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Metro Last Light - Xbox 360
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26 of 28 people found the following review helpful
on June 2, 2013
Platform for Display: Xbox 360
Metro: Last Light is the second game in the Metro franchise and is based off of novels written by Dmitry Glukhovsky. The premise is simple; a post-apocalyptic Russia where humanity has been forced underground to live in the metro system and forge a semblance of normal life. As one would expect, a metro system is a dark and dreary place, and living there is not for the faint of heart. When pressed to describe just what the Metro games are like, I often say they're a little bit like Fallout with a hint of Resident Evil. The first Metro game, Metro 2033, has an almost cult-like following. Some gamers have never even heard of the series before, but I believe Metro: Last Light has the potential to introduce many more people to this wonderful, vibrant, and challenging world.

Gameplay

At its core, Metro is a first person shooter with some survival/horror elements sprinkled in. It plays exactly as you would expect a FPS to handle. To be honest, the gameplay here is not groundbreaking, but it doesn't need to be. Metro is, and always will be, greater than the sum of its parts. Individually, the parts of Last Light may be average or just above average, but when they are combined they offer a visceral, engaging shooter.
Gunplay in a first person shooter, well, any shooter for that matter, can make or break a game. In this installment of the Metro franchise, 4A Games keeps it simple, and it works well. Where Metro does veer off-course is with inventory control, swapping weapons, and gadget usage. To manage your headlamp, charger, lighter, etc., you need to hold down the left bumper to bring up separate radial menus. Holding Y brings up your items, throwing knife, pipe bomb, incendiary bomb, and claymore. While I understand the layout, and how it was intended, in practice it seems like a step back and adds a level of unnecessary interface for item control.

As this is a post-apocalyptic setting, you will need to scavenge for ammo and supplies. This is one area where I truly believe Metro separates itself from other shooters. You search for the common items such as med packs, ammo, bombs, throwing knives etc., but you will also need to find gas mask filters to use when you go above ground or venture into "hot zones. You have a meter on your left wrist that shows how much time you have left on the filter you are currently using. Once it reaches zero you either have to change it or quickly or get to a safe area - or you will die. It adds another dynamic to an already cruel, dark world.

I would be remiss if I didn't discuss my favorite aspect of the Metro games -- ammo. During your travels you will find a variety of ammo for the different weapons you can use: assault rifle rounds, pistol rounds, shotgun shells, pneumatic rounds, etc. But, you will also find some coveted military grade rounds. The rounds, as one would expect, can be switched out in your guns to do more damage during those fights where you need a little extra firepower. However, the game forces you to make a tough decision. Military Grade ammo, while offering a nice damage boost when used, is also the only form of currency in the metro. Do you use those rounds to stave off a tough mutant attack, or do you save them to buy more of what you can use later? It's a choice that is not always an easy one to make, yet that is exactly why I love that feature.

Stealth in the metro is also a very viable solution to tackling a situation. If you are a fan of the run-and-gun style you can certainly play that way, although ammo will become scarce. Personally, I love sneaking through a tunnel, unscrewing a light bulb, and moving past my enemies so stealthily they never knew I was there. There are even achievements and trophies related to going an entire playthrough without killing anyone you don't have to. As much as I love stealth-based games, the one aspect missing from Last Light is the ability to distract someone. You can, to an extent, by shooting lights or, but the true ability to distract a guard and get them to investigate, allowing you to choke them out or simply sneak past them, could have raised this game to a whole new level.

While there are a few things I would have liked to have seen done differently, they by no means ruin the gameplay experience. Last Light is a solid shooter that offers a variety of enemies and set pieces to explore and survive. Constantly being worried about enemies and the environment adds another layer of depth and enjoyment.

Graphics

In comparing the visuals from the two Metro games, Last Light's graphics are much more crisp and not as blurry. The biggest improvement over 2033 in my opinion is the usage of shadows and lighting. In 2033 there wasn't really a gradient of shadow, it was pretty much just dark or not. In Last Light the shadows are a valuable entity that you can use to your advantage. The ability to shoot out lights to create more shadow, or even the ability to unscrew a light bulb to be able to sneak past people adds another dimension to the game.

Much like the movie Schindler's List or even Sin City; there is not a lot of color, which is to be expected in a post-apocalyptic game. It's dark, depressing and has a feeling of despair to it. However, there are segments where splashes of color are used for maximum impact, such as the use of red when you meet a faction of the game. Splashes of green amid the rubble of the destroyed city above add a glimmer of hope amid a desolate harsh world.
While the graphics in Last Light will not measure up to heavy hitters such as Crysis 3, the visuals can be equally stunning. Looking over Moscow with a cracked gas mask, wiping rain away from your mask really draws you into the moment and you realize the extent of the devastation that you are living in.

