Metro 2033 offers a gripping storyline but falls a bit short on certain aspects of gameplay.
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Metro 2033 is based on the post-apocalyptic Russian novel by Dmitry Glukhovsky. The world is reduced to rubble following a nuclear holocaust. The people of Moscow are now living on the Moscow Metro, with each station becoming mini-states. Players take control of Artyom, a young man living in VDNKh given the task to deliver a message to alert his fellowmen of the danger that is about to happen.
Besides the great storytelling, Metro 2033 has a great atmosphere. From the underground stations to the city ruins, Metro Moscow is filled with sights and sounds that will envelop any gamer. It may look ‘monotonous’ at first as Artyom mostly stays underground, but 4A Games added a lot of elements to make the trip as interesting as possible.
Metro 2033 is an FPS that forces you to save as much ammunition as you can. Although you have quite a number of guns to choose from, players can only have space for one gun for each class of firearm. There are two different types of ammunition that you can use – lower-grade bullets for mass consumption, and military grade that can also be used to purchase medpacks, guns, and filters.
While you spend most of the time underground, there are also times when you have to go to the surface – this is where the gas mask comes in handy. Not only do you have to constantly replace the filter in order to stay alive, you also have to avoid getting heavily damaged as the mask has the tendency to break. If that happens, you have to look for a replacement one (usually near a corpse) before you poison yourself.
Underground, you have to soldier your way through mutated creatures, humans, as well as man-made traps. Since you have limited ammunition, there will be times when you have to hide in the shadows. Stealth matters in some missions as facing the enemies head-on can get you in real trouble. Unfortunately the AI is inconsistent – there are times when they don’t see you even if you are nearby and there are also times when they detect you even if you are hiding behind a crate.
There are a lot of guns available in the game although it is not necessary to purchase them on the shops as they are scattered all over the map. Controls were a bit clunky and we encountered times when bullets miss the target even if we were close to the enemy. We also found times when the game automatically scrolled through the weapons even if we were not touching the controller. Conversations with NPCs were clear but we encountered times when we missed important conversations as other NPCs were talking at the same time.
Overall, Metro 2033 provides a dark and compelling storyline that will keep you entertained for hours. You may have to play it more than once to completely understand what’s going on, but it is well worth it.