Xbox 360 Review: Metro: Last Light

Is there a light at the end of the tunnel for Artyom?

Metro 2033 was a game that had a great setting of a post-apocalyptic world set in Moscow’s metro system and the radioactive areas of the surface, it was also a nice change of pace to combine survival horror into a FPS which hasn’t really been done since the days of Condemned and FEAR. It wasn’t perfect though, but it was definitely memorable and well worthy of a sequel. But can this game of the post-THQ catalogue light the way for the future of FPS games?
If you missed the first game you needn’t worry too much as the intro will get you up to speed with what happened before and once again you take the role of Artyom who is mentally linked to the enemy known as the “Dark Ones” and after their annihilation at the end of the first game, finding one that survived the blast sets the story up perfectly, not to mention the conflict between human factions in the post-apocalyptic world that Metro is set in.

Fighting humans in the first game wasn’t that memorable, but it has definitely been improved in the sequel, the AI is stronger and stealth plays a big part as you disable lights and move in the shadows, you’ll need to preserve as much ammo as possible as it’s still a form of currency in the game and can be spent on upgrading weapons or buying new ones, it’s a tough system but one that is interesting and makes you make the most of what you have and what you can’t afford to use in battles.
Going out to the surface still requires you to put on a gas mask and to keep topping it up with filters to survive the toxic air and radiation. Enemies are varied and memorable, both human and monsters will be on your case throughout and as with most survival horror games, you’ll come across the odd hallucination moment to confuse you. Is it perfect? Well, it’s a big improvement over the original but it still retains some of the issues that held Metro 2033 back, there are a number of glitches and framerate slowdowns during the game and the presentation isn’t the strongest out there.

I have seen videos of the PC version and it looks vastly superior to the console versions, in fact on PC it looks amazing and is probably the best looking FPS so far this year. Voice-acting is good overall and the music is very atmospheric, but the visuals aren’t as strong as other console shooters and the framerate drops and bugs do hold it back.

The Verdict

Metro: Last Light improves upon its predecessor, but only slightly. It still has some of the problems that held it back in terms of presentation, but it’s definitely worth another trip to the Moscow Underground and beyond, even if it’s only for its brief campaign.