Metro 2033 is a first-person action RPG by and the debut title of 4A Games. If you’re a fan of replayable first-person action RPGs, then be sure not to miss out on this gem.
The game is based on a Russian novel with the same name. The game takes place in, or rather under, post-apocalyptic Moscow, where a minority of the population has taken shelter in subway tunnels, and survived a nuclear holocaust. You assume the role of a man named Artyom, who must find a way to save what is left of humanity from a supposedly “evil” group of sentient beings known as the Dark Ones.
The gameplay of Metro 2033 is pretty straight forward, as in that it doesn’t deviate much from your average first-person shooter. In Metro 2033 there are almost always two ways to do things, the run-and-gun way, where you try to reach the end of the level as fast as you can, and the slow-and-steady way, where you kill just about all the enemies that get in your way, and pick-up all the equipment and ammunition you find along the way.
Where the gameplay differentiates itself from other first-person shooter games is it’s toxic environment. Once you leave the subways, and sometimes in them, you’ll have to put on a gas-mask. While this may not seem like much of a hassle, it is, for enemies can break a hole in your gas-mask, rendering it virtually useless.
Not only can enemies break your gas-mask, but if you run out of air-filters, you’ll be forced to take your gas mask off. You can only survive for about 10 seconds without your gas mask. Now if that wasn’t annoying enough, the game doesn’t tell you what you should do when such a thing occurs, nor does it tell you that picking up a new gas mask will not help you in such cases.
The graphics are superb, and the atmosphere is well done. When you’re in the metro, you really get a sense of the environment, and it seems pretty realistic. Once you go above ground though, the environment is kind of empty and dull.
The game’s soundtrack really fits the game. The sounds are pretty well done and sound realistic. The voice acting is good, and you can really tell that the characters speak in a Russian accent.
Despite the game being marketed as a survival horror game, it isn’t really that scary. Only one part of the game is actually scary, and that is when you face the Librarians in the Library.
The game has a variety of weapons to use, but they are almost all pretty much the same. The game’s money that you use to buy weapons with is a certain kind of bullets, but the game doesn’t tell you that, so you’ll end up killing monsters using money, and wondering why you don’t ever have any money to buy new weapons.
Once you get out of the metro, and even in it, the environment is not very open. You are given one path, and that is the only path you can take to get to your destination. You cannot roam whatsoever when outside, or inside for that matter.
The game is very easy, in-fact, too much so. The toughest thing in the game is not fighting demons, it’s the damned gas masks and traps. There are many puzzles to solve in the game, some of which are pretty hard, but nothing memorable. Metro 2033 has an alternate ending, giving it some replay value, but in the end.
Don’t get me started on the game’s glitches. Metro 2033 has more bugs than, dare I say, Hellgate: London. Glitches range from dead bodies showing up as alive, to monsters jumping at you and no-clipping through walls, only to no-clip back into the game at a later time, to your gun flying out of your hands mysteriously.
Overall, Metro 2033 is a fun game with a lot of potential, but has a poor delivery. The lack of multiplayer, loads of glitches, easy gameplay, non-scary atmosphere, non-stop motifs, and poor gameplay prevent this game from being all it could be. So the question remains, are these tunnels worth traversing, or should you leave Metro 2033 in the dark? I suggest renting Metro 2033, an avid gamer should be able to complete the game in about 7-12 hours.
Replay Value: 8/10
This review is based on the Xbox 360 version of the game.