a Taffer reviews: Metro 2033

This review consists of personal opinion. Read with caution. Also: scroll down to skip to the actual review part of the review. And as always, thanks for reading /a Taffer

You slide down the broken slab of concrete. An icy gush of wind howls past you, the force of it almost knocking you over. You stagger, your foot caught in a crack, and the world is thrown into a spin as you fall. The impact on the solidly frozen ground drives the air out of your lungs and you hear an alarming crunch as your head is knocked against a rock. Another howl bears down on you. Not the wind. There is no time, you have to move.

You gasp for air inside your gas mask. Moisture collects along the edges with each labouring breath and freezes almost instantly. Your vision blurs through the thin layer of ice. There's a crack in the glass, you realize. Another howl sounds. Inhuman lungs scream for your blood, and they are getting closer. Too close. You get on your feet. The cracked glass is the least of your worry right now. As you stumble on you hear the flap of wings. You clench your teeth and run, the world rushing by you in a blur of greys and whites. There's the manhole. Right up ahead. Five meters. Four. Three. Two. One--a shadow blots out the glaring light at your back. You drop, try to slide towards the darkness beckoning below. But something catches your shoulder, digs through the layers of cloth and throws you off balance. The world tilts again and you see a mass of dark fur and bulging muscle tear you to the ground--if there was any. The swooping attack carried you above the manhole. You fall, impact, then slide, until your descent is stopped by a wall. Above you, the beast shrieks. It blocks the sun with its massive shoulders and wings, saliva dripping white fangs flashing in the last remaining light.

You crawl away from it, towards the darkness devouring the tunnel at your right. And still the breaths won't come easy and your heart beats in a wild staccato that rings in your ears. You keep crawling. Your hand moves to flip on the headlights on your helmet. The beam dances ahead of you, illuminating slick walls covered in grime that crowd around you as you keep pushing. There's a crack in the gas mask, you recollect as your eyes are drawn to it. Better to keep moving. Get away from the death looming above you, and return to the death brooding below, within the Metro, within your home.


image
Fear The Future

Ever seen a post apocalyptic movie? Played a post apocalyptic game? Like, you know, Fallout? Alright. Good. Now, imagine if Fallout was the Kindergarten of post apocalyptic games, METRO 2033 would be the triple-max security prison shower room. And you are the unfortunate fellow that keeps dropping the soap.

Ah. Hold on. Don't know what this is all about yet? Fine, let's get the technical things out of the way first.

METRO 2033 is (allow me to quote) "a gripping, atmospheric first person shooter experience powered by cutting edge technology to deliver incredible visuals". It's based on the novel by Dmitry Glukhovsky and delivers exactly what it promised. The visuals are stunning (albeit straining on anything but the most heavenly rig), and 4A Games has managed to literally blow the mind of this Taffer as she sat through hours in this gem of a game. The shooting mechanics were solid, the difficulty just right-----but everyone who knows the Taffer is well aware that this is not where a game is defined. At least not for her.

And that was where Metro 2033 stepped up and shouldered its way into the mist of her all-time favourites, happily shaking hands with Thief and System Shock and sparing Splinter Cell a glance too on the way.

Even from the start on, she adored the look and feel. She appreciated the dark, gritty, no-nonesense apocalyptic home of one young man by the name of Artyom, who she felt honoured to accompany on his perilous journey through Moscow's Metro and across the barren and deadly remains of the city above.

image
image

Sometimes the Taffer thought Artyom was in over his head. The task dumped on his shoulders at the beginning seems too much for the lad, and things just seem to be getting worse. But he manages. Barely, on occasion. Which is just it, isn't it. The Taffer didn't feel as though Artyom was another one of these strappin' young heroes with the ability to tear down the world if they wished to. METRO 2033 throws you together with an underdog, and utilizes an impressive arsenal of tricks to make you feel it. From well choreographed (and mostly first person) cut scenes, to the constantly present tools he requires for his survival; like the gas mask. More than just once the Taffer panicked as she had Artyom running for his life and he started gasping for air inside the mask. The implementation of night vision goggles and the flashlight was also rather impressive, along with the home-made weaponry in your arsenal. And when the Taffer found out that some of them were silenced, and that she just got her hands on a suit designed for stealth, adoration turned into love.

