Strong Single Player campaign | Engaging story | Captivating post-apocalyptic world environment
You play as Artyom, a Ranger of one of the last surviving factions taking refuge in the underground tunnels of Moscow. The story begins where the end of Metro 2033 left off, where Artyom had laid waste to the creatures known as The Dark Ones by plowing missiles into them, or at least, so everyone thought. This time around, however, Artyom’s task is decidedly different, he is charged with finding the last remaining Dark One, whilst at the same time having to save the rangers from an impending battle against the Nazi order bent on destroying them.
First off, I am not someone that generally plays survival horror type games. I did play the first title, Metro 2033, and felt it would be worthwhile to try this one since I have read online that it was extremely good. The images I had seen online also piqued my interests, and really made me want to play it. The game is challenging which is great, but the AI lacks substance. They are almost too easy to kill unless they are attacking you in droves. The best part of the game is the ability to sneak up to an enemy and perform a silent kill, even being able to shoot them silently with the aid of a silencer and Night Vision Goggles (NVG). What struck me as strange though is when you battle these enemies and are able to sneak up to them with such efficiency, yet you wonder why it was so easy considering the environment is generally dark and they have very good weapons but had failed to invest in NVG’s themselves!!
The core of the story eventually comes down to the way Artyom turns from hunter to protector of the last remaining Dark One. The game offers captivating visuals to what a post apocalyptic nuclear world would most likely look like, and how the environment of survivors would be, and creatures that have spawned from this world ending change would behave. But I never found the game to be frightening as others did, and most certainly didn’t feel that creature attacks was unexpected. It felt too obvious, so my mental preparations were always a step ahead. Even the bonds which Artyom supposedly makes with other NPC’s in the game don’t feel connected, as though the game has already decided how your relationship with them will play out. In the battle front against the mutated creatures, I never felt out of control, even when being attacked by a group of dog-like land beasts. It’s a simple point and shoot, and where sneaking past them isn’t an option, there is no alternative but to stand and shoot. By the time you have come across them by the third or fourth time, you already know how they react and what you need to do. The anticipation is thereby lost at this stage.
This isn’t to say that the game isn’t fun. You have a set number of weapons, being able to carry any three you wish, being able to customise them with ammunition collected throughout the world as your form of "currency", as well as the use of pipe bombs, Molotov cocktails and grenades. I seldom found the time to use these grenades during my "battles" and only really using them at the last fight scene. Of course, the level of difficulty you play on will determine the availability of ammunition and your buying and selling power because the availability becomes more limited. So choosing which weapon you customise and how, is extremely important. However as you kill your enemies, preferably via the use of stealth techniques; you can collect their dropped weapons and ammunition and most of these weapons already have full customisation. So you don’t feel as though they are as sparse, even in this “big” city.
I genuinely enjoyed the game, and it was certainly worth the price I paid for it. I did read that your choices in the game had its share of consequences, but I never felt this even at the end. The story of the Dark Ones seems to almost end abruptly before the final battle, which in itself ends as fast as that of the Dark Ones. One can almost feel that the door was left open for another sequel. I say this because if you take your time to look around the environment in the underground tunnels you will see a few hints of other books written by the author of Metro 2033. Dmitry Glukhovsk, namely Metro 2033 (first game), 2034 and 2035. So maybe we can expect another title in the near future.
My Overall rating, as reviewed on PC:
Reviewed by Community writer and Gamer
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