Review of Metro 2033

Metro 2033 is a fantastic game.

You play as Artyom, a young man that was born after the “Great War” engulfed the entire world in atomic flames. The game is set in 2033, and it closely follows the storyline that author Dmitry Glukhovsky wrote with the same name. Since I had never read the book and I knew very little about the game I was completely unaware of what I was in for.

Clearly this video shows that I don’t handle pitch-black tunnels very well. Especially pitch-black tunnels filled with crazed mutant monsters running around, snarling at me and trying to eat my face at every opportunity.

I finished the game just the other night and I can honestly say it was one of the better experiences I’ve had in my video game playing career. The visual styles, art, and effects in the game were superb. Although I must say the AI was a bit off a times, and some of the animations were a bit stiff. But that’s fine, because these are small nitpicks at a glorious and great game that otherwise is flawless in my opinion.

Taking the gas mask on and off added a level of immersion that I really liked. Having to constantly check my wristwatch to make sure I wasn’t about to die, and having to swap out my gas mask filters were also very nice touches that pulled me deeper into the experience.

Warning: I screamed pretty loud in this video. Make sure your volume isn’t really high or your eardrums will burst and blood will spew out all over your monitor(s).

Most games don’t make me scream like a girl. Except Amnesia. And we’re not talking about Amnesia. Not now. Not tonight.

Anyways. The atmosphere of the game is brilliantly done. Artyom is a silent protagonist. Which in some cases works to the benefit of the game, but at other times it takes away from the experience for just a moment.

For example:

A character says something directly to Artyom. Perhaps a questions.

“Artyom? So where are you from?”

At this point, you stare at the person asking you and you cannot respond; Artyom does not respond. In fact another character (typically an ally) will speak up for Artyom. Which makes me wonder how the hell Artyom ever got anything accomplished if he never speaks to anyone, even when spoken to directly.

“Artyom! The monsters are coming grab a gun and let’s go!”

“…”

“Artyom you son of a bitch let’s goooo! Did you grab a gun!?”

“…”

And then everyone would die as a result of Artyom and his lack of communication with everyone and everything.

But then there are other times where it works to it’s advantage and benefit. Because it continues to take you deeper down the rabbit hole.

For example:

Something bat shit coo-coo bananas happens. You’re ambushed and somebody in your group is killed and another is dragged off or wounded. When the smoke clears and everything goes quiet again, someone will look at you and say something similar to “Wow Artyom, that got pretty hectic, huh?”

At this point I will say “Hot fuck. Yeah. We almost died man.” to my computer screen. This gives a slightly more engaging experience because Artyom probably doesn’t have words for what just happened. But I do. So instead of hearing Artyom mutter “Yeah man you ain’t kiddin’.” I just blurt out “Hot fuck. Yeah. We almost died man.”

Oh yeah I think I screamed in this one too.

I loved everything about this game. It had a few minor flaws, and there were a few moments where these flaws slightly, if momentarily took away from the experience. But as I said they were brief, and soon after I was talking to my computer screen and shouting and screaming.

If you are a fan of the S.T.A.L.K.E.R series or Fallout 3, you may enjoy this game. Although I would recommend this to S.T.A.L.K.E.R fans over Fallout 3 fans simply because apart from the post-apocalyptic setting, Fallout and this game don’t have much else in common.

Another odd thing about this game is that the in-game currency is high grade military ammunition. Not money. Not bottle caps. Just high grade ammunition. It’s a bit weird at first, because the only way you can tell the difference between the low grade ammo you use to shoot mutants with, and the high grade is that the high grade is slightly shinier than the low grade. And for whatever reason if you hold the R key for an extra second or so you will actually load your military grade ammo into the gun you’re currently using. Which is nice, because the high grade ammo does a lot more damage, but at the same time it’s used as currency. So at one point I loaded the high grade ammo into my assault rifle and kicked ass for a while. But when I moved onto a new metro station I didn’t have any way to purchase med-kits or gas mask filters. Or anything.

“YAHOOO I DUN KILLED DEM MUTANTS WIT’ DIS HERE HIGH GRADE AMMU-NISHIN. OHHHH BAY-BAY LOOK AT DEM CORPSES SMOKE.”

“And now you can’t afford to buy anything back at the station. Good job shit head.”

Also, I fucking love those Russian accents. It makes the game that much better. Cori and I briefly picked up on the Russian accent and used it while playing Bad Company 2.

I’d jump up in the air and fire a rocket from my RPG and shout “IZ RUSSIAN, NO?” and he’d ragdoll across the screen. Good times.

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