Monday, June 7, 2010

Metro 2033


Metro 2033 is a Half-Life-esque adventure game inspired by the Russian sci-fi novel of the same name. Appropriately developed by Ukrainian 4A Games, this intriguing though demanding title serves a fresh experience not easily mimicked by most no-name companies. Metro 2033 is truly a must play game.

The Metro universe is set in the Moscow metro system which was built by the U.S.S.R. to double as the worlds largest fallout shelter. On the surface, nuclear winter has blotted out the sun, created ravenous mutant beasts, and forced the population underground. This one of a kind setting makes for an instantly gripping though dour atmosphere that perseveres till the bitter end. It can be rather straining after a while; relationships are crushed by the horrors of the darkness, families suffer through famine and authoritative cruelty. You really feel as though humanity is on the brink.

Metro can be approximately placed in the adventure sub-genre of survival horror. Ammo is scarce, enemies deal hefty damage, and a methodical strategy is always best. The standout set pieces are your brisk travels on the icy surface and elaborately designed stealth stages. The outdoors are fiercely uninviting with unnatural monsters and a ungainly view through your gas mask which provides time sensitive protection from the poisonous air. The cloak and dagger is especially well crafted with devious silent weapons and non linear environments. These make for the most savoring periods of the game.

Metro’s campaign is between 10 and 12 hours and features no multiplayer. 4A Games stated their focus was solely on a polished and engaging single player experience, a rarity among most modern games. And even though it’s destined to be rental or eventual bargain bin purchase the quality overshadows the games commercial potential. With great visuals, design, and pacing, I’ve got no choice but to give Metro 2033 my highest recommendations.