Metro: Last Light picks up where the last game, Metro 2033, left off a year later. Artyom is a Ranger of The Order and is tasked with uncovering the secrets between his connections with the Dark Ones, supernatural beings. While on a mission to hunt for this creature, a Nazi group captures him and the plot soon spirals after that. The game starts off strong with likable characters and an engrossing, dark vibe. Unfortunately, the steam runs out fast after the first act thanks to overused and repeated plot twists. How many times can a man be captured and still be exciting?
Metro may look like a Russian version of Fallout, and while the aesthetic of a post-apocalyptic world is there, the structure is different. The gameplay is centered on linear missions like a typical first-person shooter. There are camps throughout the levels, allowing Artyom to listen in on NPC conversations, buy weapons and upgrades, and take in the world. The missions vary from sneaking around, eliminating monsters, or navigating the wastelands. It’s fun at first, but due to bad design, the world is confusing to navigate. This is especially true when on the surface. Artyom must wear a facemask to breathe, but repeated deaths often happen due to a lack of filters, or extra helmets.
Getting back to the design, the graphics seem a bit dated as well. While pretty in some aspects, the game is too dark. The crux of the gameplay centers on light (clever name). Shooting out lights to sneak around enemies, or staying in the light to banish monsters never gets old, except the fact that players won’t be able to see either. The art and detail in the Russian attire, for sure, is a great selling point for the game, authentic in every way: ascents, metros, music, and guns.
Metro: Last Light is an unfortunate example of a game that seems to have been rushed. The confusing structure of the levels, graphics, and later story hurt the experience. Again, it’s a great concept. Continuing an adaptation of a book, Metro 2033, is an idea that’s rarely seen in video games, which is sad note compared to the sludge of games made to tie into movies. Metro has its good points and maybe next time they’ll get them better.
Score: 2/5 Stars
Special Notes: This article was originally published on October 8, 2013 via my Examiner account before the website shut down.