Review: Metro 2033
Imagine an apocalypse. An entire city is blacked out; an entire city is destroyed. You're forced to live underground in tunnels. Tunnels where daily trains, and sewage used to travel.Many would fall down and give up. Others would enter depression. Some would fight back.Those that choose to fight back are the ones that revolutionize a nation. Build a legacy and save thousands.In Metro 2033 you're a fighter. You're equipped with enough faith, belief and moral honour to help your fellow man.
- Worth The Time?Hell yes
- Things LovedUnique FPS experience, good characters, eye-catching visuals.
- Things HatedFrustrating gameplay, more than a few bugs.
- RecommendationIf I were you, I'd buy the game. It's something you would need to add to your Russian nuclear collection, I mean this definitely won't be the last of its type.
- Name: Metro 2033
- Genre: FPS
- Players: 1
- Multiplayer: None
- Platforms: PS3, Xbox 360, PC
- Developer: 4A Games
- Publisher: THQ
- Price: R350 (PC), R700 (PS3, Xbox 360)
- Reviewed On: Xbox 360
In 2013. The Soviet Union, as we know it, evaporates. Humans are forced to live underground in the metro. The story goes that if you decide to surface, the poisonous gasses and dangerous creatures will probably kill you. You’re forced to live your entire life without knowing what the sky looks like. Or what grass would feel like on your bare feet.
In Metro 2033 a post-apocalyptic story haunts the nation.
You take the role of a man. A man who lived as a boy during the time of a nuclear tragedy. Your name is Artyom. You were saved by entering into the metro, and that is all you remember.
While many would regard this game a similar game to S.T.A.L.K.E.R., I personally feel that it grows on the general idea. Sure, the concept might be the same — but who cares? It’s not really meant to be something new, or fresh. It is meant to be different. And it is.
Metro 2033 can be completed in about 10 hours on Normal. I think I might have taken about 13 hours, for various reasons, but mainly because I was ignorant of the game itself.
After few hours of raging at how stupid it is, and that there isn’t a map, I realised my own actual sense of stupidity. Yes, I raged for nothing.
I found myself reconfiguring my play, where I started dancing around with my journal — which just holds a compass. To me, a compass points to North. However in Metro 2033, the compass points in the direction which you should travel. I was skeptical of this at first and I thought this couldn’t be the case. Don’t be fooled.
The first few scenes start action packed. Once again, a fooling concept. You feel that you are right in on the action, and you feel that you’re going to blast faces away. You don’t. In fact, there is loads of chit-chat after the opening play.
All of this is naturally followed by a Russian tradition. Vodka. Lots and lots of Vodka.
Moving through the story you’ll find loads of easter-eggs and funny pieces. Metro 2033 is serious, but it does have a humorous side — if you are open to it.
There are loads of unique pieces in THQ’s title, and I particularly found that dealing ammo as a currency was a really great idea. You’re stuck in a tunnel, there are monsters all over and you need bullets for your gun. When there is no economy, money means nothing. Money will not save your life.
Metro 2033 uses two different types of ammo. One you can trade, and another you blast away into demon faces. But more on this later.
Recollecting my thoughts about the game, I can only flashback to rage. There were times where I wanted to get up and just throw everything off of my table. Normal-mode seemed to be tough enough to burst a few veins in my head. And this was before I started hitting my head on the table.
‘A stupid game,’ I yelled.
‘You cannot kill anything. There’s no f’ing ammo and all these guns are crap!’
It didn’t stop there.
At times you’d need utmost stealth to get from point A to point B. You would need to be a ninja. But thankfully, the producers did make this an easy task. Your wrist has a device with three lights. Green, yellow and red. Green means you’re safe, the enemy won’t see you. Yellow, means you better get down on your knees and pray that the guy hunting you is night-blind.
If you’re showing red in a dangerous zone, a few words of advice: Lock ‘n Load, bitch.
Metro 2033 has seven chapters, and throughout many of these you’ll find yourself walking around with company. I must say, Russians live up to all expectations. They are crazy sonsabitches.
The aim of Metro 2033 is to save the world, as you know it. However, if you didn’t know this; there are two endings. A good one, and well, a not-so-good one. This all depends on how you feel when you get to the end. To unlock the alternate ending you will need to be nice throughout the game. This means that when beggars ask for bullets, you share.
If you’re offered ammo as a reward, you decline. Kindly.
Nice gestures open up a nice ending — if you must.
Metro 2033 isn’t only about killing demons, or destroying rampant evolved dogs which boast a slight under-bite. No. It’s about killing friggin’ Nazi’s who get in your way, destroying monsters that bite sore and finally, helping fellow mankind once again feel grass under their feet.
As previously hinted. I hated every minute of some missions. Man, they wound me up. You have an objective, but where the hell do you go? Yeah, I played the game without the compass and this is why. My bad, but honestly, I felt that it was a slightly poor concept on the creators behalf.
A map of the metro is possible, as the real world has traveled through it before.
Imagine spending 40 minutes on a stupid objective because, well, there was a pillar in your way blocking the smallest of areas which you need to blow up. It’s rivetingly annoying.
If we compare mathematics to Metro, we’d find a bell-curve of action. Slow in the beginning, fast-paced Nazi killing action in the middle, a movie-like ending. A good setup, until click click click. You’re out of ammo. And that was a massive problem which I found on Normal. There was never enough ammo.
