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Metro: Last Light Review (Xbox 360)

Underground, overground, there’s no Wombling here, welcome to the harsh reality of the Metro.

So a year after dealing to the ‘Dark Ones’, Artyom is tired of kicking back in his home Metro. Seemingly plagued by the act of terrorism he committed against the ‘Dark Ones’, when he hears of a survivor he is compelled to hunt it down with the belief it is the key to saving not only himself but all of humanity. Unfortunately not everyone in the Metro system will share his beliefs.

Those who have played the first game, Metro 2033, will know what to expect here. Metro: Last Light is familiar territory with the tweaks and bug fixes you would expect in a follow up title. For those who haven’t played Metro 2033, I recommend you grab it and play it through before getting in to Metro: Last light. Not only because it will bring you up to speed with the story and characters, but because it is a mighty fine game in its own right. And lets face it, it would be a crime to miss such a decent game at the price it can be found at these days.

So, Metro: Last Light finds you in a very linear, story-driven first person shooter. Typically I hate games that are this linear, but thanks to the great story and interesting characters it didn’t seem like a chore at all playing through the devastated city of Moscow. To mix it up and keep things interesting you are required to find a decent supply of filters for your gas mask which needs to be worn when above ground. Ammo and weapons also need to be acquired and with a variety of upgrades available for all weapons it is a constant decision on which setup to go forward with. Veterans of Metro 2033 will be glad to know that one year later ammo seems to be less of a problem in the city with massive amounts freely strewn through the Metro and above ground. Even the traders in the beautifully overpopulated Metro Stations seem to have access to plenty of stock.

Stealth also plays a big roll this time around with one achievement even being awarded for completing the game with only certain ‘required’ human deaths to your name. Don’t despair though, there are still plenty of mutants roaming around to mow down. Graphically, Metro: Last Light is a fantastic looking and atmospheric game, with a great variety of urban, rural, and underground locations to take in as you follow your compass, and your heart. The audio is equally impressive, with one sound really setting the mood; the sound of suffocation. This happens when you need to change the filter on your gas mask, heavy breathing moves to laboured , and then gagging and choking. So remember to have some spare filters, but please, do choke to death at least once, especially if you are playing with a good quality headset.

As is the norm with first person shooters these days, Metro: Last Light isn’t the longest game around, about 15 hours for me, with a heap of exploring done. You could probably chop it out in under 10 hours if you wanted. For more game time you have Ranger Mode which has you playing without any HUD and significantly less resources to find, which after playing through on normal might be a good thing. There are also a few defining moments which will have you wanting to do a second play through to see what the outcome is. And for real fans you can grab the novel Metro 2033 by Dmitry Glukhovsky for a bit of light reading and find out more about the where the games come from.

Metro: Last Light is a great ride, and has improved on the also great Metro 2033. Play them in tandem  and you have some thoroughly excellent gaming ahead of you.

Released 16th May 2013 for Xbox 360, PS3, and PC.