Game review on PC
Eamon Ward / Fri 22nd Jul 2016
164 views / 1 bite
OVERVIEW The metro has changed. Tunnels that were once home to speeding trains and bustling crowds now play host to terrifying mutants and militaristic factions. Tread carefully, and whatever you do, don't venture above ground.
Based on the book of the same name, Metro 2033 never strives to be more than what it is, a tale of survival against the worst of odds. From beginning to end the highly detailed world of the Russian metro system is revealed a little at a time, each level giving the player new tidbits of information. The occasional supernatural elements, while jarring in contrast to the rest of the game, offer humbling moments in amongst the chaos.
While the overarching story is a classic heroes journey, a young man is thrust into a strange and dangerous world wherein he is mankind's only hope for survival, it is the conversations between various NPC's that truly build up the misery of the metro. Families discuss their fates as you pass by, veteran soldiers talk about the horrors they have encountered deep in the mountains. These tales add to the already oppressive atmosphere, taking the world to a more tangible level.
Metro's game play is fairly standard, guns shoot where you point them, the enemy return fire and all in all it just works. It is in the small details where the game shines. Removing light sources to aid in stealth, pumping up pneumatic powered weapons to shoot harder and ensuring you have enough ammunition to see each fight through. When you walk about the surface the dynamic changes immensely, the poisonous air killing the unprotected within minutes, seconds in intensely irradiated zones. Only your trusty gas mask and honed instincts will help you survive, switching out filters to ensure a steady supply of clean air.
Of course, the largest of mutants roam the surface, wreaking havoc on the unwary. Each mutant is unique in its actions, some swooping in from above, others charge headlong toward the player and some can be stared down by the unwavering player. Perhaps the most interesting element is the currency system, military grade bullets. Scattered about the world are shiny, unused bullet which are used to buy guns and equipment and, in a dire situation, can be loaded into a weapon for an increase in damage.
This trade off between combat efficiency and the size of your wallet becomes evermore apparent on higher difficulties where ammo is scarce and the enemy tougher. While for the most part Metro brings nothing new to the table it does have it's moments and when it shines, it shines brightly.
For a game released in 2010, Metro 2033 looks great, even more so when one considers the small team and harsh Ukrainian working conditions. The studios own 4A engine shows off impressive lighting effects, atmospheric visuals and effects and, when on the surface, breathtaking, if bleak and desolate vistas.
While some may argue that the visuals are not the most important part of a game in the case of Metro 2033 the impressive graphics only further the games oppressive apocalyptic atmosphere, building a visually astounding world that truly draws the player in.
AUDIO From the crack of the AK-47's 7.62 round to the screech of a furious Nosalis, Metro 2033 goes all out with its audio, building one of the more realistic game worlds to date. With the option to play the game with solely Russian speaking and every weapon, location and enemy each having their own easily identifiable sound effects, Metro 2033 features some of the more reserved yet present audio tracks I've ever heard. Add to that a music track the is equal parts depressing and encouraging it truly hits the mark.
VERDICT Metro 2033 is a must play. Overlooked when first released it has since developed a cult following, and for good reason. Both visually and aurally impressive, Metro 2033 offers a unique experience that may never be replicated. Its attention to detail and simple story make it accessible to all players and is well worth the time.