There might have been enough ammo if the guns were accurate to more than two centimeters.
Military Grade ammo fixes this problem, but are you willing to sacrifice further gun upgrades, ammo purchasing opportunities or a quick session with a hooker for better gun accuracy? I think not.
I suffered. I screamed. I bashed.
While your gun is accurate enough to, I don’t know, miss the broad side of a barn, you still face the problem where eight shots to the head of German doesn’t actually do squat. If you are lucky, the helmet would fall off. After this, you’d have a field day watching brains splatter over his buddy running behind him.
I clearly remember guys running up to me. I shoot them in the face. I shoot them in the stomach. I even elbowed them, that’s how close I was.
Nudda. Zip. Zilch.
Not even an ‘ouch.’
Could this be their diamond reinforced helmets?
In Metro 2033, when you’re not creeping around in shadows, throwing people with knives, shooting monsters, breaking down doors, killing Nazi’s, running out of ammo, breaking everything in near site, you are listening to philosophy. The Russians in Metro love to talk.
There’s an intense story behind the game, and everyone has something to say. It’s really interesting to the point that you become bored, until you meet a certain character. Pavel.
Pavel is a man made of jokes. He’s the funny guy and he lightens the mood. I enjoyed some of his humour, as well as the others having realistic anger towards him.
Click click click. It still haunts me. Running into battle and you’re out of ammo. There’s nothing left in either of your slots. Pistol, nudda. Machine gun, zip. Shotgun, bah — let’s not be funny.
Urgh. I hate it. I hate it, I hate it, I love it.
I really love it.
It felt as if that all that hatred was actually love, in disguise.
And it was.
Every darn second of the game was thrilling. To me, it was fantastic. Every flaw, every problem — no matter how big or how small.
Metro 2033 wound me up to the point that I was screaming. Until, I finished that chapter. I felt this overwhelming feeling that I’ve overcome monsters, aliens, and Nazi’s, but most importantly, I felt as if I accomplished something. I became so sub-merged into the story.
Because in the beginning you’re told to help — ‘What ever the cost’. I just needed to carry on playing. I needed to finish. The game drowned me with ‘what’s next?’
There are impressive cut-scenes, and good clips to watch.
The story isn’t as kind-hearted as you’d think either. Most hombres that travel with you land up dying, and this gives you the sense of urgency along with a realistic feeling that this is indeed, an important mission.
Small details included in the game add to my everlasting love. For instance, a universal charger for your flashlight, or night vision goggles. I didn’t use this too much as I preferred the Rambo approach with my knife. If I was ever tackled by a mutant, I’d tap the X key a few times, and before I knew it, a knife would jolt through its head.
‘Damn I’m good,’ I’d murmur.
Remember your wrist, that body part which consists of hardware that holds those three lights? Well, alongside the developers decided to add a nifty little feature which actually coincides with real life. Your watch actually tells the right time — synced to your 360 or PC. So, if you’re like me playing at 3am in the morning you can keep track of this by checking an in-game watch. Pretty neat, I know.
The currency. Once again, what a brilliant idea. In a place with no economy why use something as silly as money? In the metro, money won’t save your life. Bullets will. And Military Grade bullets do an ever better job of saving your life.
Gas-masks. An essential good for going outside into the real world. The upper land is poisonous and without this piece of equipment you will not be able to breath. You’d slowly die out. The developers made this piece of equipment pretty disposable, but there were a few faults. The masks would need filters, to maintain clean air. Once the filters ending in life-span, your vision was blurry until you changed it. The problem arises when you change masks from an old one to a new one, you do not retain the old filter.
In the game you’d often have to change masks as the one you are wearing would break whenever you are in a fight with either rebels or mutants.
Your enemy isn’t stupid either, they are just fearless. You’d find that they have more brains than Julius Malema.
So fearless that when they see you, or hear you, it’s full steam ahead. A charge filled with hatred and might. At times it was tough having to fend off three people with a knife, an elbow and a shotgun — which was currently holding only enough bullets for Sunday’s roast.
While I raged about not having enough ammo. This was actually an advantage. It forced me to run walk in and try different things. New tactics, different ways to approach and enemy. Should I use stealth? Should I barge in blasting away?
There were so many choices, and you were forced to choose the right one, else you’d be starting over. Limited ammo meant that you had to think about your next move before you have even completed the one you were on. While I thought this was a problem, this is actually why I love the game.
It required thought. And to me, that was important. Let’s be honest, anyone can run in and shoot away.
Metro 2033 had a Call of Duty like feature, where your secondary attack on some guns zoomed you in down the barrel. This was essential to shoot accurately, as it is in Call of Duty. It added realism, to an already real game.
I particularly enjoyed the mission summary before the stage. They told you what would happen, but you’d have to wait and find out when. It was suspenseful. Meaningful and simply, wonderful.
Suspense was all around you. It built fear — not that I’ve ever been scared, in my life. But the thought was there. I promise.
What I truly found interesting about the games mix-matched pace would be the ‘debriefing’. A very military-like procedure which made you feel just-darn-great after you completed a stage. This is what made me play more. I felt that if I didn’t, I was cheating my self, and also my peeps.
Guess what? It ended up being oh-so rewarding.