Metro: Last Light
Metro: Last Light Preview - Sneaking and Shooting Through 4A's Grim World
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Metro 2033 was, by developer 4A Games’ own volition, a flawed gem. The oppressive atmosphere created by its subterranean, post-Apocalyptic Moscow setting remains unmatched by any of its peers. But when it came to gameplay systems it was found lacking.

While primarily focused on shooting, Metro 2033 also featured poorly implemented stealth sections spoiled by crappy AI. What this meant was that as soon as a body was discovered, no matter how deep in cover you were, enemies would immediately blast your face off.

It just didn’t make any sense, and while the strengths of the game overpowered its shortcomings, there’s no denying that Metro 2033 was... well yeah, it was a flawed gem. It’s these problems that 4A Games is hoping to address with its follow-up. 

Metro: Last Light is essentially an attempt to deliver on the original’s promise.

While some of the areas in Metro: Last Light will encourage specific approaches, many will allow you to choose whether you go in blasting or tip-toe through rooms, unscrewing lightbulbs, extinguishing lanterns and swinging a dirty great big knife through unsuspecting Russian dudes’ necks.

Alternatively, many of the game’s interior rooms also feature fuse boxes, which when switched off bring enemies to investigate. In this way you can pull people around the room engineering their position for optimum machete murder. And most importantly, there doesn’t seem to be any super-human X-Ray vision enemies any more.    

Make no mistake, Metro hasn’t suddenly become Metal Gear Solid. Hell it’s not even Far Cry 3. Last Light merely attempts to offer increased freedom in a way that actually works. Watching the game play out in our hands-off demo seems to suggest that 4A has made significant inroads into doing just that.

We’ll reserve final judgement until we actually play the game ourselves, but the signs are positive.

Elsewhere in the demo there was evidence to suggest that 4A’s knack for world building is as strong as ever. As well as the typically dank and claustrophobic corridors we’re familiar with from the first game, we also got to see one of the game’s station hubs, Venice.

Venice is an independent outpost bustling with activity and telling little environmental details. Pigs snort and nuzzle at their slurry, families chat and children play, bartenders wipe battered counters and locals sit huddled around makeshift fires roasting rats. It’s a desperate place, but it’s also clearly home to a lot of people.

Venice’s defining characteristic, however, is the fact that it’s also home to the Metro’s red light district, a location we visited on some unmentioned mission. Colourfully lit it nevertheless remains a brutal looking place, marked by prostitutes tottering around in high heels wearing body stockings while everyone else is wrapped up in big coats and furry boots.

It’s evidence that 4A is looking to build on the world sketched out in Metro 2033.

This is further evidenced by what’s going on above ground. In Last Light’s world the nuclear winter brought about by Moscow’s apocalyptic blast is thawing and the landscape is changing.

In a section of the demo we ventured above ground, gas mask equipped, and traversed the ruined metropolis in search of a church. For the first time sunlight is bursting through the clouds and new life skitters around in the rubble, swoops through the sky and splashes around in toxic lakes.

Typically, they’re all monstrous mutants. In addition to the winged beasts encountered in the first game there’s also vicious looking aquatic nasties and freaky crab-like things. Being above ground in Moscow has never been the safest of places, but in Last Light there’s a whole new level of danger.

It’s also beautiful, with some of the best visuals you’re likely to see this generation. Or as beautiful as a ravaged land populated by monsters can be. Chuck in the wheezy, ragged breaths you’ll hear while wearing your gas mask, some massive boss-type creatures and the detritus of a ruined world, and 4A’s masterful power to conjure a unique atmosphere seems undimmed.

To reach the church we had to take a short trip across some radioactive water on a makeshift boat. Unfortunately, however, the boat was out of fuel, necessitating a search for gas canisters. Once secured - there are no waypoint indicators, you just have to forage - the boat was filled up and spluttered into life.

Unfortunately, however, the noise roused the locals including one particularly impressive mutant reptile... thing. Before we could escape to the church a huge boss fight ensued, with smaller creatures getting in on the act too. As with everything in the world of Metro it looked like a desperate fight for survival rather than a one man army glory mission.

