic beauty found in darkness.

Set in 2034, following the aftermath of the third world war, the remnants of mankind dwell in the underground metro systems of cities, since the surface has become irritated. Following the events of the previous installment, Last Light takes place a year later with the various factions of the Moscow metro battling each other for survival.

Through its dark charm, Metro: Last Light lives up to its predecessor Metro: 2033 and is another step forward in the saga.
Through its dark charm, Metro: Last Light lives up to its predecessor Metro: 2033 in apocalyptic fashion.

We take on the role of the game’s protagonist Artyom, a member of the militaristic order. Artyom has learned that one of the Dark Ones, the creatures believed to exterminated during the last game, has survived. Filled with a sense of hope for the future, Artyom embarks on a mission to find the Dark One to not only gain redemption for himself, but also to stop the coming war that will engulf the people of the metro.

 

Like the last game, Last Light really goes the extra mile with storytelling. The game delves into themes such as survivalism, nuclear warfare and the eternal tribal nature of humans. Special attention goes to the characters, who are easy to identify with as genuine people thanks to the game’s superb writing.

 

On his journey the player encounters the various factions, such as the Ranger of the Order, the Hanseatic League, the communists of the Redline and even Nazis — yes that’s right, despite mankind being on the brink of extinction these xenophobic meatheads are still trying to “purge the metro of inferior races.”

 

Metro: Last Light really sets itself apart from the average shooter game with high levels of immersion. Little actions such as routinely changing the filter in your gas mask, using a hand crank to power your flashlight or even wiping the blood and guts off from your recent firefight with the local mutant monstrosities, give you a sense of vulnerability and keeps the adrenaline flowing.

 

Gameplay is divided between, braving the irritated ruins of Moscow, tiptoeing through the shadows to avoid detection and gunning down monsters and crazy bandits. All the while, wielding an arsenal of firearms, consisting of makeshift pistols, shotguns, submachine guns, sniper rifles and assault rifles, each with their own variants and available upgrades.

 

Despite its dismal atmosphere, the game has some light-hearted moments to brighten things up, such as taking time to watch a theatre show, taking hits off a hookah while receiving a lap dance and even getting blackout drunk and waking to find that you’ve trashed somebody’s bar.

 

Amid these great qualities Metro: Last Light is not flawless. There are several glitches that can either be annoying or unintentionally funny.

 

4A games has created another successful, action-packed installment in the brutal world of the Metro.

 

5 out 5 stars