The Way It's Metro Be Played
In response to the assertion regarding Metro: Last Light's Ranger mode, which has been advertised as 'the way it was meant to be played' our colleagues at PCGamer gave Koch Media a good grilling. Addressing what's really on our minds, more important even than if this truly is the way it was meant to be played, which the Ranger Survival Guide certainly suggests. Why wasn't it included by default? A question which Huw Beynon, Koch's global brand manager for Last Light, did not shy away from.
"Game makers and publishers now live in a world where offering game content as a pre-order exclusive is a requirement by retail, and Ranger Mode seemed like the best choice since it was a mode for hardcore fans who would most likely pre-order the game, or purchase it at launch in any case. We rejected requests to make story content or additional missions exclusive. We also rejected requests to make this a timed exclusive. We do not recommend Ranger Mode for a first playthrough, and this is made very clear both in-game. We expect Metro fans will want to try Ranger Mode for a subsequent playthrough, and we think that for this hardcore player, Ranger Mode offers a richer experience – but only once you've clocked the game at least once. We took all the steps we could to ensure that, while still offering retailers a pre-order incentive that met their needs, we did not force players to pre-order, or make them wait to get this content."
It's also worth noting that, despite what we now remember, Ranger mode was not an integral, default inclusion for Metro 2033 either. It was, in fact, added well after release as a direct response to fan feedback. The same fans this same strategy is aimed at. On the one hand, it makes sense from a business perspective. Koch are still a relatively minor player in the video game industry, so it makes a lot of sense for them to maximise their profits with such a high profile venture as Last Light has become. On the other hand, charging people £3.99/$5 for a bloody difficulty setting! That's not the best way to go about it really. That kind of thing just puts people's backs up.
On the other hand, this is Metro we're talking about and you know what, I think it might just be worth it. But what do you think? Comments below.