AMD Radeon HD 4890
Metro 2033 is a fresh breath of air, created by a Ukrainian company in Kiev by the name of 4A Games. Metro 2033 is focused around another post-apocalyptic world. Now this might sound repetitive, but the north eastern gaming companies have a great way of keeping it fresh, interesting and different. 4A Games came out of the same company that created the S.T.A.L.K.E.R series, GSC Game World, which is no doubt a very distinguished game in it's own respect. Metro 2033 is based on the novel Metro 2033 by Russian author Dmitry Glukhovsky, much like S.T.A.L.K.E.R was. Metro 2033 stays true to its genre while adding in some basic survival elements, so if you like action-oriented FPS’ with some mystery then follow along while I dig deeper.
Metro 2033 is a very graphics heavy first-person-shooter set in a post-apocalyptic Moscow, where the inhabitants have moved underground into the city's metro system, which it just so happens is inhabited by mutant monsters. You play as the potential hero Artyom, who gets dragged into the worst of this bleak world and forced to help his hometown and the metro as a whole. Much like Gordon Freeman did with City 17.
Metro 2033 has a wonderful environment, it makes you feel like you are in post-apocalyptic Moscow. While playing this game it gives you the feeling of wanting to explore everything, unfortunately you’re not allowed much of that because it's a “tunnel shooter” and most of the game you are advancing through the Metro's tunnel system. Metro 2033 is a linear shooter in this respect, which isn't bad considering the intense fights you will have with monsters and the Nazis. The AI in this game isn't the best, but it is quite challenging and that is a plus. Not only will you have intense fire-fights, but you will have interesting visions where you are forced to make decisions that will cause you to return to the “real” world or die in a terrible vision. Playing Metro 2033 gave an interesting experience because of the unique story that it had (book to game adaptations are always great).
Life in metro goes on
Tunnel traveling won't be your only way of getting around, certain parts of the games forces you to go above ground where you must use a gas mask to breath. These parts of the adventure will leave you scared and in awe of the simulated city of Moscow. It will also leave you annoyed when you are running out of oxygen, and are forced to redo these areas a few times over. This isn't a downside to the game mechanics itself, but to the fact you can't save whenever you want. So you can explore above ground, but more times than not you will have to start all over.
Something I really liked about this game was that it made you think while you are going into a new area. You had to decide if you want to go in Rambo style and die a minute later, or go for a more stealth approach like in the game Thief. Upgrading your weapons is not necessary but is a really nice feature. Being allowed to add scopes or a silencer will help keep yourself hidden, as long as you don't trip a rope or “can” alarm. Keeping an eye on how much ammo you have left is important, as is making sure you explore around for more. This keeps the game strategic where you won't want to use a whole clip of ammo on 1-2 enemies.
Metro 2033 is a survival adventure game as much as it is a first-person-shooter. Taking caution when moving around a corner, knowing how much oxygen you have left by checking your watch and making sure you are going the right way by frequently opening your leather book that has your objectives and a compass on it. I feel that if they had added more Amnesia: The Dark Descent survival aspects to Metro 2033 it would have made this a very memorable experience.
You will stop to marvel the lighting
Metro 2033 is fun and enjoyable, but I do wish it was amazing and memorable. The story line is there, but you don't get invested into it enough (at least to the extent I was expecting), though you will feel sad when a comrade dies on you and you couldn't help him. It becomes annoying when you have to redo areas over and over which truly is the only annoying part of this game. They're the peace loving checkpoints...wait I meant death annoying checkpoints. Metro 2033 has no hard saves or even quick saves, which leads to activating a checkpoint during fire-fights and dying a minute later. I guarantee you will have at least one annoying checkpoint where you can't advance at all. This unfortunately breaks from the immersion of the game, and might even keep you from playing the game until you have cooled down.
Overall Metro 2033 is a PC game at its core and you won't go wrong by picking it up.. The sound quality in the game is great, it keeps you immersed and is perfect during moments of survival. When it comes to overhearing an NPC it’s just done right. Which, in my books, is a must for a PC game, being able to overhear a group of NPCs having a conversation and listen to the depth the developer put into them. You will find a unique essence to this game when you play it. I enjoyed playing it and it was well worth my money. It is great that 4A Games stays true to what PC gamers want, gives an enjoyable experience, and makes us wonder how great their future games will be. Longer gameplay, more exploration and please give at least quick saves.
Overall Metro 2033 holds to the standard that we expect from a PC game, a bug free experience. Enjoyable fire-fights , lasting appeal and a unique experience that makes this game stand out. The game might have a short story and an annoying checkpoint system, but overall it is a beautiful and quite fun game to play. I recommend this to all gamers that love single-player FPS’ and want to try out something unique and, at it's core, a PC game. Lets hope we get a wonderful and amazing sequel with 4A Games Metro: Last Light which is coming out in 2013.
- Beautiful environments: Feeling of being in a post-apocalyptic Moscow. Unique scenery that make this game a breath of fresh air. A great atmospheric first-person-shooter
- Bug-free engine: Unlike it’s cousin S.T.A.L.K.E.R, it had very few bugs during release and much more enjoyable experience for a new player to pick up.
- Impressive graphics: Very detailed textures, makes your GPU actually work for the money you spend on it. Very polished and beautiful game.
- Strategic gameplay: Using stealth to advance through the game, avoiding noise making devices, and shooting down enemies from different angles and levels.
- Punishing environment: Radiation that kills you over a period of time, bio-pods that make for a challenging experience. Running out of oxygen fast forcing to replay certain areas.
- Challenging enemy AI: Shooting you the moment you are out of cover. They make an experience of being strategic and using your brain on how to kill them.
- Frustrating checkpoint: Which forces you to redo a whole area, dying seconds after reloading the checkpoint.
Metro 2033 fell under my radar for quite a while. Many reviews put me off by saying how buggy the game was etc, but I decided to give it a chance. It's quite rare for a FPS to really engage you in it's story and world, but Metro 2033 grabbed me the second I started the game. The atmosphere in the game really helps draw you in. At times you really do feel like you are all alone with a sense of, almost, hopelessness.
Although Metro 2033 is an FPS it’s not a run and gun game. You really have to be careful when approaching a fight - whether it be against humans or the savages beasts. Ammo is scarce so use it wisely. The game looks and sounds amazing. Post apocalyptic Moscow has never looked better. Indoor environments look much better than outdoor ones but it still looks great. The game does have some bugs but nothing game breaking. Metro 2033 also has a strong cast of voice actors and the overall sound design really fits the game's setting. Overall, Metro 2033 is a solid shooter with atmosphere and story to match.
As has already been clearly stated by my learned contemporaries, this game has atmosphere by the bucketload, and then some. So I will not belabour the point by stressing any further. Allow me, merely, to add my voice to the pile. I am not often fond of the FPS genre, finding myself disenfranchised, as many others are, by their sheer volume in recent years. Metro 2033, however, based on the novel, of the same name, by Russian journalist turned author Dmitry Glukhovsky, really caught my eye. Is it the poster child of its kind? Encouraging us all to cast aside our reservations?
Nay my friends, it is not. But it is amongst the best of it’s brethren. Reminding us, in no uncertain terms, that even corridor shooters. When done right. Can still make us sit back in our chair, hands shaking, heart pounding, and say “f*ck me that was intense!” My largest complaint, really, is that it was too short. And yet, that isn’t because it’s short. Offering a good ten hours of solid gameplay. I was just left wanting more. Far more. Don’t let the bad press fool you. Metro is well worth your time. And the novel is extremely good too.