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PAX EAST 2013 | Darkness Is Your Friend In “Metro” Sequel

Posted on March 23, 2013 AT 04:15pm

At E3 2011 the very last game I previewed was Metro: Last Light, the sequel to 4A Games’s Metro 2033. The graphics, the gameplay, and the atmosphere of this post-apocalytpic first-person shooter made my jaw drop to the ground, making it the icing on the cake that was my first E3 experience. A year and-a-half later the game is close to being released, with Deep Silver taking over as distributor from the bankrupt THQ.

During the demo I had to run through variously heavily-guarded areas to reach my destination, with only a compass to guide me and whatever weapons I could find to protect myself. In Metro: Last Light there are two ways to deal with these guards: go in all guns blazing and kill everything that moves, or sneak past them as stealthy as possible. During this play-through I decide to go 50/50 in regards to these two paths. The former is increasingly difficult, with the guards swooping down on you quickly and without warning. You can duck, sure, but they’ll soon find away around your cover. Therefore it’s best to charge and evade if you choose this route.

The latter, more secretive route is also a challenge, with having to find walls, columns, and machinery to hide behind as you go from room-to-room. Once in awhile you’ll come across a light source to turn off so you run past the guards without catching them. There are nicely-placed music cues if a guard thinks you’re being spotted, so once that music fades it’s okay to move on to the next point. You can also sneak behind enemies and either knock them out or kill them. These two styles of gameplay in Metro: Last Light already showcase the benefits of multiple play-throughs.

After this level you then take control of a specialized tank that has been made for railway usage. During this level you have to take on massive spider bugs and vicious mutant dogs, giving off a sort of vibe that was more frightening than my entire experience with Aliens: Colonial Marines. Driving around while taking on these mutants at the same time can be difficult, especially when having limited oxygen within the more toxic areas. I wound up dying before I could reach the end of the level, but my experience with the game was worthwhile.

One of the biggest improvements from Metro 2033 is its control aspect. In the original game I had issue aiming and switching weapons during my play-through. Here in Last Light controlling every part of the game felt more fluid, lacking any sort of frustration I had with its predecessor. Switching weapons, using secondaries, hiding from enemies, and even the driving feels so much better than it did before.

It also helps that Metro: Last Light is the most gorgeous game I’ve seen since id Software’s Rage. The details in the human characters and the worlds surrounding them are wonderfully done. There’s even a nice shimmer and shine in the guns you take control of, with even the tiniest bit of rust added to the weapons’ elements. Most of all are the cobwebs and spider eggs that spawn the arachnids from them add to the creepy factor in this game. The atmosphere alone will keep your heart pounding fast, so image what happens when those bugs pop up out of nowhere to try and kill you.

I am curious to see how the game will look on consoles, as I played Metro: Last Light through the PC. We won’t have to wait much longer, though, as the title is set to be released on May 14 also on Xbox 360 and PS3.

Evan Bourgault is an accomplished music, anime, and video game critic. His passion for discovering new bands, developers, and Japanese pop culture began in his college radio days and continues on today. Evan joined the ElectricSistaHood team in 2008, where he is a contributing editor and host of one of the network's weekly podcasts. Follow Evan on Twitter at twitter.com/King_Baby_Duck

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