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It would be impossible to choose between either of the Metro games, as both of them are so very dear to me. Without a single doubt Metro speaks to me in a language few games do. After my initial introduction to the Metro universe years ago, I was stunned at how much the world had sucked me in to its lore and story. Artyom (the protagonist) became not just a character I was controlling, but I very much embodied him. Strolling about the metro was an incredible experience and one I doubt I will ever forget, because post apocalyptic Moscow looked so amazing.
As Metro is very much a franchise that follows a strict story, my discussion shall mostly be based on Metro 2033. If you have played and completed the first entry in the series, you will have already jumped onto Last Light because the first was so damn awesome. If not, you are greatly missing out. Metro Last Light is very much an expansion of 2033, it’s just much prettier than the already stunning first game. Although, the sequel still follows the exciting and dark misadventures of Artyom, which should be more than enough reason to continue his story.
The focus of the Metro franchise is to make sure you are as insecure as possible, and it nails that feeling every time. The gameplay follows a kind of pattern (both titles), which for me worked really well. At one moment you will be skulking through the shadows fighting human opponents via stealth or otherwise. Then you may find yourself moving into a freaky mutant area infested with abominations you want to kill with fire, and eventually you will enter a safe haven for you to equip new weapons and ammunition. It is not necessarily in that order, but it was nice having such a varied mix of environments and gameplay moments. Despite me only stating three phases, they are all done so differently that they blend into one in a brilliant manner.
The very start of Metro 2033 is a fantastic introduction to the moody atmosphere, and creates tension you cannot help but bask in. It becomes very clear from the get go that you are in a world of chaos, the scene set by the areas which you walk only gets you more and more excited for what is to come. I found myself just looking around absolutely everywhere and taking in the beautiful views.
For a relatively old game, Metro 2033 is still graphically stunning. The small features like flicking your lighter out just look outstanding, and appear even better in Last Light (shown below).
The Metro franchise uses a very interesting system to differentiate itself from other shooters, and one which I found myself mulling over for quite some time. You can fire your regular bullets and kill someone (or something) with a few more shots, but alternatively you could use the military grade bullets, also used as currency, to kill things quicker, but at the loss of currency. It might seem like a novelty of sorts, but this feature ended up adding to an already ground breaking experience. This for me is what “pay to win” should be, and Metro did it perfectly.
The price point at which it currently resides is a complete steal, but even more so when you consider the Redux version hitting this summer is at half price to those who own Metro 2033 already. You can check out more on the Redux version here.
So are Metro 2033/Last Light worth buying? Absolutely! If snooping about creepy passageways and fighting mutants/tunnel Nazis is your thing, then the Metro franchise is guaranteed to pull you right in.
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