Metro: Last Light Hands On

Developer: 4A Games / Publisher: Deep Silver / Release Date: May 14, 2013 / Platforms: Xbox 360, Playstation 3, PC / ESRB: Mature {Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Language, Sexual Themes}

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We heard little about Metro: Last Light since its acquisition by Deep Silver from ailing publisher THQ until the new owners revealed the May 14th release date.  Now there’s a date, there’s also a game, and to prove it I got hands-on time to experience a good piece of what life would be like living in the Metro.

Metro: Last Light starts one year after the events of Metro 2033, with Artyom, under the tutelage of Miller from the Spartan Order, developing into a Ranger and still be tortured by the horrors of the destruction of the Dark Ones.

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Jeremy Greiner, Global Communications Manager at Deep Silver, decided to skip the tutorial levels and drop me straight into the game at a level entitled “Echoes.”  Once the controller was wrapped around my leeches – aka my fingers- it was time for my journey to begin.  I first noticed the lack of a HUD.  Wanting to go for a more realistic, visual approach, the developer, 4A Games choose to have the left and right bumpers do all the heavy lifting.  By pressing them you access your inventory of weapons and gear, such as your flashlight, gas mask, and extra filters.  Just like in Metro: 2033, your gas mask plays a huge part in your adventures inside and outside the Metro; scrounging for extra filters is a must, among other scavenging.  I found myself looking at my watch periodically to check my air supply, and when I forgot; I’d notice that Artyom would start to breathe heavy, letting me know the filer needed to be swapped.

Similar to the first game, Metro: Last Light has elements of the supernatural and my first encounter was when Artyom entered a downed airplane.  Walking through the cabin, full of dead bodies, you start to experience visions of the passengers on the plane and the foreboding sense grows until you reach the cockpit.  Once there you’re able to see through the eyes of the deceased pilots and live their last few moments before the nuclear explosion engulfs the plane, burning the pilots and passengers, and ultimately leading to the plane falling out of the sky.

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It’s apparent from the start that 4A Games are constructing a living/breathing post-apocalyptic world where danger lurks around any corner.  The game is considered “Survival Horror” and the developers want the gamer to feel the uncertainty of not knowing what’s ahead of them.  Case in point; I was traveling through the Metro on a make shift rail car when I spotted a doorway.  Checking my watch, I knew I was running low on air and wouldn’t make it much longer.  I had to search for supplies.  It’s dark except for a few trances of light shining through various cracks in the walls.  I equip my flashlight.  I begin to search the abandoned hallways, looking in numerous lockers for any kind of loot.  I start to hear sounds echoing off the walls, I see movement in the distance.  I’m unsure if this is real or if it’s the spiritual element again.  I continue my search, all the while hearing footsteps behind me, but not human footsteps.  I finally turn around and staring me in the face is some oversized mutated creature.  Without any hesitation I unload both barrels of my shotgun into its skull, blood splashes on my gas mask, I press left bumper to wipe it off.  To my surprise, the creature is still alive.  I’m in trouble.

I switch guns to my rifle; I empty the entire clip on the creature, but it doesn’t die.  I empty another clip, still there.  I run up close to the creature for a better shot thinking that will help and that’s when I notice the smoke radiating off the creature.  It’s being burned by my flashlight.  It hates the light.  I go all Little Monsters on him, keeping my flashlight fixed on the smoking body; finally it keels over and dies.  I can breathe again or so I thought.  Another creature appears, but this time I know what to do.  As I head towards the mutant, my flashlight goes out.  Oh shit.  I need to charge it.  I run.  I open up my inventory, select the hand pump, and begin charging my flashlight.  Faster damnit, this thing is still following me.  Finally my flashlight is charged, I spin around just in time to shine my light onto the creature, and the familiar smoke begins to come from the creature’s body.

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Battling mutated creatures is not the only combat that takes place during the game.  Later during my playthrough, I came to a part where I need to escape from the Red Line Communists.  It’s dark underground and during this section, the darkness acts as your aide when attempting to flee from the Red Line Communists.  Artyom has a meter on his watch that turns blue if he gets into the light, but it’s up to you how you proceed through the area.  I choose stealth and I lasted a good while, mostly sticking to the shadows, slitting guys throats, running back into the shadows, turning off lights, slicing another throat, then back into the darkness; you get the idea.

I spent two hours with the game and wanted to play more, but I started to feel bad for Jeremy; his wife kept texting him and I didn’t want him to get into trouble, so I had to hand the controller back over to him.  I enjoyed what I played; danger really was around every corner, whether it was the civil war brewing in the city stations underground or the risk of being attacked by some mutated beast above ground.  Look for Metro: Last Light on May 14th, 2013 for Xbox 360, Playstation 3, and PC.

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  1. Not trying to be an ass, but in like the second paragraph it says “Metro 2003″
    Just trying to help

  2. Metro: Last Light Hands On… I really like how he experiences the game and how he expresses.

  3. “…tortured by the horrors of the destruction of the Dark Ones.”

    So I guess this must mean that the canon ending of 2033 was to choose to destroy them and not spare them? Or do they have some sort of branching storyline depending on what you did? I’d assume not, though it would be cool if it did.

    • No, the game starts with the Dark Ones dead, probably because that’s how the original novel ended.

      • Yep, it is, and oh boy, is it a good book;

        SPOILERS AHEAD, TREAD LIGHTLY.

        =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=—=-=-=-

        On the novel, Artyom has his mind tuned with the Dark Ones, and discovers that they were the only key to humanity survival, they were actually trying to help the humans but failed, and at this last revelation Artyom has to watch in horror they being nuked to hell and essentially dooming everyone in the Metro lines with it.

        =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=–=-=-=-=-=-=-

        End Spoilers

        The game is not entirely canon with the novel, and Last Light has nothing to do with Metro 2034, so it’s really indifferent how the previous game ends.

  4. Why does the cover say ‘References to sexual violence’. Do you know the sexual violence is about?

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