Metro: Last Light is the sequel to 2010’s Metro 2033, a survival horror game that I wasn’t too fond of. Yet, despite not liking the first game, I decided to give Last Light a chance and to be honest, I’m really glad I did. Metro Last Light puts you in the position of a man named Artyom, a Russian man who almost everyone seems to know by name. The year is 2034 and basically everyone fucked up and launched nukes at each other because that’s the best way to solve problems, right?
Turns out that makes everything worse, and what’s left of humanity is forced to go into hiding underground in the Russian metro system. The surface is extremely contaminated, because one nuke won’t cleanse the sin of butthurt, millions of nukes were launched. Since these atomic missiles tend to be well, atomic, the surface is heavily irradiated, leaving everything horribly mutated and hating your guts. Great job, diplomacy!
The developers paid close attention to drowning the player in delicious immersion. Let it be known that any other time you’ve ever felt attached to the story or characters, Last Light takes that experience and smashes it into the pavement.
I was honestly surprised, I went into the game with the standard “meh, this game is probably not that great and it’s just overhyped” but I found myself unable to keep up that attitude.
I was trying to avoid battles, listening intently to side conversations, exploring every nook and cranny, panicking when monsters started to get close by, slowly creeping around and taking out Nazis (oh also, Nazis magically survived the apocalypse, it was probably explained in the last game better) by shaking them in the face rather than shooting them.
It’s way more stealthy than Dishonored, which is surprising considering that Dishonored is a game based on stealth (and is hard as hell to actually do). And when you do manage to screw up the stealth, the combat isn’t that bad (it is a huge improvement over 2033’s). Bullets are rare, and when you run out, legitimate fear sets in. This is a game that has a realistic melee attack (in which it’s not an instant kill and has a believable range), which is dreadful when you have to fallback on it.
Even with its delicious atmosphere, I actually found myself hitting the “Oh I haven’t seen [INSERT CHARACTER NAME HERE] in awhile, I wonder where they are,” and then shortly afterward you’ll be catching up with them. Normally when games do this, there’s this sort of unreal aspect to it, like “if they were going to get here before me, why didn’t they just give me a fucking ride to the destination?”
Amazingly, Metro manages to subvert the NPCs can travel at the speed of light to a destination through various means, but the most important thing to take away from it is that the story doesn’t leave a billion plot holes everywhere and then try to tie things up at the very end.
The biggest problems I have are actually just things I would have liked to see implemented, such as subtitles on minor character dialogue that still is related to the story. In one instance, the game fails to put subtitles on a scene where a couple bandits were setting up a trap, and unless you were listening super closely, you totally would have missed it.
Overall, the graphics are beautiful, the soundscape is fantastic and the atmosphere is quite wonderful. However, whoever was in charge of the sound the grass makes in the game, fuck you buddy. It sounds like a million monsters breathing down your neck and it is the most horrifying, spine chilling thing to hear when the sound kicks in.
All in all, Last Light is one of the best I’ve played in awhile.