Saturday, February 19, 2011

Metro 2033 (Xbox 360)

Metro 2033 is based on a book with the same name as the game, by author Dmitry A. Glukhovsky. The setting of the game is post-nuclear war metro tunnels of Moscow. The said nuclear war has left Moscow in ruins and the topside of terrain inhabitable with poisonous air and radiation. Military ammo is used as currency in the metro tunnels' markets, and most of the stuff you get your hands on are rusted thoroughly. For example, to recharge your night vision goggles and flashlight, you must crank a manual general recharger. 

The game bears some resemblance to S.T.A.L.K.E.R., with philosophical undertones and atmosphere so thick that you could cut it with a knife. I played it on X360, because I honestly doubt that my good old laptop could handle the game. So, how is the game?

Game looks quite good, but those of you who really need the 8xAA and 1920x1080 settings should play on PC, obviously. Grey is the main colour on the palette, but it doesn't really bother me, as it adds to the grim atmosphere of the game's settings. Darkness is truly dark when it's dark and rays of light look very nice. I have only one complaint - the human faces look sometimes quite bad, but it's nothing too big.

FPS-games should always have a really good gameplay. As is the trend in the modern shooters, there is regenerating health. However, it takes quite a long time to regenerate, so it won't really save your ass in combat. It really adds the tension of the game, as every encounter on Normal difficulty has quite a good potential to be lethal if you don't know your surroundings, good tactics and the number of your enemies. You do have, however, some medkits to instantly heal yourself to full health, but they are somewhat scarce. And on top of it all, if you're fighting on the streets of Moscow, you must be careful that your gasmask won't break, otherwise you'll choke to death slowly. Or if you run out of gasmask filters, you'll face the same fate. 
Controls on X360 are a bit iffy, as the game is clearly designed to be played on PC, but they manage to be quite good. The amount of controls needed unfortunately makes the control pad show its worse side. It takes a little time to get used to the controls, but then they'll come quite intuitively.

Well, the story takes in Moscow's metro tunnels, where our protagonist Artyom has set out on a mission to find ranger named Hunter so that he can help his homestation against the alien mutants known as Dark Ones. Dark Ones have quite strong psionic powers, including ability to communicate via telepathy. They are rarely seen in the game, though. On his search for Hunter, and then the weapon to annihilate the Dark Ones, Artyom comes accross many people and mutants inhabiting the world - communists, nazis, Librarians, Demons and so forth. There are many underlying philosophical tones, such as questions about human nature, war, death and value of living things in general.

There are two endings, the "bad" one being Artyom allowing the launch of missiles to kill the Dark Ones. The second one, "Enlightened", has some quite strange requirements and I really don't feel like replaying the game straight away to get it, but it ends with Artyom stopping the missile launch. Here's the video for it.
If we don't end wars, wars will end us.
 Opinion in overall

The game lasted about 10-15 hours, I really didn't count the time I took. I guess you can play the game through easily under 10 hours if you just rush through, but if you take your time to look around the world, it can take even 20 hours, but it will be worth it. Enjoy the game's world and take time to notice all the little things, it's an experience you don't want to miss. If you just want plain shooting, this game isn't for you. All in all, you should give it a try, still.

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