Sound

Sound in a game can either tie everything together, fully immersing the player in the world, or be so utterly jarring that it completely removes the player from the game. To be perfectly honest, I experienced both during my time of exploring Metro: Last Light. Thankfully, it was much more of the former than the latter.

In a survival/horror game ambient noise, in my opinion, is one of the most critical aspects of the game. It's those little noises that make you hesitate, look around, and peer into the dark depths of a corner hoping something doesn't come charging out at you. One memorable experience for me was finding a colony of Watchmen. I could hear them all around me, growling, moving, and even eating. Yet, I couldn't see them because they were in the walls. With the weapons and ammo that I had at the time, I became very anxious of what I was walking into. That combination ratcheted up the suspense of the entire encounter.

4A Games also took great pains to do the little things right as well -- walking in a darkened tunnel and hearing a steady drip of water, being above ground and hearing the popping of bubbles, rain effects, storms, etc. All the small ambient noises add so much depth to the overall experience.
That's not to say that the audio was perfect. Most of the time when I play games, I wear a surround sound headset so I hear things a little differently. One thing that happened to me a few times was the audio I was hearing didn't always match with what was going on. For example, there were a couple of times a character would be talking to me on my left, but the audio was mostly coming from my right speaker. There were also a few instances when multiple characters would speak their dialog at the same time. While issues do exist, they don't happen frequently enough to be problematic, but occur just enough to be mildly frustrating.

Pros
Amazing atmosphere and ambience
Extremely rich narrative
Military grade ammo = currency. Forcing the player to make some difficult choices at times.

Cons
Clunky control interface
At times audio doesn't match to what is happening

Summary

I have made no secret to friends in the past that I am a big fan of Metro 2033. I have been looking forward to Last Light for quite some time. For people who are looking for a run-and-gun, shoot everything and have big amazing set pieces like Call of Duty or Battlefield, this game may not be for you. However, for those gamers who have said at one time or another that they wish the gaming industry would try something new and fresh where endless gun fights do not define the story then this is certainly a game that should be on your radar. Few games offer such a rich setting with the epitome of suffering and survival that Metro does. It forces you to plan ahead with things like ammo and filters and not rely on brute force to pass a level. While there may be a few things that could have been done better, the beauty of Metro is truly greater than the sum of its parts.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on December 2, 2013
Platform for Display: Xbox 360
This game is incredible underrated, it is up there with Bioshock as far as shooters go. The story is incredible and pulls you in from the first minute, you actually care about the characters. This game is based on a best-selling novel, which translates very well into a game. The voice acting is great also, you can play this whole game in Russian (with subtitles), which adds to the atmosphere. Combat is fast, responsive, and sometimes erratic with multiple creatures attacking you from all directions. There are some very tense moments in the game, this game is definitely not for the faint of heart! I can't recommend this game highly enough, great job 4A Games!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on November 28, 2013
Platform for Display: Xbox 360
One of the best games of the year!
The best way to describe this game is a combination of a survival horror, FPS, and stealth and its incredibly well done. In many ways it reminds me of half life 2 and is just as fun! The graphics, audio, dialogue, story, and gameplay are fantastic. Gameplay is very well paced and never gets boring as it moves from stealth sequence, to action sequence, to horror/survival sequence. The game's survival mechanics and open ended strategies make for a rewarding play through as you can approach almost any level as you desire. Overall fantastic game and should be a candidate for game of the year. Must buy!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Platform for Display: Xbox 360
I already wrote a review about the first game, so with this game it's all the same. Those things that aren't different I will mention. I loved the ending, and I loved the choices to be able to make. I am again very pleased that the game is nothing like the book. In fact I am not sure if the game took a few things from the plot of the book ''metro 2034''. The game is really well-made, once again having a lot of nice atmosphere and it's just no less than incredible. I would give this game a 10 or 9 /10. I also loved the fact that there is nudity in this game. Finally! :) I will be trying out the DLC for the game with big pleasure! Basically metro Last light is just as good as the first game! Can't go wrong with this game! Get it and try it out! I am also very curious as to why are there so few reviews? It's been a long time since the game was released. Last but not least, the books: ''Metro 2033'' and ''Metro 2034'' are incredible!

P.S. the games and books show just how bad it is to make a nuclear war aka. extinction event of humanity, so let's not do it! X)
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on June 21, 2013
Platform for Display: Xbox 360
This game is much better than Metro 2033. The developers worked out all the kinks with the first game and now it plays much smoother. I love how you have the options to play the levels in stealth or straight up firefights. Either way works and none fails the mission. The controls are much more improved. Also, you don't need to individually pick up all the ammo anymore. You can press the button once and it picks up all the ammo nearby. It's a really good game with a great story.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on August 23, 2014
Platform for Display: Xbox 360Verified Purchase
One of the most immersive and suspenseful games ever made!

