Metro 2033 - 360 - Review
After years of having cooperative modes and multiplayer features shoved down the throats of gamers who would rather sit down and enjoy the single-player campaign by their lonesome, 4A Games and THQ have delivered a first-person shooter that hits all the right notes, from beginning till the bittersweet end.
What is Metro 2033? Well, it’s a shooter that focuses a post-apocalyptic world based within a Russian setting. The freezing streets of Moscow lie above the dark tunnels and ruins of the Metro system in the year 2033. Crafted by author Dmitry Glukhovsky (based on his 2002 novel) Metro 2033 is among the most story-line driven shooters in recent memory. For players who easily succumb to claustrophobia, Metro 2033 may not be the game for them as it’s a FPS with narrow halls that provide eerie moods all throughout the story.
One major attribution of Metro 2033 that works so well is the minimalist approach of the score. Rather than blaring the trumpets and horns, the score blends into the background to paint a dismal setting of despair and hostility. To be clear, don’t expect Metro 2033’s music to get your adrenaline pumping with loud roaring pieces, but rather be prepared for a memorable experience that will dampen your mood upon noticing the devastation all around the annihilated city of Moscow. It’s much more of a reflective game than, say, one that gets in your face and screams, “now that’s what I am talking about!”
From a game design prospective, Metro 2033 mixes it up a little from the standard FPS. Removing any form of a heads-up display, 4A Games has crafted a beautiful title that immerses the player into a surreal world where paranoia reigns supreme. If players end up getting lost upon their trek through the gritty tunnels of Moscow, they are able to pull up their map by pressing select and holding right trigger to see the compass, the objectives and where to go. If it’s too dark, the developers have incorporated a lighter to get a better look at the map and see the direction on the compass of the next objective.
Another design decision was to make players pick up ammo and weapons as they walk about the environment. Players must directly look at the bodies of fallen comrades, enemies or those unlucky to fall prey to the hazardous environment up on top of the soil. Back in January, the preview build didn’t sport enough ammo and weapons to craft a wonderful and breathtaking experience without having to rummage around the environments as a stall tactic. With the review build, it’s clear that the developers went back and anted up the ammunition dispersed throughout the level so players don’t always have to run mad around a cleared portion of the map looking for extra ammo. Still, it would’ve been nice to have a better notification of where the ammo was and not have to directly look at it to pick it up.
Due to the dark environments, players are provided with a flashlight that has a charger players can continuously pump up to have a wider look at the environment. There are also gas masks to take advantage of since the air on the surface is poisonous due to the radiation. These two aspects help create a sense that the world isn’t fine and dandy – it’s full of turmoil and danger lurking around every corner as the Dark Ones, psychic beings that are tall and lengthy, are out to rid the world of mankind once and for all.
The shooting mechanics in Metro 2033 needed to be tightened up as the end results often has mutant walking through a burst of shots with no effect due animations that caused the bullets to blip by. There are four weapon classes – pistol, heavy, thrown and automatic – to go along with the different grade rounds of ammunition. The “Military Grade” is the stronger of the bunch and provided damage that no mutant wants to endure. Of the weapons, the throwing knife turned out to be the favorite by the end of the journey since, well, it permitted for an experience that allowed me to feel as if I was a badass. Killing enemies with merely a knife, it’s moments like these that create enjoyment out of thin air.
So do you have what it takes to survive the perilous world of Metro 2033? The single-player affair is worthy of every FPS fanatics’ time since the 4A Games and THQ were able to put forth a wonderful tale that deserved telling. The world is engrossing as it invites players for multiple trips with the sheer amount of detail 4A Games spent implementing into the environments. Metro 2033 is as pure as they come in the genre and I gladly welcome any sequel that may reach fruition.