Xbox 360 Review: Metro 2033

Should we fear the future or embrace it?

You are Artyom, born in the last days before the fire, but raised underground. Having never ventured beyond your Metro Station-City limits, one fateful event sparks a desperate mission to the heart of the Metro system, to warn the remnants of mankind of a terrible impending threat. Your journey takes you from the forgotten catacombs beneath the subway to the desolate wastelands above, where your actions will determine the fate of mankind.

The whole Post-Apocalyptic story has been done before, like in Fallout 3. But Metro 2033’s story is more effective thanks to the grim reality of living underground, constantly under threat from monsters.
Metro 2033 stands out with its level of realism found. Areas of the Metro have been made into towns and although bleak in nature, are incredibly lifelike and probably what it would look like after the apocalypse. Being able to make guns out of everyday materials shows the desperation of the people, but also a great imagination. Little things like a gas mask getting cracked and steamed, plus having to manually power your own flashlight adds to what is an authentic experience.

The game makes you make a tough decision concerning ammo as it is a form of currency, so you have to be careful to use the right ammo against enemies while preserving the powerful bullets to trade in for better weapons. It’s an interesting concept, although it can be difficult to conserve ammo as it can be pretty scarce, which almost turns the game into a survival horror one. Through the game you will face monsters and mercenaries to kill. The mercs are sadly dumb as a rock and in some cases, will just run away and can even be reluctant to shoot you. Luckily, there aren’t many of them and the monsters are your main enemy which are tough, but imaginative and engaging.

Artyom’s story is entirely linear, so there are no real side-quests besides hunting down some items. It will take about 8-10 hours to complete and there is an alternate ending for those who wish to play through the game again, although it doesn’t really seem worth it. This isn’t a complaint, but there’s no multiplayer…which I’m pleased with, this game does not need it and I’m glad they didn’t just tack in some rubbish online mode that nobody wants.

Visually, Metro 2033 is incredibly strong in places thanks to the dramatic lighting and level of realism found in the Metro. Outside the Metro though, things look a bit bland and basic. I did also come across a few bugs with the physics for bodies that although funny to watch, is disappointing to see. Voice-acting is decent and the music matches the bleak nature of the game.

The Verdict

Metro 2033 is an interesting game with a decent story. Its level of realism is what makes it stand out from the crowd, but it’s a shame about the incompetence of the human AI. Despite that, there are some great moments to be found that you should all see.