Metro: Last Light is a sequel to the critically acclaimed survival-horror first-person-shooter Metro: 2033. The game was best known for its atmosphere, story and the dark world of post-apocalyptic Moscow. The sequel continues after the events of the previous title, where Artyom tries to reconcile with his past and find his true fate in this newly released sequel.
It’s exceptionally rare for a first-person shooter game to impress me. I am extremely critical when it comes to the first-person shooter games because those are the types of genres that I always played throughout the majority of my entire life. I’ll be covering Metro: Last Light in greater detail in this review, starting with a separate section for the story itself, atmosphere/presentation, gameplay, specs of PC that it was reviewed on, achievements and final verdict.
Metro: Last Light has an astounding presentation, everything from fantastic graphics with phenomenal lighting, sound and the story itself. Metro is a direct sequel to Metro 2033. The franchise itself is based on a novel by a Russian writer named Dmitry Glukhovsky.
In Metro: Last Light you continue to take on a role of a young Ranger named Artyom. At the beginning of the game Artyom explains previous events from Metro 2033 that lead up to Metro: Last Light. The narration of the story was both emotional and engaging.
It’s not necessary to play the original game unless you want to experience the story in its full glory, which I highly recommend. When I first started playing Metro: Last Light, I didn’t have high expectations for its story at all, in fact, I thought it was going to be a basic first-person shooter where you just got into one room, kill everyone and move on, however, thankfully that was not the case with this game and I am truly glad that I was wrong.
Throughout the course of Metro: Last Light you will encounter different parties of Metro, which are the Nazis, bandits and the Red Line. The Nazis of course are the evil ones, they capture, imprison and then kill everyone who have some sort of deformation. The Nazis consider those who are deformed to be ‘non-human’ mutants despite the fact that they’re just regular humans who have zero signs of infection.
In reality though, the Nazis are just using all of their devious tricks to control the Metro tunnels. The Red Line are the Soviets who are the main antagonists of the game. They’re using the situation to the benefit of themselves and try to start a civil war in order to capture and control all of Metro. Meanwhile, the bandits are just your standard thugs who traverse the metro tunnels, kill, pillage for their own survival.
The bandits don’t actually have a significant role when it comes to the main story-line in the game, they’re just there to make the world of Metro: Last Light more dangerous and intriguing.
The story-telling in Metro: Last Light is quite intriguing all-throughout. As Artyom, you will meet different characters, some that are willing to help you and of course some that pose a vital threat. However, each of the characters that I’ve met during my play-through were all truly believable, thanks to excellent character models, fantastic voice acting and lively animations.
Whoever did the writing for this game deserves a platinum medal because it was just marvelous. The dialogue never has any cheesy lines. There is some compelling humor, the accent translation of Russian characters was captured perfectly. As the story was told by, I couldn’t wait to see what happens next.
The pacing of the story starts-off slow at the start of the game picks up in the middle and just becomes a roller coaster ride as you reach the end of Metro: Last Light. The game’s plot is top-notch, it had plenty of “wow” moments, terrific plot twists, believable characters with a fantastic voice acting and of course just a compelling narrative all throughout the game from beginning to the end.
Atmosphere, Mutants and Metro:
Metro Last Light: excels at achieving an extraordinarily high quality atmosphere. Everything from the phenomenal sounds of scary roaring mutants to the stunning lighting and particle effects. The world of Metro felt so real that I almost forgot that I was living on earth at one point because I was just so immersed in it.
It is extremely rare for a game to immerse me this much, however, Metro: Last Light managed to do just that; therefore, I will never forget about how atmospheric and scary this game was. Majority of horror games scare you with cheap tricks that eventually become predictable, meanwhile, Metro: Last Light was always scary and there wasn’t a single moment in the game where my heart wasn’t beating or where I wasn’t sweating while going through the dark metro tunnels encountering creepy spider caves.
