Game: Battlefield: Metro 2033

Developer: 4A Games

Publisher: THQ

Available On: Xbox 360 and PC

Metro 2033 represents what happens when foreign literature and western videogame conventions collide. To begin to describe it would be to spoil the review, but in introduction I must warn you ahead. Metro 2033 is a defining game, it is unique, more unique than any other shooter I have ever seen before. It borrows heavily, yet continuously reinvents and adds new layers of fine crispy first-person goodness. The flaws and finesse may be in perfect harmony, so much so that Metro remains a masterpiece. As you’ve probably heard from other reviews, the game has many, many flaws, but I will peel back this criticism and see whether the critiques are worthy.

Metro 2033 tells the story of a book of the same title, by Dmitry Glukhovsky, a tale set in a post-apocalyptic Moscow, Russia. In actual real life fact, the metro stations in Moscow were built to contain human life in the event of a nuclear outbreak. You play as Artyom, a young man born in the station of ‘Exhibition’, tasked by your soldier idol to deliver a message in the event of his disappearance. Alongside Nazis and Communists, you must fight the ‘Dark Ones’, the next step in evolution. Other habitants of the new nuclear wonderland are also against you.

You will need to journey across the Metro to seek the cure to the problems that face you station, and all of humanity. Metro tells all of this story by letting you pace through the streets of stations, creep down Communist Metro tunnels, give bullets to the homeless and many other techniques.

Metro 2033 takes all the past ideals of modern day first-person shooters and runs into foreign land. The themes go hand in hand, atmosphere and immersion taking center-stage alongside a revealing story. At times, I was so enveloped into the ruins of a Metro system, that I forgot I was playing a videogame.Basically, you trade bullets, before the war. Homemade bullets are of poor quality, but pre-blast ammunition is scarce and valuable, making it the ideal currency. You can change your ammo types with a quick hold of the reload button, and it’s always clear what you’re blowing into faces. The faces you blow into a dynamic, and fit the aesthetics perfectly. The plot seems to go hand in hand with linearity, shoving you down a clear path and dancing with your mind. It ends on a very powerful note, albeit a cliffhanger, and the split endings aren’t a strict choice of ‘killing all humans’ and ‘saving the world’, it’s a very grey ending. One that will probably be debated.

Metro 2033 is one of the most visceral and surreal experiences, only let down by the near-ending level. I can’t beat Metro. The section near the end has respawning enemies, which hurt you when you kill them, and can hurt you if you don’t kill them. It’s a stupidly designed area that spoiled the game for me, and I had to watch the ending on Youtube.

Metro 2033 stands on foreign soil, 4A games themselves are Ukrainian based, and it seems that the escapism is tuned to the max. The shooting doesn’t hold up that well, there’s some slight AI issues and some of the early plot expression comes across quite cheaply. In the end, I had fantastic fun with Metro 2033, I came out a whole lot better. This was a great, strong impression of what we can expect of such a small developer, and I can’t wait to see what they come up with next.

Release Date: Released On March 16, 2010