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21 out of 23 people found the following review useful:

Not like S.T.A.L.K.E.R., but fun, with great atmosphere . . .

8/10
Author: Nick Drew
10 August 2010

The team behind Metro 2033, Ukraine studio 4A Games - formed by ex GSC Game World programmers who had previously worked on S.T.A.L.K.E.R before leaving in 2004 to pursue the project in question.

In terms of Metro's literary effort, the writers did a fairly admirable job. The story core concept loosely adapted from the novel of the same name is definitely intriguing and interesting - nuclear war decimates the world, strange mutants emerged in the aftermath, in Moscow surviving human inhabitants forced to the underground tunnels due to the radioactive conditions above.

The story exposition segments in Metro 2033 are done during the loading screens, where Artyom (the protagonist) tells of events unfolding, and his feelings thereof - but also he meets key characters along the way where more is revealed through in-game conversations. Yeah, the voice acting is good - it was wise to use actual Russian speakers rather than some Bollywood bozos . . . it really goes a long way with keeping you tuned in to the highly distinctive and unique atmosphere. That last word of the previous sentence is probably Metro's primary strength - the foreboding tunnels, dark, mysterious . . . you're not quite sure what lurks around the next corner.

The meat action presented in Metro 2033 is undeniably fun, and in ways retroactively akin to Stalker as you are pitted against familiar foes in mutants and bandits. The AI scripts are quite honest, when facing the human opponents it is darn near as exhilarating as Monolith's horror opus F.E.A.R. The enemies show some similar belief of life preservation as you, by means of hanging back in the shadows, often shooting from cover, forcing you into making the first move. Again, much like the Stalker games the bandits taunt you with comical 'colourful' phrases, but amicably it does get a little repetitive over time. As for the mutants, they weren't as cunning as I was expecting. Much like Dead Space they suddenly (yet sneakily) emerge from all over the shop, but unlike the kind of calculated deliberation of offensive attacks needed to survive in the aforesaid game, in Metro 2033 the only genuine prerequisite to success is not to stand still. I guess some minor gripes concerning the AI scripts are the enemies awareness of your presence can be noticeably questionable at times. The mutants killer instincts here seemed to have needed to be tightened up.

The weapons you get to play around with are a bit on the orthodox side. We have a few pistols, machine guns, shotguns (Cool Bayonet!) And sticks of dynamite. Oh, I almost forgot, there is a pneumatic gun you have to pump for increased damage & accuracy - Very Cool! Metro 2033 eludes a little to stealth, here with silencers, throwing knives, night-vision goggles etc. but honestly, by & large this is a served-straight- up shooter.

In terms of some game mechanics, It is interesting to note for all you 'old timers' the game-play inspiration roots conceivably go all the way back to the original Doom if you think about it - Remember the radioactive pools which demanded the use of radiation protection suits that would only hold out for a limited time before the mad dash to find the next one? Same deal in Metro. But instead here you collect Gas masks and oxygen filters from dead people in order to safely negotiate such toxic zones. One cool touch in particular is your Gas mask can get cracked open by mutant claws for instance, necessitating the need to seek out a new one. Admittedly, the frantic scurry to find oxygen filters in the wild frozen landscape topside provide some of the most exciting and memorable parts of the whole game.

I really enjoyed the strong focus on exploration in Metro - seeking out the illustrious shiny golden military-grade bullets gives you something else to think about while gazing about the tunnels by the illuminating hue of your torch light. Keeping your weapons stocked isn't too much of a daunting task - you can spend a great deal of time meticulously looting all the corpses dotted around, whereby you take ammo and equipment directly off the unfortunate fellow's person - this kind of realistic detail is welcome.

The chief purpose of collecting the golden bullets is they can be used as legitimate tender at the checkpoint stations and markets you will inevitably pass through. For example, you can exchange these rare bullets for more standard ammo, or even trade them in for special weapons and other useful equipment. On a side note, It is interesting listening to civilian conversations at the checkpoints, where peoples stories of topside outings goes to lengths in giving the world you are in some genuine sense of reality.

From a visual standpoint, Metro is impressive. The perpetual dark tunnel's shows off the great light sourcing effects complete with sparkling dust drifting through the air, and you will see many a headlamp swaying aglow in the dark. The character models look quite similar to the ones in Stalker not surprisingly, sporting the traditional heavy Specnaz armour and helmets - sometimes it is hard to believe there aren't some legacy materials at work from the old Stalker betas though. The mutants themselves look suitably creepy, gnarled and interesting. All in all the game engine technology pulls everything off quite admirably, even if your rig isn't at the bleeding edge of tech. The optimization was definitely better than I was expecting.

In sum, Metro 2033 is a very accomplished and atmospheric story-driven shooter, though was a little disappointing for me since I was hoping on a bigger world with some greater opportunities for the player-authored experience 'ala Stalker. As it stands though, it is a well-thought out game with the presentation being very polished. So I think you would be doing yourself great disservice not to explore the gloomy depths of this post apocalyptic Moscow.

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12 out of 16 people found the following review useful:

Excellent Single player game

8/10
Author: Stephen from London, England
9 August 2010

A game set in post apocalyptic Russia has an excellent single player campaign but features no multiplayer or co-operative. The game also also is only about six hours in length and is linear. The game being linear isn't a bad thing but I'm just letting other people know that this isn't a game for everyone and if you are expecting to hundreds of hours out of it you are gonna be very Disappointed! Here's my Pros and Cons for the game:

Pros:

Excellent atmosphere!