I was most impressed with the game’s outside levels because it’s a lot harder to give the game a real atmosphere in an outside world rather than the narrow metro tunnels. The first time I went through a full-on outdoor level I was absolutely blown away at how engaging it was.
As I walked through the abandoned and broken wasteland, I hear nothing but the creepy ambient music and scary mutant sounds. The roars of mutants were done right, they felt threatening, I was afraid to walk any further because I knew something was going to jump at me, and guess what, it did. Moments like these are something that will never be forgotten or replaced by anything else.
The mutants are scary monstrosities that pose a serious threat to anyone that roams the wasteland, due to their extreme brutality. The mutants themselves are well-designed, and they range from giant rats to flying gargoyle-like creatures that will scare the living crap out of you.
The flying creatures were one of my favorite mutants that I’ve encountered, and why you might ask? Well, I don’t want to say, rather have you experience it on your own, and you will see. The game also consists of creepy spider creatures and a couple of more surprises that you will encounter throughout your traversal in the post-apocalyptic wasteland of Moscow.
Metro: Last Light is not just about exploring the outside world, the metro itself has a lot of personality to. The tunnels are dark, eerie and frighting all around. The lighting system in the game is phenomenal and probably one of the best I’ve seen in survival horror games. Lighting is the most crucial element in any type of a survival-horror game and Metro: Last Light nails it.
One of the areas in the game had me traversing through a cave that was filled with spider eggs, cobwebs and of course the ugly mutated giant spiders themselves that scared the living soul out of me. During this area of the game, I was sweating, and my emotions were full of fright and fear, however, I progressed with my trust worthy flashlight and of course a double barrel shotgun.
The hissing sounds of giant spiders and gooey noises of the spider eggs popping created a breathtaking experience, due to the game’s phenomenal lighting effects and sound design. Going through the metro tunnels and the outdoor wasteland up on the surface are both absolutely fantastic experience that are different, scary in their own way and of course immersive.
In a nutshell, the atmosphere of this game is just out of this world, 4A Games have crafted a believable setting that is based on a novel and made it into a digital universe that feels almost real. It’s quite difficult to say how brilliant the atmosphere is because you won’t know it until you experience it for yourself.
The gameplay in Metro: Last Light is a hybrid of stealth, shooting and survival. First and foremost Metro: Last Light is a first-person shooter at its core. So how do all these different elements come together to create a hybrid, and how does the game stand aside from other first-person shooters that are currently out on the market?
Well, it’s not actually the shooting that makes this game different, but rather the survival aspects that play into Metro: Last Light’s pacing. Throughout the game, you will be coming across many scenarios where you have a couple of routes on how you will be handling a room full of enemy soldiers.
The game gives the player numerous choices, they can either turn off lights by finding light switches or shoot them-out if they with a silencer on their gun and stealth their way through the room without killing a single human, or they may just go on a rampage and gun everyone down.
What I like about Metro: Last Light is that each choice has a consequence, doing the gun-blazing route will get you through faster, but you sacrifice a lot of ammo and you need to conserve as much ammo as possible to kill the mutants in later levels of the game.
Meanwhile, If you go the stealth-route, you will be taking more time to clear out an area, and you also might run out of filters for your mask and end up choking to death forcing you to restart from the last checkpoint. This is where the survival-horror aspect comes in to play.
Do I rush my way through so I can live and scavenge the entire room for supplies as fast as possible, or do I take my time and plan my stealth route and get across to the next area without scavenging for supplies, or do I do a mix of both? These are the choices that players will have to make, and they create an immense impact on your future progress of the game.
Metro: Last Light is a linear game; however, it rewards players that like to explore, and this is the type of game that begs to be explored thanks to its atmospheric nature and gameplay mechanics. If you do not scavenge for ammo and mask filters, you will not be able to progress through later parts of the game and have difficulties trying to get through.
