The lights are on
Metro 2033 was a game with flaws. It was also a game that I love unapologetically despite those flaws. Luckily, Ukrainian developer 4A Games is getting a second shot at the license with the newly re-titled Metro: Last Light. I got my first look at the sequel in action last month, and it’s already shaping up to be a major improvement.
Picking up shortly after the end of 2033, Last Light steps away from the series of books that the original was based on to forge its own story, though author Dmitry Glukhovsky is still heavily involved with creating the plot. THQ isn’t saying much about the story yet, but I’ve been told that protagonist Artyom is now a full-fledged member of the Rangers and is still traveling with Khan, one of his companions from the first game. In the levels I saw, the duo was sneaking into some underground territory held by the Reich, the neo-Nazi regime terrorizing certain regions of the Metro in 2033.
This objective provided a great opportunity for THQ to show off the improved stealth mechanics, a major complaint from the first game. Enemy AI is being improved in many ways, although human opponents will also follow more recognizable patterns, making stealth approaches less frustrating. According to Metro global brand manager Mark Madsen, 4A Games is not dumbing the game down at all, just "[communicating] the ideal path to players."
Stealth will also be improved with the addition of several new abilities for Artyom. If a lightbulb, candle, or other light source is close enough, players will be able to interact with it, causing Artyom to reach out and silently extinguish the light. On the other side of the spectrum, he will now carry a lighter that he can use to set flammable objects on fire. In the demo, some wooden boxes quickly picked up the flame, which spread naturally through the environment, distracting the panicked guards and allowing Artyom to sneak up behind them for some stealth kills.
After working through this introductory sequence, Artyom and Khan found themselves in the midst of a giant crowd of Reich soldiers in a huge, banner-filled hallway. On the opposite end, a Reich leader is giving a rousing speech that the crowd responds to with terrifying shouts. The duo does their best to blend in with the crowd and slowly push their way through, but it’s no use. They’re spotted and the tense, world-building moment bursts into a fast-paced chase through the fascist settlement.
As with the best moments of Metro 2033, one set piece bled directly into the next, as Artyom and Khan ended up on a mine cart, speeding alongside a Reich train. With Khan at the controls of the cart, he screamed at Artyom that he must jump. The prisoner they’re looking to rescue was apparently on board the train. As the cart pulled closer, Artyom made a death-defying leap, barely making it onto the speeding locomotive.
As he worked through each car of the train, taking out a slow stream of enemies, Artyom showed off another important new feature of Last Light: detailed environmental destruction. If you choose to go the route of running and gunning, as I did in the original game, you’ll be aided by the ability to blow holes in walls, floors, ceilings, and any cover standing between you and your opponents. Likewise, the armor that is equipped by certain enemies will now have individually modeled panels that can be shot off, exposing weak points to help you take them down.
If you’re like me and loved Metro 2033, Last Light looks like it will provide plenty more of that game’s style of memorable linear action. If you ignored 2033 or found yourself frustrated with its shortcomings, the sequel’s increased development time may help it live up to the franchise’s full potential. Check out the first teaser trailer below, and be sure to read the upcoming July issue of Game Informer for an expanded preview with new, exclusive details.
Oh man...I deffinitely am excited for this one. The first Metro 2033 was severely underrated but that's not to say that it was flawless. A new game though with all the old dross removed has just made me even more jazzed for this. Go Go 4A Games!
I loved the first game up until the Library part. Then the overplayed non-military shooter mechanic of ditching the player to deal with an absurdly powerful enemy on their own showed up and I found myself suddenly turned off by a game which I'd really liked until then. I never wound up finishing it. That was so annoying. I got all the way to where I needed to be then got the door slammed shut in my face. And when some dudes agreed to help me it only took about 5 minutes before I was alone again. That should have been a time for a frantic race to find what you need instead of a slow and tense trudge through a building filled with unstoppable enemies. Don't know what it is about FPS games and making levels about archives or libraries suck so much, but they always do.
That aside, I am looking forward to this game considering the fact that the first game wasn't just a run of the mill shooter. I think I had more fun with the game because it wasn't just a crap shoot all the time.
That was pretty stylish, albeit non-informative. Still cool: got the soul lady singing, got the in time flashes of poopoo war stuff and monsters.
4A, for the love of all that is holy, port Metro 2033 to the PS3. Moody,atmospheric and immersive FPS' are under produced but are vastly superior to tactical military shooters in terms of narrative (see The Darkness, Bioshock). They also happen to be a rarity, please port.
I'll be keeping an eye on this. The first game was a pleasant surprise and overall a solid game. A lot of potential and hopefully Last Light will tap into that.
l;ook really polish nice :D
wow...this game looks and sounds pretty sweet.
Liked the first one,but the story was to confusing and i am more of a story guy so i just sold it after a few days.Hopefully they keep the story simple and increase the action, and it looks like they got a sure fire game.
The first game was great, the only thing that turned me off from it was the loose and laggy shooting mechanics. If they fix that along with the few other flaws in the first game this could be great.
Almost as sweet as a quadricorn!
I absolutely loved the first game(minus the Library part)
Really really great trailer, felt like getting the first game but never got around to it, this looks really good though, very atmospheric and artistic. And, unlike Dead Island, that's actually what the game will be like!
Oh, man. Great news, this be. Spreading the word about this, because people need to know; This hardly got any publicity, but those who did play it said they absolutely loved it (a group I am quite proud of contributing to). If they can fix the sneak mechanic, I'm onboard this minecart in a heartbeat (here's looking at you, cursed Nazi prison installment that was impossible to sneak through and led to three hours wasted).
Honestly, I was on Hard and the library wasn't difficult.
Protip: the Shotgun. That is all.
I loved Metro 2033 and a sequel sounds awesome.
I can't wait for this, it won't be at the top of my list but I know for a fact i'll be playin it soon