The lights are on
During an offsite PAX East appointment today, I had the opportunity to play an hour of 4A Games' upcoming shooter Metro: Last Light. While technically an FPS, I was impressed with the variety of gameplay on display during my time with it.
My demo started in a storage room in which I collected guns and a gas mask. Making my way out of this initial area, I immediately encountered numerous guards in an underground subway station. Crouch-walking through the corridors, I was able to blow out lanterns as I slit throats and took out guards with silenced headshots. Stealth is a tricky thing to do right in a first-person game, but sneaking around as Artyom felt spot-on.
I scoured every room I found for ammunition, and it didn't take long for me to be glad I did. In a giant room that was crawling with guards, I botched an attempted stealth kill and alerted everyone to my presence. They activated gas and pulled their own masks over their faces. Artyom began coughing and his vision blurred until I selected my mask from a radial dial.
Now that I was spotted, I had little choice but to shoot my way out. Tense music pounded as I sprinted through dimly-lit rooms while blasting guards with an assault rifle. When I finally escaped via an air duct, I felt a palpable sense of relief. With its numerous enemies, engaging stealth, and great soundtrack, Metro excels when it comes to atmosphere.
I crawled through the vents, occasionally stopping to burn away cobwebs with my lighter. After meeting an older survivor that granted me with a rail car, I was given the task of heading towards Venice. I rode the buggy-like vehicle until I eventually found my way into a disgusting room that was filled with cobwebs and mutated spider/scorpion creatures. While the train station felt like standard (yet solid) shooter fare, running around in dark cobweb-infested rooms with monsters after me felt more like survival horror.
Once I got back on the rail to Venice, dog-like creatures began jumping on my vehicle and attacking me. I fought them off with a shotgun as I continued down the track. When the road finally ended I rang a bell to summon a ferry. Unfortunately, this grabs the attention of several monkey-like mutations that attack me until the ship arrives. It's yet another tense encounter in the demo, and it had me praying that the ship would hurry up and reach me.
At the end of the demo, I successfully fought off the beasts and jumped onboard the ferry. Artyom was taken off to temporary safety, but something tells me he'll have plenty more rough encounters in the later hours of Metro: Last Light.
It actually looks better than it did even with THQ. Impressive.