Quick spoiler warning, this article mentions the story of this game a lot, so if you want to play this (even though it’s an 11-year-old game) then don’t read this.
Around a month ago, I nicked Metro 2033 from the 10th anniversary sale of the Metro series on Steam and thought that it would be a great opportunity to push an article out, even if I’m 11 years late to the party. Metro itself is both a series of books and games. The books being written by ‘Dmitry Glukhovsky’ and the games being developed and published by 4A games and THQ (Deep Silver took up the role of publisher after THQ went bankrupt 3 years after the release of 2033).
From the moment I booted the game up, it was apparent that it was a 2010 game with the clunky sound design and the aged graphics. I spent around five minutes optimizing the settings before I started a new game on Ranger Hardcore and prepared to see how this game paid it’s respects to the original novel.
The game started with me waking up to Artyom’s step father (Artyom being our protagonist), telling me that an old family friend has dropped by. As I went to go meet him at the entrance to the tunnel, I got a decent feel for the controls, and for a 2010 game they were surprisingly fluid. The player character was pretty fast and the movement was pretty light and forgiving, so weaving through the tight corners wasn’t an issue. Once we finally got there, we met ‘Hunter’ who is an experienced scavenger and soldier. After a cut scene, we were attacked by mutants who got in through the vents. I picked up a revolver from a convenient weapons cache and fought them off, although it was pretty easy as they were just banging against the vent grates without moving much. The gunplay was okay, like Far Cry level but with older/worse animations and sounds. The guns themselves looked pretty nice, and the models fit the setting really well.
After another minute long cutscene, I finally got to grab a gun and see what it feels like to mine Dogecoin by walking past gun shops with an empty wallet. Once I got to the next stage, I was pulled onto a handcar with some other guardsmen to protect some cargo, easy right? Well apparently not because the main tunnel to our destination was conveniently blocked off. This forced us to go down the spooky mutant infested magic tunnel which was covered in gas that made me hallucinate like I was having a bad trip. I woke up from the hallucination just as we were being attacked by a horde of the mutants that I’d encountered in that first stage. Plus the fact that I forgot that I had no ammo anyway. Once some of the others woke up, we drove the rest of the way and lived happily ever after.
After chugging some suspicious shroom juice with the boys, I was told by some little kid that someone wanted to see me for whatever reason, and demanding payment for them to guide me to him, keep in mind there was a very obvious path to the next section of the level. I sprinted over and met with the guy, whose name was Bourbon, and then went to buy ammo before triggering the next stage. The rest of the level consisted of going through a bunch of mutants and bandits.
The game play then becomes a pretty steady rhythm of reaching a station, finding a companion and fighting mutants and hostile humans. This cycle continues for a little while until you part with one of your companions to go sneak across the front lines of two military groups, those being the Nazi Fourth Reich and the Communist Red Line, with the help of yet another companion.
This level was probably the most fun for me, as I snuck around the AI enemies to explore and loot before moving on to the next sub section of the frontlines. With the nature of the area being a warzone I had bullets whizzing past my head quite often which was pretty scary because it became very hard to distinguish whether I had been spotted or was just catching stray lead. Once I got to the other line though, I was caught right as the game had autosaved, so I proceeded the rest of the level guns blazing before finding more companions to continue the game play loop.
After a little while of sneaking past Nazi soldiers, I finally got to the above ground section which was pretty refreshing (although finding filters was a pain in the ass because I couldn’t take them off of enemy corpses). After about an hour of sneaking around hostiles, I re-entered the Metro as I only had a level or so before I would finally reach the Polis station. I snuck through more Nazis with the help of another Ranger until we eventually reached the Polis station and deliver the message to Miller, aka the commander of the Rangers.
I then re-embarked to the surface with Miller and another ranger to find floor plans of a secret military bunker in the Moscow library. This was the most painful level for me, as the one of a kind ‘Librarian’ enemies proved to be a real challenge. After I got through the building and got the floor plans, I escaped to a pickup location. We drove back to the Ranger’s base to secure the military bunker drawn out in the floor plans.
After getting inside, we restored power to the main bunker and went down to destroy a growth that had consumed a nuclear reactor while fighting off the jihadist meatballs that were the amoeba enemies. Once the bunker was cleared, we had one mission left; destroy the ‘dark ones’ and finish Hunter’s mission. I got up to a tower, faced off with a dark one that was trying to kill me, and planted the laser targetter we got from the bunker, so I could blow up the dark ones’ hive. Cue badass music and ending cutscene.
In conclusion, this game was a lot of fun for a 2010 game. With somewhat satisfying gunplay and a grim atmosphere that succeeded in being tense when it needed to be although the stealth was really painful. I enjoyed the game and did not regret getting it when I did. I whole-heartedly recommend this game to anyone looking into survival horror or apocalyptic genres.