Metro: Last Light
Game review on PC
Eamon Ward / Fri 22nd Jul 2016
296 views / 2 bites
OVERVIEW Step forth into the darkness, fight against the rising tide, face the worst of foes, survive the night and remember, it's always darkest before the dawn. But it's not dawn yet, for the last light still remains.
Metro Last Light is the sequel to the great, if a little rough, Metro 2033. Once again the player enters the dark tunnels of the Russian subway for another dark yet familiar tale. Last Light follows the James Cameron method of creating a sequel, that is to say it takes a darker, more focused tale and expands on the best elements of the original while adding more action and one liners, think Aliens or Terminator 2.
Metro Last Light still features the heroes journey, only this time it is much bigger in scale. The results of your actions in the previous game creating a war amongst the denizens of the tunnels; the Fourth Reich has risen up to wage war against the Red Army and it's all very grand until you remember there isn't a whole lot of people living underground. But don't let all the talk of military forces get you down, for the mutants are still lurking in the shadows, waiting to strike, even woven heavily into the story in some rather odd yet well done sections.
The background conversations have again returned, and, while more sparse, they still hit you with a little bit of reality whilst listening to them. Much like Aliens, Metro Last Light puts a heavy focus on action and the story falls behind, nevertheless is still engaging enough to keep you moving forward.
Last Light's game play is an improvement in every manner. The shooting is crisp and sharp, the gunplay feels incredible and the stealth, while overly simple, is very manageable and sufficiently deep in it's own right. Again the most interesting parts of game play are the individual parts, fighting spider-like mutants that shy away from the light of your torch, wiping mud and blood from the visor of your gas mask modifying the various weapons for all kinds of scenarios.
It is both deep and rewarding, completing stealth sections while remaining undetected feels great as does clearing a room with your newly made Bastard SMG.
While many of the systems are the same they are all redone to make the game of user friendly. Your watch tells you how hidden you are, your breathing will tell you the state of your filters and overlay inventory clearly displays your ammo, gear and money. Speaking of money, military grade ammunition has returned in much the same way though it is much more present on lower difficulties allowing for more combat opportunities. Add to this various new features such as large caliber sniper rifles, a CoD style melee attack and new enemy types and what you get is a sequel that elevates itself to a whole new level.
GRAPHICS Metro 2033 looked great on release and still holds up today, Metro Last Light looks truly incredible, even three years after it's release. The 4A engine again captures the detail, lighting and atmosphere of the world in even greater depth than it's previous outings, comparable to Frostbite and Cryengine when raw power and visual fidelity is concerned. Everything from the way your vision blurs as your visor freezes over to the steaming swamps and flashy explosions, it all looks great and, if you have a system powerful enough, deserves to be run as high as it can go, even if the NPC's faces do seem more than a little dead and terrifying.
AUDIO The audio for Last Light falls into the same category as 2033, not pushed to the front, not discarded but exactly where it needs to be. The gun shots feel great, the soundtrack is atmospheric and the skittering of enormous spiders lurking just out of sight is truly chilling. While the voice work isn't quite at the same level as the original it is adequate enough not to destroy immersion, if a little odd at times. The sound as a whole works together well to build the world, even as you tear it apart.
VERDICT Metro Last Light is more action-packed, tighter, snappier and better looking than its predecessor while remaining every bit as immersive and oppressive. While much of the more personal moments of 2033 have been replaced with fiery shootouts and 80's film set pieces it remains true to the heart of the world, a cruel and harsh world that will chew you up and spit you out if you're not careful. I for one hope to see more from 4A in the coming years.