E3 2012: Metro: Last Light Preview
Look into the light
©2012 Arthur Kotsopoulos
Metro: Last Light is another sequel in THQ‘s sequel-heavy line up of titles that I am definitely now interested in, more so for the story than the graphics or gameplay.
While for me it may not reach the heights of the S.T.A.L.K.E.R franchise, which I loved and will deeply miss, I’m still excited to see what direction Metro: Last Light goes, especially since it’s a sequel to Metro 2033 but isn’t based on the book Metro 2034.
What we were shown was a big step up from their last Metro game, and has me excited to see even more.
Enter The Metro
With so many other games focusing primarily on gun fights, action, big explosions, amazing graphics and multiplayer to sell themselves, it was good to see 4A take a different approach with its First Person Shooter (FPS).
Fans familiar with the previous title will feel right at home with the almost non-existent HUD, the dark corridors, and eery atmosphere of not knowing what is waiting for you around the next corner.
However there are many new inclusions, including wiping off blood or water from your mask’s visor, and new lighting and weather effects.
Scouring through the dark corridors with flashlight in hand, the protagonist Artyom walked up to a corpse to salvage ammo and filters, when unexpectedly strange looking spider creatures emerged from the corpse, with one crawling onto Artyom’s mask.
Artyom proceeded to grab it and squish it, causing a splurt of blood that gushed all over his mask’s visor.
It was a nice and unexpected touch that just added to the overall atmosphere of the game.
Above Ground Zero
We could see that vegetation has started to reclaim the city and grow from the cracks not only from the ground but up buildings as well.
Through the dark grey clouds, sun shines bright, expanding the colour palette from 5 shades of grey to yellow and green, and even though the city was almost a pile of rubble it looks beautiful.
Our view of this majestic scenery was cut short, however, when the dynamic weather took a turn for the worst and the glimpse of sunshine we got was over shadowed by dark clouds and a sudden downfall of rain.
Taking shelter inside a plane, our hero and his companion took some time to recover by investigating the crashed plane.
Its unfortunate victims were still strapped to their chairs.
Closing in on the cockpit and burning away any cobwebs with our trusty lighter, he arrives to the gruesome scene of dead rotting pilots and the game automatically cuts to a flashback cut-scene which showed us the events just moments before the plane came crashing down.
I was wowed by how beautifully crafted this terrifying set piece played out, with the voice acting and the music in perfect harmony, creating an extremely intense experience of the last few minutes in the lives of the pilots.
Without spoiling too much of the scene I’ll say that it gives the exact same feeling back when you first experienced the nuclear warhead exploding in Modern Warfare.
I Am Alive
Just when they thought it was safe to continue venturing on towards the Metro, they were met with resistance.
A few straggling Nosalis caught a sniff of their scent and it was pedal to the metal from there on out, running through the streets with echoing howls that came from the rooftops of the surrounding buildings.
Our protagonist had to fight for survival.
Lucky for them, a resident of the Metro they reached finally opened up the large metal door and out came the flamethrower-equipped troops who burned away any living creature in their path.
A Mutant Shooter?
It it felt as if the core mechanics of Metro 2033 were still present with some tweaking, as well as the added features and graphical improvements.
Long term fans will appreciate the dedication and hard work 4A have put into Metro: Last Light and I feel that any newcomers to the franchise who have yet to experience Metro 2033 will be able to jump right in as well.
Sure they’ll miss out on a better understanding of the game’s characters and surroundings, but what they’ll ultimately get is an FPS that’s a balanced blend of different genres and something that refreshingly focuses heavily on atmosphere and story before gun fights and explosions.
Meed more Metro? Make sure to check out our interview with the developers here!
©2012 Arthur Kotsopoulos
Filed under: Xbox 360 Tagged: | "First Person Shooter", 4A Games, Dmitry Glukhovsky, fps fans, Gaming, Metro 2033, metro 2033 2, metro 2033 sequel, metro 2034, metro 2034 gameplay, metro game, Metro Last Light, metro last light e3, metro last light e3 2012, metro last light gameplay, metro last light preview, metro sequel, THQ