While suitably dramatic, the success of these sections rests largely on the quality of the shooting, something that Metro 2033 didn’t excel at. In that game the weapons felt a little wooly and imprecise, perhaps due in part to the salvaged nature of your weaponry. But regardless of the intention, it just wasn’t fun to fire guns.

Yet because we didn’t actually play the game ourselves we have no way of telling if improvements have been made. Which brings us to our biggest issue with the game so far.

Nobody outside the studio has played it. Metro: Last Light may look great, feature a wonderfully crafted world and promise key gameplay improvements, but it’s difficult to judge the voracity of many of these claims without actually sitting down and getting stuck in with it. We need to play it for ourselves.

We’re confident Metro: Last Light is going to be one of 2013’s most interesting shooters. Only once we’ve gone hands-on will we know whether it can be one of 2013’s best shooters.

Metro: Last Light is out in March 2013.


User Comments

Forum Posts: 5
Comment #1 by NeoVampyre
Wednesday, December 12, 2012 @ 08:02:03 AM
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Day fucking one. PEWPEWPEW motherfucker!

Forum Posts: 0
Comment #2 by davidani
Wednesday, December 12, 2012 @ 08:13:26 AM
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Why is a Metro Last Night article in Aliens Colonial Wars page?

Forum Posts: 46
Comment #3 by LeeBradley [STAFF]
Wednesday, December 12, 2012 @ 08:14:06 AM
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because I'm an idiot.

Forum Posts: 4
Comment #4 by mikefizzled
Wednesday, December 12, 2012 @ 08:20:31 AM
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I guess there is light at the end of the tunnel after STALKER 2 imploded. Will also have to keep an eye out for Vostok's game too

Forum Posts: 4
Comment #5 by MyNameIsWill
Wednesday, December 12, 2012 @ 08:29:02 AM
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Interesting doesn't mean it's great O.o

Forum Posts: 1749
Comment #6 by IXISHADOW
Wednesday, December 12, 2012 @ 09:53:32 AM
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This makes me want it even more!

Forum Posts: 25
Comment #7 by MrInfliction
Wednesday, December 12, 2012 @ 09:57:28 AM
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Give it to me NOW!

Forum Posts: 0
Comment #8 by davidani
Wednesday, December 12, 2012 @ 09:57:34 AM
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@3 Mistake repaired everything fine :)

Forum Posts: 6121
Comment #9 by Crimson Ridley
Wednesday, December 12, 2012 @ 10:33:50 AM
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I need to get back and finish Metro 2033. I've only played the first little bit, but it seemed very good.

Forum Posts: 7116
Comment #10 by Opiate42
Wednesday, December 12, 2012 @ 11:03:53 AM
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@ Callum - Dooo eeeeett!!

Totally worth it!

I'll be putting in my pre-order probably this week. The internal debate is over.

Forum Posts: 292
Comment #11 by ViNyLek
Wednesday, December 12, 2012 @ 11:05:31 AM
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SOunds good enough for me! I am also getting tired fast of hearing one of the best graphics on console this generation phrase. Seems like you are throwing it around every other game. (I know that's not the case, but just trying to make my point LOL)

Forum Posts: 38
Comment #12 by Aussie27Legend
Wednesday, December 12, 2012 @ 11:47:00 AM
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This still looks utterly fantastic.

Forum Posts: 7116
Comment #13 by Opiate42
Wednesday, December 12, 2012 @ 11:51:07 AM
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I'm really curious if they're reading your 2033 game save. If there will be a difference in the game depending on whether you accomplished "Enlightened" or not.

That would be awesome.

Forum Posts: 153
Comment #14 by Lord
Wednesday, December 12, 2012 @ 01:09:05 PM
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Go straight to#15

Forum Posts: 451
Comment #15 by deluxnugs
Wednesday, December 12, 2012 @ 01:46:42 PM
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this gaem is gonna be great and is the only shooter thet matters in the begining of next year.

Forum Posts: 56
Comment #16 by god_that_failed
Wednesday, December 12, 2012 @ 01:50:30 PM
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This game is going to be boss. 2033 was amazing, so I can't wait for this one.

