When Metro 2033 was first launched three years ago, it was praised by almost everyone thanks to its setting and atmosphere. However, the game did have the nasty habit of bringing even the most powerful rigs of its time (and even some beasts right now) to its knees. The game did manage to do well enough to get a sequel—Metro: Last Light. Developer 4A Games went through a lot during the development of the game. Even the original publisher of the game, THQ, died before the game was published. However, Deep Silver picked it up and here we are now.
Metro: Last Light picks up a year after the events of the first game—Metro 2033. The first game had two possible endings, one of them being the more “understanding” and non-lethal one. 4A Games decided that the other ending is the canonical one, and thus, story wise, protagonist Artyom decided to rain down missiles on the Dark Ones. Since then, the Rangers have occupied the D6 military facility and Artyom has become an official member of the group. The plot is kicked off when the Rangers discover that a Dark One survived the missile strike and Artyom is sent in to put it out of its misery.
What does a kid do when he finds an almost-destroyed train in a creepy underground system? EXPLORE!
The plot takes a heavy turn away from humanity's attempts at survival and instead goes in to explore the politics and interactions between the three main factions of the game—the Rangers, the Red Line and the Nazi Reich. The game's plot has its fair share of twists and turns and ends up having a better story as a result of it. It's always more interesting to look at how humans interact with each other in a time of crisis rather than seeing them kill monsters.
That isn't to say that there aren't any monsters to kill, though. In Artyom's travels through the metro system as well as the surface of Moscow, you'll face a wide variety of enemies to gun down, both monsters as well as humans. The AI seems to be much better this time around too. Monsters feel the most boring to fight however, especially when compared to the advanced AI on the humans who can make intelligent decisions such as flanking and retreating.
Not creepy at all, kid
Speaking of combat, the gunplay has been improved tenfold this time around. Gone are the clunky controls of Metro 2033. With Last Light, we have a game where the gunplay can go toe-to-toe with some of the best modern AAA titles have to offer. Guns feel more fun to shoot now and enemies aren't as bullet spongy as they were before.
Going around guns blazing isn't the only way to take enemies on. A lot of areas in the game give you the option to sneak around and try to take enemies out one by one without anyone else knowing. You're given a few tools to sneak around—an indicator on your wrist watch that shows you if you're visible, the ability to use noise suppressors on your weapons and silent weapons like throwing knives. However, the stealth ends up feeling very clunky sometimes, but it's useful to have the stealth mechanics around, in case you find yourself short on ammo or health.
Gunplay is a serious step up from Metro 2033
While we're on the topic of guns, one of the best things about Metro 2033 makes a glorious comeback in Last Light—the bullet-based economy. Basically, the ammunition in the game is divided into two: high-quality pre-war military grade ammunition and the low-quality ones that everyone uses. Since the former is rare, it is used as a form of currency in the game's world. This doesn't mean that you can't use the military-grade ammo in a fight. It raises the interesting question of whether it's better to use a little of your high-quality ammo to quickly take down a monster or to save it and later spend it on a lot more of the lower-quality ammo. It also adds to the tension sometimes since, taking influences from survival horror as it does, you'll often be strapped for supplies.