Poor Artyom ended up having to sneak his way through most of the Metro after that and, despite a more direct approach with blazing guns being just as feasible, barely got to squeeze the trigger any-more unless really necessary.

So, now we established that the Taffer has a soft spot for Artyom and that Metro having a fairly well done stealth element is most definitely to blame for her enthusiasm. But that can't be it, now can it.

Nah. It's not. The game also features an interesting story (... predictable as it may be as one moves along), an impressive cast of characters with individual traits and quirks, and has a voice over quality that fits it like a glove. It might feel a little sub-par at times, but as it is with every bit of creative work: Things are best enjoyed in their original form, which is why the bits and pieces of it that were actually in Russian felt the most authentic and contributed to making the game world feel more alive.

You'll see though, dear reader, if you end up trying to game. To explain it all with writing alone (and without diving into the story and particular scenes, which the Taffer won't ever do), is not going to give METRO 2033 the credit it deserves. You'll see the little details if you pay attention, the carefully crafted balance between "Abandon all Hope" and "We will endure" as you wander through the stations, hearing music, laughter and see children bounding about while death lurks just outside the three-hundredth meter, bathed in darkness and ready to devour. Or maybe you won't, if you'd rather just muscle your way to the end in a rush. It's really all up to you how you experience METRO 2033, though this Taffer recommends that you switch off the lights, put on your headset, and dive into it properly. That's when you'll appreciate it the most, and when it'll be worth every penny you spent on it.

And if you pay really close attention, you'll know why this game has the best ending (there are two) the Taffer had ever seen. Not talking about the actual conclusion part of it or how the story was tied up. Just something Artyom does. A simple gesture which sums up just how the Taffer felt when the trek was at an end, and a gesture that gave the character a final touch. It made him appear even more so human than many a BioWare character can ever be, which is a shame, if you think of it. Also, the game almost made the Taffer choke up once. She won't say which section, but you might find it and see how a scene watched through a silent protagonist's eyes can tug on heart strings more effectively than a voiced one if done right. She never felt the need to sniffle in any other game before.

In conclusion the Taffer will write a list, though she already said everything she wanted to.

The Good
Really, does the Taffer have to repeat it? Let's add a little extra instead.
The game does not hold your hand. It might have linear paths through the levels, but it will not spoon-feed you everything you need to know. It has the best stealth system introduction ever, in this Taffer's opinion.

The Bad
A bit laggy on the mouse sometimes.
Needs a good rig to run properly.
As the second act moved into the third, the story did start to feel a little rushed. A shame, but something that most games suffer of nowadays. Something the Taffer's reviews have in common with them too.

The Ugly
A combat section towards the end. It involved glowing goo and is f**** annoying.
It ended. A'Right? That's not good. At all.

I so absolutely love this game... this story and feel of it is brilliant.

And those goo balls are easy if you take out each spawner along the way.

Can't wait for 2034!

Hmmm, still thinking whether or not to get this.

Good review anyway.

The Red Dragon:
Hmmm, still thinking whether or not to get this.

Good review anyway.

Thank you /tips hat

I'd recommend it if you like the atmosphere I tried to describe and aren't too fuzzed about the shooting not being up to par with, let's say, S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Or for a more frequent example: Singularity.

GamesB2:

And those goo balls are easy if you take out each spawner along the way.

Can't wait for 2034!

Same here. Though I'm a bit worried about them putting so much effort into making it 3D... I fear it might just throw them off track with the brilliant atmosphere and focus on details.

And.. yah.. about the spawn pods.. but.. still. GAH, hated that section like no other in the game.

What's a taffer?

Anah'ya:

GamesB2:

And those goo balls are easy if you take out each spawner along the way.

Can't wait for 2034!

Same here. Though I'm a bit worried about them putting so much effort into making it 3D... I fear it might just throw them off track with the brilliant atmosphere and focus on details.

And.. yah.. about the spawn pods.. but.. still. GAH, hated that section like no other in the game.

Ha I have the same worry, the first game did just fine without 3D.

And we better have an option to turn it off... 3D gives me a headache and I don't want to miss out on 2034 because of migraines.

SFJ:
What's a taffer?

/points at self

Eh. Uh. Uhm.