The attention detail is stagerring - Seeing large groups of refugees in the tunnels talking, eating etc is just brilliantly done

Fantastic soundtrack and Good voice acting

Interesting story (based on the novel by Dmitry Glukhovsky) Though you do have to pay attention as you can easily miss some important plot developments

Great graphics though you will need a high end system to play this game!

Excellent set pieces such as riding on a pump train or defending a position with other soldiers against the monsters

The idea of using bullets as currency (to other other/upgraded guns) is an excellent idea and searching areas/scavenging for ammo is addictive!

Two endings which are both satisfying - You achieve the good ending by gaining moral points (such as giving a starving bum a bullet so he can buy food)

It's not a horror game but it does have a couple of scary/creepy moments which are brilliantly done!

Very quick loading time! like two seconds!

Cons:

The monsters are quite annoying at times since they alway attack you in the same way (runstraight toward you and bite you)and them attacking you in numbers can be frustating

The guns are little underpowered (for example it shouldn't take three shotgun shells to a nazi!) which make the combat a little harder considering you have to save your bullets for trading

The moral system is never explained within the game! So if you didn't work it out and didn't gain enough moral points you will get the bad ending!

Overall despite a few minor flaws I really enjoyed this game and I look forward to the dlc ranger pack and the sequel Metro 2034 :)

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3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Solid shooter where linearity is no bad thing

8/10
Author: dee_lusional from Barrow-in-Furness
22 May 2013

Please if you read Morkulvs review there are some considerations to consider as I feel he went into the game thinking it was something it wasn't and never was.

Firstly anyone who comes into a game that is mostly about post nuclear survivors scratching a living in the old tunnels of the Moscow underground Metro and expects an open world game clearly is missing a large point. While the game isn't a horror game it can rack the tension up by the atmosphere which is done well and it does look great, even though it is now 3 years old it still looks better than a lot of games that are larger in size, sometimes double the size

Some more points by Morkulv I'd like to counter are firstly the point he made about it not being clear where to go. You have a journal with a compass you can pull out at anytime that should, unless you really are someone who needs your hand holding throughout games, point you in the right direction. Yes there is invisible walls and the like but it's purely to keep the narration flowing. You CAN explore as the in-game money is pre war ammo and is littered about the game world for you to find and while it's no Just Cause 2 or GTA it's not marketed as an open world and as I said earlier, how open are underground tunnels

The use of QTE's actually make sense in the last level as they convey the struggle to get to where you are going and I can't think of anything that would have done such a good job.

Apart from a couple, one where I got a stuck on top of some crate and another where I got too far ahead of an NPC who then wouldn't move I doubt it has the number of glitches the other guy claimed.

All in all it's a solid shooter with good atmosphere, a decent story,rare for an FPS,and has really good gun play. Its not a mindless, follow NPC, Shoot here, shoot there, press E to win shooter like a CoD or the vastly overrated BF3, It's a shooter than has a modicum of intelligence. I gave it 8 but it is an 8.5 for me.

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2 out of 39 people found the following review useful:

Technical train-wreck

2/10
Author: morkulv_athferion from Netherlands
7 November 2012

When I read a review of somebody who just played a game like Metro 2033 and can STILL give the game 8/10 because of atmosphere and graphics alone, he or she has to be really messed up in the head. Its like the first Just Cause; people seem to like to defend it because it gives them pretty graphics and an excuse to show off that new video-card they just bought.

When I play a game, I want a game that presents a good sense of immersion, and / or gameplay that will keep me interested in playing. To start off, Metro 2033 is just like any other nuts and bolts shooter and it's extremely linear. Even classic Doom wasn't as linear as this. The level of linearity of this game can be described as walking down a narrow corridor in one straight path, while sometimes the path gets pillaged by monsters that take way too many bullets to kill. This experience is also said to be scary at some point, but the only scary thing I noticed was the horrible voice-acting. Seriously, Americans doing Russian accents should be banned from videogames already.

So the game is already nothing special, as I established, but the developers still managed to screw things over in the technical department. Glitches are a natural occurrence in Metro 2033, and the first time the game tells you to replace your oxygen filter for your gasmask, you just know that this feature will come around and bite you in the ass later in the game. One of the ways it will do this, is by autosaving the game after you used up your last filter. So when you load your checkpoint, you will have exactly three seconds to run around and poke at the dirt before collapsing to the ground and try again.

"Morkulv, you noob!" I hear you say while you pound your head angrily on your keyboard. "There's nothing wrong with a good challenge!", to which I would reply: indeed there isn't. But there's a key difference between difficulty, and taking a player out of the experience. The gasmask feature wouldn't aggravate me so much if it wasn't such a hassle. Now, instead of immersing me, the player, it just draws me away from the game, which can never be a good thing for a video game. Which brings me to another key aspect of Metro 2033 that was royally screwed over.

Leveldesign. Let us keep in mind here, we are dealing with a linear shooter, so the game should be clear as to where the player should go. Especially in the outside areas of the game, the level is just a mess of snow, garbage, and nukage and it's never clear where the developer wants you to go. This shouldn't be this hard to figure out. Either make a straight path, or give me the option to roam around, but don't make it a guessing game. To make matters worse, some of the levels (like the mentioned outside areas) contain tripwires that insta kill you and are conveniently placed under water where you can't see them.

And now for the final nail in the Metro 2033 coffin: Quick Time Events! Yes, this game has QTE's. I don't think I need to go into detail why a game shouldn't have QTE's.

While I love singleplayer games, this doesn't mean that garbage like Metro 2033 gets away with it. On top of the very mediocre gameplay, the game contains many technical flaws that only make it harder for you to persevere playing. If you're really a hardcore fan of this 'post-apocalyptic FPS' type of games, go play STALKER again and leave this in the budget bin where it belongs.

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