Thursday, 21 October 2010

Metro 2033

Hello all my beautiful internet readers out there, this is my second review, so I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed making it.

Stalker in the tunnels?

            Trying to sit down to play Metro has been almost as much of a challenge as writing it. This week has been absolutely jam packed with coursework and various other commitments. However when I finally managed to grab some time for myself, I was not disappointed.

            Metro is a game that is quite heavily story driven, but the beauty of this is that the player (you) always feels compelled to continue and unlock the next part. Another interesting thing about Metro is that it has a number of loading screens.

Normally I don’t enjoy loading screens all that much as it takes me out of the ‘flow’ of the game. This was until I came across metro’s loading screens; each loading screen is handled in a very special way. When ever the game is forced to load, THQ in their infinite wisdom have put in a small narrative from Artyom, this helps in two ways. The first thing it does, is take away the idea of the silent hero, which has always annoyed me, and the second thing it does, is it gives a small insight into the story, and how Artyom is feeling/coping with it. I feel this helps bond the player to character that little bit more.

I think now is probably the right time to try and tackle that giant elephant standing in the corner of the room … Stalker. I know that a lot of people are worried that this is essentially ‘Stalker in the tunnels?’ Even though there are stalkers in the game, you will thankfully find that in terms of game play and even story, Metro differs greatly.

I’ll start by listing similarities… and then crushing them completely. Metro has a number of similarities to Stalker, the main one being that both of them are set after some catastrophic atomic event. However the way that Metro goes beyond stalker, is the simple yet effective addition of Gas masks.

Gas masks are a blessing and a curse in Metro. Each time you head above ground … and even the few odd times underground, your character will randomly begin to choke and splutter, signalling the need for you to don your gas mask. The only downside to them is that if you get smashed up enough in combat, there is a chance the sacred mask of life will break … killing you. Another thing that will kill you is running out of filters. If you have not yet played metro, you will not know the sheer terror of checking your watch, and realizing you only have two filters left … especially when there is no metro tunnel in sight.

While above ground, you are exposed to almost anything the game wants to throw at you, from ‘demons’ to strange hairless ape abominations that quite frankly had me wading through irradiated water just so I didn’t have to fight them. But that is the beauty of Metro. Whereas in stalker where once you got an alright gun you felt invincible, the difference is that even with a heavy automatic shotgun, I still found myself sticking to the shadows and trying my best to avoid gunfights.

Another trait that Metro shares with Stalker, are anomalies, these deadly forces of nature can kill pretty much anything that they come into contact with. Sadly though in Metro, the only anomalies that I saw were scripted events relevant to the story, this doesn’t mean it didn’t scare me witless.

I will admit that I was slightly disappointed with the anomalies in metro, as there were only one type, I won’t reveal the type to you, as it is a beautiful moment when you first experience it. But I just feel there was room for a few more.

The final thing that Metro and Stalker share is their use of mutated creatures. The simple difference with Metro is that none of their creatures have strange psychic powers, which while being cool, personally seem a bit bizarre. Metro’s monsters seem a little bit more how I would imagine mutated killing machines; Big scary and a hell of a lot of fun to be chased by.

Speaking of hell, there were a few moments in Metro where I actually felt like Artyom had died and gone to hell, namely when I was faced with killing an enemy, which at the best of times can withstand multiple headshots, with my combat knife. It’s moments like this in metro that remind you Artyom is not invincible and that you the player should realty tread carefully instead of running in guns blazing … as that usually leaves you splattered all over the floor.

A particularly beautiful thing that Metro does is it makes you crave the underground. In no other game have I found myself actively seeking a way to get back underground and away from the sky. Metro manages this in a number of ways, the use of gasmasks as I mentioned earlier, but they use a particularly terrifying creature, dubbed the demon. These beasts fly quick and high, and you only know there is one in the area when it has its claws firmly planted in your spine.

I’ll end the review on one final note. Metro 2033 is not just a first person shooter/horror; it is so much more than that. Sure on the surface with all its nice and dirty guns, it looks like just another gun runner, but pretty early on in the game, you realize it’s not just about killing monsters and trying to stay alive; it’s about how people react in the aftermath of the apocalypse. It is also a look inside the player and how they would react during situations like this. During multiple times in Metro it causes you to choose between self preservation and seemingly great acts of charity.

So go ahead and pick up a copy … if you think you are ready for it.


  1. i played metro 2033, but i dont really get into it.

  2. Never played it but I might give it a try. Thanks man.

  3. never played it, looks decent though.

  4. I managed to complete it in a couple of days, but I loved every second of it, I suppose at the end of the day it is a matter of personal preference, I just hope you all enjoy it if you do get it.

  5. i will never play stalker again, wayyy to scary

  6. Never played this going to look into after reading your review.

  7. hmmm i will have to check this out now

  8. Nice review! Never liked metro personally.

  9. Never heard of that game actually! I might have to give it a try.

  10. looks cool but havent herd much about it

  11. sounds awesome man, metro is sweet game

  12. I was seriously on the fence about getting this. If only the price would drop....

  13. just started to play this game and its awesome