There were a couple of times where I was forced to restart a level entirely because I messed up at one part and didn’t look for any supplies and paid my price in-full by repeatedly dying against an encounter I couldn’t kill. It was impossible at that point considering the amount of ammo I had and the time left on my mask filter.
This is not a negative criticism, but rather a positive one, because this is how a survival-horror game should be played. Players should be punished for not being smart and be forced to learn from their mistakes and retry a level and never do those mistakes again, and Metro: Last Light does exactly that, and it does it exceptionally well.
At first you won’t feel like this a survival horror game, but as you continue playing you will start to realize that the survival aspect is undeniably there when you get to the harder areas of the game. I was playing the game on normal mode, and there were a few scenarios that actually proved to be difficult due to my poor planning and not knowing how the game works. However, I learned with experience and eventually prevailed and got to the end of the game.
If you want a true challenge, then you must play Ranger Mode on Hardcore, this is where the game will thoroughly test your patience and skills. Despite the gaming having trade posts throughout where you can purchase bullets, guns and modifications you still have to scavenge for supplies because the currency in this game is made up of special bullets that can either be used as powerful ammunition for certain guns or as money to buy supplies.
However, the biggest gripe I have with this game is that Ranger Mode is not included unless you have pre-ordered the game or bought the DLC pack. Why make a harder difficulty for the game and then try to sell it to people? I am sorry, but that just doesn’t make sense to me and is a significant negative to the game. It be neat if everyone can just enjoy Metro: Last Light the way it should be, which is by playing Ranger mode on Hardcore, but, unfortunately, that is not the case.
In the end, Metro: Last Light gameplay mechanics blend well altogether. It makes players think, learn their mistakes and of course have a lot of fun in the process and creates an enjoyable survival-horror experience. Every survival-horror fan should play this game at least once and experience what its like, whether they will like it or not, I think this is something that cannot be missed.
The achievements in Metro: Last Light are excellent, they’re challenging and make the player replay the game numerous times. For example, one of the achievements ask the players to beat a particular level without killing a single human while another achievement tells you to annihilate every enemy in the level.
This encourages hardcore players to play the game numerous times with different styles, and this allows the game to deliver multiple play-through experiences that are both different and challenging in their own way. There are also achievements that require you to break a certain amount of lights in the game and also turn them off without shooting them. The standard achievements usually just unlock as you play through the story of the game.
Metro: Last Light even has collectible items that you can collect throughout each level called ‘Notes’ and finding all of them will grant you an achievement. Some achievements also encourage players to explore certain levels and find stashes of supplies and hidden ammo.
One of the game’s most challenging feats will be the achievement where the player has to let every human live in the game unless the story conditions force you to engage the enemy and kill them. Overall, Metro: Last Light consists of a good mix of achievements that are both easy and difficult, fun to attain and of course this adds a lot of replay-ability to the game and that is a beneficial thing.
Metro: Last Light is the most phenomenal post-apocalyptic first-person shooter you’ll ever play. The atmosphere, story, characters, mutants, combat and the survival aspects come so well together that it just creates a fantastic grand experience that every first-person shooter/survival horror fan must experience at least once in their life. Despite the game having a harder difficulty mode as a pre-order/DLC incentive, this is a stunning horror-survival experience that should be played through regardless.
I had a ton of thrilling moments in the game that I will never forget. There are times where I wish there were more of those moments, but, unfortunately, all good things come to an end. The developers have done an astounding job at introducing the game’s world and showing how alive it is, and not many games can achieve that level of engagement. In a nutshell, Metro: Last Light is a Game of the Year contender and kudos to 4A Games for being able to achieve that status with Metro: Last Light.
This game was reviewed on the PC.
Astounding lighting, fantastic sound design and music, atmosphere is out of this world, good voice acting, interesting and engaging story-line, scary as a horror game should be, mutants are awesome.
Why is Ranger mode only available for Pre-order only/DLC? I don't understand and that's a huge negative.