Name: Metro 2033 (2010)
Developed/Published By: 4A Games/THQ
Genre: First-Person Shooter
Platforms: Microsoft Windows, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, Linux, OS X, Stadia
Age Rating: 16+
Hello fellow survivors and welcome to the world of dystopian Russia in the year 2033. Yes, today I will be talking about the first-person shooter, Metro 2033, developed by 4A Games and published by THQ. The game is based on Dmitri Glukhovsky’s novel of the same name.
The world has been pulled asunder by nuclear war. Those who survived are forced to live underground in old subway or metro stations. The people who survived turned the old stations into their new homes. All over the metro there are different stations which are now shanty towns. You play a man called Artyom, and you live in one of these Metro stations. Between the monsters, the communists and the Nazis, the metro stations are a danger place to live, but they are the only the place to live. To keep the peace, the Rangers are neutral and police the metro stations. One of the metro stations named Exhibition is attacked by strange beings called the Dark Ones. Artyom is asked to assist by a ranger named Hunter. While tracking the Dark Ones, Hunter gives Artyom his dog tags and tell him to give them to his superiors at the metro capital, Polis.
Artyom signs up as a caravan guard, but the caravan comes under a psychic attack which affects everyone except Artyom. Artyom meets a man named Bourbon who offers to take him to Polis, but after a bandit attack, Bourbon is killed. Artyom meets another man named Khan who tells Artyom to go to the Red Line where the communists are. There, he has a friend called Andrew that could help Artyom out. Andrew does help Artyom, but he gets captured by the Nazis. Artyom gets rescued by two rangers, Ulman and Pavel, but Pavel dies on the way out. Artyom meets with a group who wants to stop the mutants from getting to Polis, but they fail. Artyom meets with Ulman who takes him to meet the colonel of the rangers, Miller.
Polis refuses to aid Exhibition, but Miller knows of missile silo that could be used to destroy the Dark Ones home. Miller and Artyom travel to a library to find a map with the silos location. Artyom is recruited into the Rangers. Miller and Artyom go to Ostankino tower to install a laser guidance system, but Artyom has a vision of the Dark Ones. You can choose one of two paths. Destroy the Dark Ones homes or spare them as you realise they are trying to be peaceful. It is up to you. THE END.
So what do I think of it?
We’ll start off with the graphics. The game does a great job in two areas, it looks crisp and clean while looking dirty and decrepit as a post-nuclear world should. The graphics for 2010 are top notch. While the colour pallet might be a little meh with a lot of greys and browns, it is something to expect playing a game like this, I don’t think anyone had time to paint their room while the nuclear bombs were dropping. The difference when you go outside is immediately noticeable. The damaged world around you, the buildings that once stood proud, now reduced to rubble, the city that was full of life, now a graveyard is clearly presented to you, and in a game life this, it had to be this good, any less would not have had the same effect.
The gameplay is fantastic. It is a tough game to get through difficulty wise. One mistake could either kill you or cost you a lot of resources, and resources are not plentiful. Between horrific radiated monsters to other survivors that have guns, you really have to duck your head and keep out of danger if you can help it. Not only do you have to worry about enemies, you have to worry about your air filters. You are in an irradiated land, so the air is toxic. When you go outside, you need to put on a mask to breathe, but those masks have limited air, so we really need to be aware of your air limit. Lastly I think the fact that you can use your ammo as currency is a nice touch as you have to really think about whether its worth it to give up a clips worth of ammo for a medical kit. An interesting concept.
The story and setting is very interesting. Sometimes I describe this game as “Fallout: Russia” because in my eyes in plays and feels almost like it; except taken a little more seriously than Fallout. The game can be quite tense as a lot of the enemies are tough in the game. Sure a few well placed shots can take out many enemies, but ammo is a commodity in this game. You can’t just go in guns blazing. Oh and if you run out of ammo, oh well. Deal with it. I actually like the fact that you have to incorporate stealth into your movements while watching your resources. It adds a level on tension and difficulty to the game that makes it just that bit different and memorable to other first person shooters out there. If you just left the story as a group of people trying to survive in Russian metro stations after a nuclear war, that would have been fine, but they also added the Dark Ones, which added a supernatural element to the game and made the character of Artyom a lot more interesting to me. I really wanted to find out what was his connection to the overall arc of the story and I was not disappointed.
The soundtrack to the game is pretty good. It has a bleak feel to it and I think it really captures the feeling of the world being screwed. There are some nice guitar tracks to it, and while they are simplistic, they really give you this feeling of dread and how we’re not playing anymore. Get serious. But while some of the songs can be dour and filled with hopelessness, some of them are just epic and beautiful chorus pieces that really pick up the mood. The soundtrack is full of atmosphere which really added to my experience of the game. So bravo on that point.
So, let me rate the game:
Graphics: Excellent for 2010, they really nailed the look of a wasteland in Russia and I thoroughly enjoyed it. 9/10.
Sound: The voice acting could be a bit better, but the creatures sounded cool and so did the soundtrack. 7/10.
Gameplay: Very good, tense and kept you wondering what was around the next corner. A nice mix of resource management and FPS. 9/10.
Worth: I would get it if I was a fan of Fallout. If you’re a fan of FPS’s in general maybe this isn’t for you as it is considerably slower than other games such as COD or Battlefield. 7/10.
Story: Good story, interesting premise and bonus points for not being set in America as most apocalyptic games are. 8/10.