Reviews by Shai

95

A Beautiful FPS Adventure

Shai | Sept. 15, 2012 | Review of Metro 2033 PRE

In Metro 2033, you are Artyom, a youth that grew up in the metro systems of Moscow. The metro system is both the home and sanctuary of many in this post-nuclear world, both from the threat of strange creatures and from that of the hazardous airs above. Your home is under attack, and, to protect it, you set out into the metro to find help.

It's a simple enough premise, but its execution was nothing short of beautiful. Each little settlement in the metro is a group of people on the edge. They're in bad shape. There's only so much you can create when locked underground, after all. The hopelessness of the situation truly does ring out when you stay around and listen to some of the conversations between NPCs. And when you finally step outside, into ruined Moscow, you get a beautiful and tragic image of the terror of nuclear war.

Moscow is frozen over, with creatures and flying monsters having taken control of the once-bustling city. Buildings are in ruins, and exploration of these ruins presents the player with a chance to get a better idea of the attempts survivors had made, over the years, to get by in that wasteland. The game rewards exploration with that, but also with supplies, as hidden caches are littered all about the place.

The money system in Metro is unique. Where other games have a standardized currency that serves only as money, Metro utilizes pre-war bullets. Because the production of ammunition in the metro presents lower-quality ammo, these pre-war clips are valuable, powerful, and treated as the primary form of currency. They can present a huge edge in combat, but using them in that way cuts into your reserves for supplies at the next safe haven. The choice is up to the player, and it presents a new form of balance between ease of engagement and supplying your journey.

The story is engaging. The gameplay is solid and easy to get a grip on. The scenery is beautiful and illustrates the dangerous end to a nuclear conflict. It is a wonderful experience from beginning to end, and, contrary to the system requirements, it runs pretty capably on even laptops, or with integrated graphics. It'd be worth it at the retail of $20, but, at the moment, it's 80% off. $4? That's a steal. Cheaper than buying it on Steam, since it's never been below 75%.