Great single player shooters with an awesome campaign are in short supply these days.
I didn’t know a lot about the Metro when I first entered it. There wasn’t a lot I knew about the universe or the antagonistic Dark Ones that inhabited it. The world before the bombs dropped and utterly irradiated anything resembling civilization on the surface? Nope, didn’t know much about that either. I knew as much as Artyom in Metro 2033 – even he only sort of knew his way around the utter labyrinth that the underground train networks had become.
Even after finishing Metro 2033, only a few flashes exist of the actual names and people I met. Pavel, Hunter, the Cursed Station and Prohibition are the few names I remember and I wouldn’t be surprised if I forgot them tomorrow.
"Which is why we need a sequel ASAP because while I’m honestly still amazed that these games are as good as they are, it’s equally surprising that they haven’t had any announced follow-ups."
However, the experiences and accomplishments I accrued couldn’t be erased. Wandering on the surface, avoiding the claws of flying monsters while fighting oversized mutant rats; sneaking through a secret archive and trying to successfully navigate past the hulking Librarians, who alternated between brute force and somewhat adorable curiosity from one second to the next; traveling down miles of unexplored tunnels, avoiding mutated beasts in an effort to stay alive, much less make it to the next station; climbing up a large catacomb to reunite a boy with his mother, always aware of his weight on my back as we fought burrowing creatures together; trying my level best to save the Cursed station from being overrun; and of course, the frantic end-game which mixed resolution and horrific spectacle with unresolved questions. I could go on and on and that’s only Metro 2033 Redux.
I’m not going to sell you on why it or its sequel Metro: Last Light Redux are some of the best first person shooters money can buy (and they can be purchased together at a great price, so what are you waiting for?). There are plenty of people who can point to the awesome campaign and how meaty the gameplay is while presenting a compelling, if altogether mysterious, story.
Which is why we need a sequel ASAP because while I’m honestly still amazed that these games are as good as they are (forget how long I took to get to the first one), it’s equally surprising that they haven’t had any announced follow-ups. Even the DLC for both games is inconsequential and does’t add that much more than, at least not as much as, a full-fledged expansion.
"4A Games needs to deliver Metro 2034 or whatever the next game ends up being called simply because the industry needs it."
We live in a day and age where people will pay $20 to $40 every few months for Destiny DLC content, which amount to slivers of unique content of the day, but Metro 2033 Redux or Metro: Last Light don’t get the same treatment? Yes, I know they aren’t comparable and it would take longer to deliver a worthwhile Metro DLC story experience. I also know that developer 4A Games’ strength lies in creating complete experiences even though they take much longer and more creative work to develop.
However, the fact that I want more gameplay isn’t the reason why the Metro franchise needs another sequel. No, 4A Games needs to deliver Metro 2034 or whatever the next game ends up being called simply because the industry needs it.
How many compelling single-player first person shooters have you played in the past two years? Wolfenstein: The New Order was good – not mind-blowing but good while The Old Blood was a decent expansion. Halo: The Master Chief Collection was a disappointment due to its numerous bugs. Call of Duty: Ghosts was a joke and while Advanced Warfare was better, it’s still a far cry from a great single-player experience. That also applies to Titanfall – great multiplayer but horrible single-player. Far Cry 4 was infuriating at times but more or less fine. Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel was fun but it was no Borderlands 3. Killzone: Shadow Fall? Yeah, no and the less said about Destiny’s single-player campaign, the better.
Ironically enough, some of the best first person games in recent memory haven’t been shooters as exemplified by Everyone’s Gone to the Rapture, Outlast and The Talos Principle. Even Dying Light was alright with its mix of shooting, parkour and hack and slash. Come to think of it, Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain has some first person shooting (I’m really reaching here, I know).
"We need more games like Metro 2033 and Metro: Last Light. We need more games that don’t insist on spoon-feeding us even on their easiest settings or trivializing the time we put into them with meaningless missions, grinding or worse, a disposable campaign that only serves to pad the multiplayer."
There isn’t even a dearth of upcoming first person shooters with a campaign per say. Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 looks like it’ll have some semblance of a story to it. Mirror’s Edge Catalyst will be first person even if there isn’t any shooting. Halo 5: Guardians will have a strong campaign or at least that’s the hope. Homefront: The Revolution will also be happening next year so there’s that. Let’s not forget about Doom, Deus Ex: Mankind Divided or Dishonored 2 (which is more first person stealth than shooter).
They’ll all probably be great, but the point is that it feels like forever since an amazing, straight-up single-player FPS has come along. I’ll sing the praises of Metro Redux (released in 2014) but Metro: Last Light was released in 2013 while Metro 2033 is a 2010 game.
They aren’t even the most up to date shooters but they’re still so good, and their Redux versions look fantastic. Half Life 3 may never happen in our lifetimes and I can’t help but feel that the Metro franchise will be the next best thing as a shooter where you simultaneously are the main character and also care about him. That’s not even getting to the amazing level design, stellar attention to detail, breath-taking visuals, strong mechanics and shooting, memorable set-pieces and sizable length.
We need more games like Metro 2033 and Metro: Last Light. We need more games that don’t insist on spoon-feeding us even on their easiest settings or trivializing the time we put into them with meaningless missions, grinding or worse, a disposable campaign that only serves to pad the multiplayer. And judging by the success of the series and the continued crowding of the multiplayer FPS space, it’s not like a sequel would go unappreciated.