Definition of Taffer

Huh-Huh, I should really stop copy/pasting my reviews from my blog without editing them to first person, should I? Nah.. then they're no more fun to write.

Anah'ya:

SFJ:
What's a taffer?

/points at self

Eh. Uh. Uhm.

Definition of Taffer

Huh-Huh, I should really stop copy/pasting my reviews from my blog without editing them to first person, should I? Nah.. then they're no more fun to write.

You're a third-person environment engine?

Do you do Tetris?

GamesB2:

Anah'ya:

GamesB2:

!

.

Ha I have the same worry, the first game did just fine without 3D.

Metro 2033 has a 3D option but its available only on NVIDIA cards with a 3D setup.So Metro 2034 having was not a surprise at all.

Charcharo:
Snip

Ah well I play on console so we shall see.

Anah'ya:

The Red Dragon:
Hmmm, still thinking whether or not to get this.

Good review anyway.

Thank you /tips hat

I'd recommend it if you like the atmosphere I tried to describe and aren't too fuzzed about the shooting not being up to par with, let's say, S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Or for a more frequent example: Singularity.

Yeah, I think I might give it a rent first.

How did you find the enemy A.I? From what I read on other reviews it was pretty rubbish.

SFJ:

You're a third-person environment engine?

Do you do Tetris?

No, I'm not a platform for Tetris.

The Red Dragon:

Yeah, I think I might give it a rent first.

How did you find the enemy A.I? From what I read on other reviews it was pretty rubbish.

Try before you buy, eh? Too bad that the good old demo approach seems to be outdated nowadays. Anyway. Enemy A.I.

Not worse than in other FPS I've played lately. However, as noted in my review, I was trying to avoid combat wherever possible, and only engaged when really necessary. Whenever I did though I didn't notice them behaving too badly. But then again I wasn't paying much attention.

Were they smart? Nah. Were they utterly retarded? Nah.

Do remember one thing though before you buy/rent. If you are on the XBOX then you might not have the same experience as me. The game is a port from PC to XBOX, and I would have probably not enjoyed it just as much on the console as on the platform it was made for. Which.. won't stop me from getting it for my 360 and playing it there for the achievements.. but.. still.

The Red Dragon:

Anah'ya:

The Red Dragon:
Hmmm, still thinking whether or not to get this.

Good review anyway.

Thank you /tips hat

I'd recommend it if you like the atmosphere I tried to describe and aren't too fuzzed about the shooting not being up to par with, let's say, S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Or for a more frequent example: Singularity.

Yeah, I think I might give it a rent first.

How did you find the enemy A.I? From what I read on other reviews it was pretty rubbish.

I found it average. The Xbox version's AI was worse, for optimization reasons. Thats surprising as S.T.A.L.K.E.R. has the best AI ever.

Charcharo:

I found it average. The Xbox version's AI was worse, for optimization reasons. Thats surprising as S.T.A.L.K.E.R. has the best AI ever.

I'm glad we agree, Boss Person.

Nice review, well written and informative, though I wasn't a fan of the third person format, to me it took away from the feeling that I was reading someone's own opinion on the game.

I have finished the game and am curious to know which bits you were referring to: the 'gesture'

and also the bit that got you a bit teary, was it

I also hated the green blobs section and really hated the amount of cheap insta kills the game threw at me.

MiracleOfSound:
Nice review, well written and informative, though I wasn't a fan of the third person format, to me it took away from the feeling that I was reading someone's own opinion on the game.

I have finished the game and am curious to know which bits you were referring to: the 'gesture'

and also the bit that got you a bit teary, was it

I also hated the green blobs section and really hated the amount of cheap insta kills the game threw at me.

I am not sure, I had already read the book but the

was something good.
I found the amoebas easy, but annoying as hell, I mean I run this game at 7-15 fps on my 10 year old PC. But still I did it! Only 3 deaths .
The Cheap Insta kills however were something so annoying!@!#

MiracleOfSound:
Nice review, well written and informative, though I wasn't a fan of the third person format, to me it took away from the feeling that I was reading someone's own opinion on the game.

I have finished the game and am curious to know which bits you were referring to: the 'gesture'

and also the bit that got you a bit teary, was it

I also hated the green blobs section and really hated the amount of cheap insta kills the game threw at me.

