Metro: Last Light is the sequel to the Russian Post-Apocalyptic; Metro 2033. Based on the books by Dmitri Glukhovsky, the game takes place in post apocalyptic Moscow, where the surviving humans now live in the haunted mazes of the Moscow metro.
Metro 2033 ending spoilers in next paragraph
Taking place directly after the events of Metro 2033, you will be back in the shoes of our main protagonist, Artyom. Having just launched the missiles at the heart of the Dark One’s home, it is found out there is still a lone Dark One on the loose, and Artyom is tasked with taking it down. This quickly escalates to a situation that could mean war for the entire metro. The Dark Ones, a mysterious new species that showed up after the bombing of Moscow, are considered to be the number one enemies of mankind. The average human cannot come in contact with a Dark One without suffering severe pain, and hallucinations. Only Artyom has the ability to be near them, and communicate. Throughout the game, Artyom will constantly be haunted by his decision at the end of Metro 2033. Was it the right thing to do? Were the Dark Ones really the threat the Metro thought they were? And should he really be trying to kill the last survivor of the species? Artyom will constantly struggle with these difficult questions throughout the game.
The world of Metro Last Light is really quite stunning. From the freezing, radioactive surface of Moscow, to the cramped and dark tunnels of the Metro. It is a world filled with wonder, and mysteries. The game is full of little things that bring the world to life. Your trip through the Metro will bring you to stations full of people trying to live out their lives in this destroyed world. The way people go about living their lives around you, truly makes the Metro feel like an alive place. People playing guitars, sitting around campfires telling stories, the adults putting on shadow puppet shows to entertain the kids, taking care of the livestock, and even a town full of the arts putting on plays. All theses little things make the settlements of the Metro seem alive, and bustling. The towns are a welcome addition to the rest of the Metro, offering respite from the terrors that lie within. Whether it’s fighting bandits, battling mutants or wandering into abandoned tunnels filled with the spirits of old Moscow inhabitants, the Metro is full of mysteries.
In the Metro, military grade ammunition is currency. Being of a much higher grade then the homemade ammo made in the Metro, it is highly sought after. During the game you can switch between using the homemade ammo or military grade. The military grade will do much more damage, but at the cost of literally shooting away your money. Playing on the normal difficulty, and with the games improved stealth mechanics, I hardly ever ran low on homemade ammo. I would often have a stockpile of over a hundred rounds for each of my guns, making the threat of running out of ammo almost non existent.
The stealth mechanics have been greatly improved over the first. Gone are the days where you would be randomly spotted and have every enemy in the vicinity be able to instantly hone in on you. Your watch features a light that will turn blue when you are visible, and turn off when you are hidden. Many parts of the game are set up for you to be able to take down each enemy in complete stealth. Going through an area of enemies hunting you, and taking down each and every one with your knife without getting spotted is always very satisfying. Unfortunately, the reason stealth can be so effective is the AI can be a bit dumb. As long as you are in the shadows and use a silenced weapon or melee, the remaining enemies will every hardly notice. Even killing an enemy just a couple feet away they can remain completely oblivious, and hardly ever discover a deceased comrade.
The guns of Metro Last Light are quite varied. They range from homemade SMGs, pump action spike guns, to old military assault rifles. You can also customize the guns at stores, adding stocks; silencers, scopes, red dot sites, and more. While it is certainly a welcome addition to be able to customize your firearms, I would have liked for a bit more options. While fun at first, you will quickly realize the options never expand from the choices you have in the beginning of the game.
Leaving the relative safety of the Metro; venturing to the ruined surface of Moscow, can be even more dangerous. Due to the radiation no humans can live on the surface making it a nesting ground for all manner of mutants. The surface of Moscow is no longer the home of humankind, and its new inhabitants will always be hunting you. Making its return from Metro 2033, is the trusty gas mask. Although years after the nuclear fallout, a gas mask is required to breath the air on Moscow’s surface. Essential to your gas mask are the filters. Each filter is only good for five minutes of air, and you will always need to be paying attention to your watch or risk running out of air. The less time your filter has left, the harder it will be for your character to breath. When fighting on the surface you must be careful to not take too much damage or risk cracking, and breaking your gas mask. With that said, I found the filters to be extremely abundant and never had to worry about running out of clean air.
Something Metro Last Light does extremely well is pacing, and variety. Never once did my interest wane. You will be going through creepy slow paced corridors, all out gunfights, stealth sections, to mowing down waves of the Metro’s less human inhabitants. Not to mention relaxing in the settlements chatting people up. The constantly shifting environments are to thank as well. Metro is a very linear game, with a beautiful world and a crazy amount of detail. From cramped corridors, train tunnels, concentration camps (okay, maybe that one wasn’t so beautiful) to the desolate Moscow landscape. Rarely will you ever have enough time to get bored of one location.
The graphics, just like its predecessor are gorgeous. The game ran flawlessly on high settings using my laptop which boasts an i7 2.4ghz, Nvidia 660m, and 8gigs of ram. I have heard the game is much less optimized for AMD graphic cards, compared to Nvidia. Deep Silver has said to turn off PhysX to help with performance, and I hear the recent patch helps smooth things out for AMD users.
Overall, Metro Last Light is a fantastic game. It has solid gun play, basic but fun stealth mechanics, and a varied and detailed world. I would have wished for them to expand more on the gun customization, and to make supplies less abundant, considering you are in a desolate world struggling to survive. The positives far outweigh the negatives in this game, and I would suggest you do yourself a favor by picking it up, along with Metro 2033.
Oh, and you get to fight Post-Apocalyptic Nazi’s!