Developer: 4A Games
Publisher: THQ, Deep Silver
Release Date: March 16th, 2010
Available on: Xbox 360, PC
Reviewer’s note: I originally wrote this review sometime in 2010 for my High School newspaper. I’m cleaning it up and putting it here to keep all my reviews in one place.
Do you fear the future? If Metro 2033 has it’s way, then you should. Featuring creepy environments, freakish enemies and intense gameplay, Metro 2033 is one rather unknown game that should be checked out.
Based on the 2007 Russian novel written by Dmitry Glukhovsky, Metro 2033 takes place in the year of 2033, about 20 years after America and Russia dropped atomic bombs all over each other. You play as Artyom, a young Russian man who, like others, managed to escape to the metro system which was made to survive a nuclear war. Things are not going well for your station as they are encountering attacks by a mysterious group called “the dark ones.” When Artyom’s step dad’s friend goes missing, Artyom must leave the safety of his home and begin a trip to Polis station and find a friend named Miller to see if they can possibly find a way to stop the dark ones and the attacks on his home.
The story is actually a pretty good driving factor in the game. It’s very interesting with all sorts of unpredictable twists and turns to keep you guessing. There is a problem with the end of the game being rather confusing and there are parts where the story loses steam, but overall it’s a good tale. The characters you meet are very memorable, like the mystic Khan or the criminal Bourban. The story’s biggest fault is it’s lack of a central antagonist, there’s no true villain really, but overall the game’s story is notably good. The game also has two endings, adding in some replay value, though the second ending has some rather ridicules conditions to unlock it.
Gameplay wise, Metro 2033 does do a few things to attempt to set itself apart from other first person shooters. While Metro 2033 does offer the option to go through the game guns blazing, the game also does offer a few stealth options for some players to use. It’s possible to get through some areas of the game without firing a shot. When you do need to go shooting though, the gunplay comes out strong. You can hold two main weapons and a revolver in Metro, and while most weapons don’t stray to far from the norm there are a few cool things in there. Notably, there are the pneumatic weapons which require you to pump them full of air before you can use them.
Things don’t stop there though. A big part of the gameplay are the bullets themselves. There are two kinds of bullets: dirty bullets are weak and have no purpose but to be shot, while military grade bullets are much stronger but also serve as the games currency. You need to decide if you want the extra oomph in your gun in exchange for literally shooting money. Sadly, there are times the AI just doesn’t hold up. Human enemies have the tendency to get stuck on objects, stare at walls or shoot nothing. On the bright side, mutant enemies’ AI are brilliant and will use different tactics against you depending on what they see possible. It’s scary to notice one of the game’s mutants charging you, only to find another has gotten around to your back. The lack of a multiplayer option is a little disappointing, but because it was left out the single player campaign is just a little bit stronger.
Graphically Metro 2033 is a good looking game. While the art design feels just a little to close to Fallout for comfort, everything looks great. The animations in particular are really good and the characters have nearly lifelike movements. Environments are bleak, as you would expect from a metro tunnel. The few times in the game where you step outside are really chilling though, seeing the destroyed ruins of the cities. On the audio front, the voice acting for the game is superb. While the soundtrack isn’t all to notable, the sound effects are also great. Hearing a mutant scream is bone chilling in the game, epically if you don’t know where the scream came from.
Metro 2033 actually surprised me a bit. I never herd of the game until I saw the first few reviews for it. I was interested enough to check it out, and I’m glad that I found an above average first person shooter here. It has a few issues with it, but overall Metro 2033 was a surprisingly good game and defiantly worth looking into.