Concept: 9/10
You're a military ranger in a terrifying post-apocalyptic environment. The surface is uninhabitable and the radiation has contaminated the earth, air, and water. To make matters worse, Neo-Nazis, Communists, Mutants, Bandits, Aliens, and Traitors are around every corner. You're definitely near the bottom of the food chain in the wasteland.

Story: 9/10
Your faction, the Spartans captured an alien bunker, which contains technology that gives them an edge in surviving the apocalyptic wasteland. The other factions, the Communists and Nazis, want that bunker. Since the surface of the world is uninhabitable, the surviving humans live in the subterranean tunnels and use the metro to travel to different areas. But the tunnels are almost as deadly as the surface above.

Gameplay: 9/10
Metro is a linear level based game, where you complete missions. The missions are a mix of FPS battles, survival levels, and stealth missions, where light is both your friend and enemy.
When you are fighting humans, the dark is your friend. You can stealth kill them, or knock them out. If enemies spot you, a battle will erupt. Luckily, the checkpoints are fairly generous. You can carry 3 weapons at a time and they are well suited for different situations. Shotguns are great at close range, machines are good for battle, a silenced pistol is great for shooting out lights in stealth levels, rifles are great for long distances. This isn't the type of stealth game where you get overwhelmed and killed if you are spotted. The battles are fair and if you play a lot of FPS games, you can take out the enemies. Stealth just helps you tip the odds more in your favor.
When you are dealing with mutants, you'll want to hide in the shadows. When you are dealing with spiders in the tunnels, light burns their exoskeleton, and they skitter back into the darkness.

Graphics: 8/10
Overall, the graphics are pretty good. The characters are expressive, but look a bit fake. The dark and murky environments are well done. The effects like explosions, weather, fire, webs, mud, etc... really pull the player into the game.

Sound: 9/10
The music enhances the suspenseful scenes as well as the action scenes. The combat sound effects highlight the action, and the creature sounds make you fear the dark!

Immersion: 10/10
The graphics and sound come together to crate a really suspenseful and creepy environment. Because the world is so hazardous, throughout most of the game, you'll be wearing a gas mask. The mask gets splashed with blood if you shotgun an enemy at point blank range. If you craw through spider webs, you may get a spider on your face. If you walk past the dead, flies will land on your face. If you run through the mud, you'll get some on your mask. Tapping LB will quickly wipe your mask, which does a fair job at cleaning it. There will be times when you're getting attacked, when you can barely breathe, and hardly see.

Maturity: M
There are strippers, sex, nudity, alcohol, blood, gore, and death. It's not for kids, unless you want them to go through puberty while playing this.

Replay Value: 3/10
There are two different endings, based on the value you put on human life. If you make the most out of life, rescue others, and knock enemies out instead of stealth killing them when you have the chance, you make life more valuable. At the end of the game, if life is precious, you get the good ending. If you go out of your way to kill too many humans, you get the bad ending... which is still pretty good.

Overall: 9/10
This is a very good immersive FPS game with lots of action and suspense. The story is well done and your actions affect the ending. At times, some of the story driven scenes seem long, and you want to get back into the action.
Buy it if you love suspenseful shooters like Bioshock.
Buy it if you like FPS games with good controls.
Buy it if you like stealth.
Rent it if you have 10-12 hours to blow through it.
Avoid it if you just want to jump into the action and you think stories in games are boring.
Avoid it if you want to feel super-heroic. In the Metro, there are lots of things more deadly than you!

If you like the atmosphere, check out the Fallout Series.
If you like immersive FPS games, check out the Bioshock series.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on May 29, 2014
Platform for Display: Xbox 360Verified Purchase
You guys should make another one assuming there will be another book. It is an unknown treasure. Don't buy cod get this!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Platform for Display: Xbox 360
The Metro games are probably my favorite games of this entire console generation. A must own for anyone who likes shooters or just top quality games.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Platform for Display: Xbox 360
Metro Last Light is very immersive and has a great atmosphere. It has great gameplay mechanics such as having to replace your air filter that encourage exploration and it is a challenging game(at least on ranger mode).
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on March 3, 2014
Platform for Display: Xbox 360Verified Purchase
I never played the first metro but now I will this game is perhaps one of the most unique FPS I have ever played and the story for once is good unlike most FPS however the stealth system and ai may need more work on but if they ever make another one I will buy
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