Forum Posts: 1
Comment #17 by Sethetron23
Wednesday, December 12, 2012 @ 03:58:52 PM
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Think they are going to have hidden gems? Or a secrect ending like the first one?

Forum Posts: 1735
Comment #18 by WOLFkraut
Wednesday, December 12, 2012 @ 08:07:00 PM
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@10 Is there anything to debate? It's a Metro game, get it! Haha.

@11 Actually, it's no joke, Metro: Last Light is on track to become the most graphically demanding game out there, replacing BF3 which currently holds that title (although, 2033 is very close). Crysis 3 may surpass it, though.

@13 I'm pretty sure it won't, they already said that the Ranger ending is canon.

I didn't find Metro 2033 to be a flawed gem, it was just a gem. Maybe I got lucky, but I didn't encounter any bugs or issues, I thought it was more polished than most big budget AAA titles! I never really tried to sneak, though, so I realize that part may have been flawed, but my only gripe was that I wish it had been longer. Hopefully Last Light will be longer.

Forum Posts: 154
Comment #19 by EngagedMetal7
Thursday, December 13, 2012 @ 12:16:06 AM
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@18, I did pretty muchly everything in the game, and loved the way stealth was done! So right, was a complete and utter gem. Only thing i've seen that I don't like about this is the n00b tube from one of the trailers, the new stealth scenes were awesome.

Forum Posts: 2
Comment #20 by DoctorWatson
Thursday, December 13, 2012 @ 01:58:41 AM
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Can't wait!

Forum Posts: 20
Comment #21 by My iron lung
Thursday, December 13, 2012 @ 06:00:24 AM
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This is probably too early to ask but any deals/ goodies comes with the pre-order?

Forum Posts: 499
Comment #22 by AirborneRichard
Sunday, December 16, 2012 @ 05:48:59 AM
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@21, just that there will be a very Limited edition for sale including Ranger Mode, as THQ mentioned this is limited, So not as aualy there million and millions of copies for sale all around the glode of limited editions. As for extra DLC,s for pre-orders nothing is know yet, might be some gamestores offer something in terms of extra weapons or so.

Forum Posts: 2
Comment #23 by SWAT IL DUCE
Monday, December 24, 2012 @ 01:10:46 PM
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@2 Come on man, Metro LAST LIGHT and Aliens COLONIAL MARINES

Forum Posts: 0
Comment #24 by Crazycatfish11
Monday, December 24, 2012 @ 04:49:36 PM
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This game makes me feel depressed

Forum Posts: 115
Comment #25 by Dragonmaster700
Friday, December 28, 2012 @ 01:39:16 PM
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I really need to go back and finish 2033 before this comes out. Been so long since I played it that at this point I may as well start over from the beginning. But I'm definitely gonna buy this day one.

Forum Posts: 5
Comment #26 by The Robo
Saturday, December 29, 2012 @ 12:11:24 AM
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Have yet to sit down and play the first one, but i can do that while waiting.

Forum Posts: 2
Comment #27 by SurgeAquos
Thursday, January 03, 2013 @ 12:09:35 PM
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@24 If the game depressed you, stay away from the book!

That was one of the things I liked most with the game; it depicted the book incredibly accurately, apart from a greater focus on combat (since it would be a very boring shooter if it did follow the book exactly) whilst still making an impressive game.

Forum Posts: 561
Comment #28 by MakoBallistic
Wednesday, January 09, 2013 @ 08:15:11 AM
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Def looking forward to this, and now as i have a decent PC i can see it in all its true glory! Yay! :D

Forum Posts: 28
Comment #29 by stook
Thursday, January 10, 2013 @ 09:24:37 AM
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I Can't wait and i´m very excited!

Forum Posts: 2
Comment #30 by LimeySkate
Saturday, January 12, 2013 @ 05:48:59 AM
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Hoping THQ's financial problems don't impact on future support for this title... and I guess they won't be giving away free avatar item like they did with 2033

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Game Info
4A Games
Deep Silver


US May 14, 2013
Europe May 17, 2013

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