Thank you for reading and commenting. And my apologies for the 3rd Person :D

... what cheap insta kills? Did I miss something? :D

Anah'ya:

MiracleOfSound:
Nice review, well written and informative, though I wasn't a fan of the third person format, to me it took away from the feeling that I was reading someone's own opinion on the game.

I have finished the game and am curious to know which bits you were referring to: the 'gesture'

and also the bit that got you a bit teary, was it

I also hated the green blobs section and really hated the amount of cheap insta kills the game threw at me.

Thank you for reading and commenting. And my apologies for the 3rd Person :D

... what cheap insta kills? Did I miss something? :D

Yeah those parts were... now words describe this...
I hated the way that Melnik tried to rush through all the blobs. I had to Sprint and grenade throw to do that part...

Anah'ya:
[

Thank you for reading and commenting. And my apologies for the 3rd Person :D

Yeah, it was great wasn't it? It kind of echoed the feeling most players would have at the end of the game too...

Anah'ya:

... what cheap insta kills? Did I miss something? :D

Here's a few I can think off from the top of my head:

In the battle outside the tower, get too far ahead of your colleague or go the wrong way down a badly signposted fork and you'll be instakilled as punishment by stalkers

In the final

, take one wrong turn and it's bye bye. I got frustrated with the amount of trial and error it took.

The sheer suicidal stupidity of your colleague during the blob section... I think he died on me about 6 times. Escort missions suck.

EDIT: Stalker holes and the spiky log traps... god those things were annoying

There were a few more, I just can't think of them now.... usually they involved taking a path through a level that the game didn't want you to, even though it wanted you to explore in other areas. I thought that was kinda lame.

If you liked the game you have to read the book. Well... not really, but the book is pretty damn awesome and from what I've heard it's slightly better than the game (never played it). The ending is

It was a good read and I'm glad you're still getting your writing fix.

MiracleOfSound:

Here's a few I can think off from the top of my head:

In the battle outside the tower, get too far ahead of your colleague or go the wrong way down a badly signposted fork and you'll be instakilled as punishment by stalkers

The sheer suicidal stupidity of your colleague during the blob section... I think he died on me about 6 times. Escort missions suck.

Stalker holes and the spiky log traps... god those things were annoying

I agree on the suicidal tendencies of the comrades (he-he), however I actually liked the traps and the danger lurking in holes. That was rather well done and fit into the feeling of death just a false step away. I can see where it might be frustrating though, but I just took it for granted that I had to watch Artyom's footsteps a bit more closely.

Stranger of Sorts:
If you liked the game you have to read the book. Well... not really, but the book is pretty damn awesome and from what I've heard it's slightly better than the game (never played it).

It was a good read and I'm glad you're still getting your writing fix.

I am actually reading the book :) It makes me wish I had learned and perfected Russian though, as the translation is mediocre at best. And thank you /tips hat

The Red Dragon:

Anah'ya:

The Red Dragon:
Hmmm, still thinking whether or not to get this.

Good review anyway.

Thank you /tips hat

I'd recommend it if you like the atmosphere I tried to describe and aren't too fuzzed about the shooting not being up to par with, let's say, S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Or for a more frequent example: Singularity.

Yeah, I think I might give it a rent first.

How did you find the enemy A.I? From what I read on other reviews it was pretty rubbish.

Its weird, they're either rocket scientists or dumbasses.

Sometimes they flush you out with grenades and send guys to flank you and other times they stare at the wall while you carve their buddies up with the knife.

I suppose the blunders are a bit acceptable seeing as the main enemies seem to be the monsters rather than man.

OT: Agree with this review absolutely, this game has the most brilliant attention to detail I've ever seen in one.
Its just the small things like all the little conversations, home-made appearances of the weapons and the like, and how whenever you find an unfortunate dead guy somewhere theres a bit of a hint as to how they died and how their final moments went down, they arent just lying on the floor or slumped up against a wall, there could be things like shell casings, dead monsters, blood stains and the like everywhere, but always laid out in such way it seems very...real, somehow.

Every time you play it you discover something new, which is pretty amazing for a linear FPS.

 

Reply to Thread

This thread is locked