And... disagreement. I know I'm a bit late to the party, but having just gotten the game, I am absolutely loving it. I wanted to know what The Escapist review was. And dang. I disagree on almost every point. It's a fantastic game. The reviewer can have his opinion though...
Except in two specific cases. For one, the shotgun shells aren't able to be swapped out with dirty bullets. Talking about the weakness of the shotgun in relation to military-grade bullets is completely irrelevant (and the shotgun really isn't that weak; even so, shells are all over the place, so you'll never run out). Secondly, why are we complaining that the enemies never forget that you're there if you trigger an alarm? Isn't the common complaint in stealth games that they unrealistically go about business as usual mere minutes after you killed one of them and ran off into the darkness? Why on earth would we be complaining when a game finally fixes that irritating misstep?
Horrid review. Simply horrid. The worst "official" review I've seen on this site, actually.
Metro 2033 has quite possibly the best stealth I've ever seen. It's better stealth than Splinter Cell: Conviction, imo.
Dirty Bullets "laughably weak"?
I don't know what your were playing, but I beat the game on Normal with little trouble. And never fired a single military grade round. Not even once. Towards the end, as a LOOTING MASTER, I had 700 SMG/Rifle rounds. 250 shotgun shells. 200 revolver rounds. And I used a lot of that on the "Librarians". Seriously. Those things suck. I had like 300 SMG rounds left after that level, and a few shotgun shells.
Oh, yeah. I managed to stealth through nearly every area that had human enemies. Often without killing ANYONE. This game doesn't hold your hand. I had to use trial and error to accomplish my stealth.
In fact, the only really bad element of the game were the amoeba...things towards the end.
I love this game. It has superb atmosphere, every bit as good as Half-Life, and the stealth areas are a stern but fair challenge. I'm working on a revew for this.
This is by far the weakest review the escapist has ever done. The shooting is not broken. Its not the best one around (S.T.A.L.K.E.R.'s shooting) but it is definitely not BROKEN. The only weapon that sucked was the shotgun, but its use was for the mutants anyway. Ever try to pierce combat armor with shotgun pellets? Assault rifles, maybe, but a shotgun is effective only against unarmed or lightly armored targets.
Stealth is not the best in the genre, but its a lot better than most other games nowadays. You just HAVE to watch your feet. The "It feels like you should be able to run and gun" part was hilarious. You can run and gun, and thats actually very easy. How you had problems I don't know.
Also the game did deliberately teach you how to stealth, it didn't say everything but thats good. It makes you actually think. I don't know how so many people believe that a game has to deliberately tell you how and what to do. You know what, I guess Nintendo is actually right here, if you want your game to score higher, include every possible hint and strategy in the manual or put the controls on a disc or something. Part of the fun is to master and learn the small tricks in each game in order to succeed.
The story is base on a (awesome) Russian novel called Metro 2033. The actual story is pretty good and one of the best and most mature in a videogame. Admittedly the game does not explain everything like it should, even cryptic, since I guess the devs thought you already read the book and knew about why the Nazis and Commies were there. The cut scenes with the dark ones were my favorite parts of the game. And the story was progressed when you listened to the other people talking. Yeah its a little slow, but if you do listen, the story is the best this year.
You are right about the AI- its fucking stupid.
I don't want to sound too elitist, but this is a game from eastern Europe and as such the existence of a console port was a surprise. Here VERY few people have consoles, almost everyone has a PC though. The difficulty was like this because, as I said, the game was made for PCs and maybe a part of the people that played it on a console found it too hard. Hell I had 1348 dirty rounds of AK ammo by the end of the game and around 500 ( i bought armor so it was 600) of the good ammo.
So why review a PC game that was released on the Xbox almost by incident(although the port is actually good, the difficulty was TAILORED FOR THE PC) on the console? Thats like me making a Halo 2 review on the PC version!
Oh and Logan Westbrook, I am not just a "rabid" fanboy in support of the game. I admit its not perfect,and not liking it is fine (some of my friends don't) but 40/100 is stupid when we remember that games like SMG2 get perfect scores or Final fantasy gets 80/100. Your job as a critic is to give fair scores, even when you do not like the game and to quote the game "try to get a better understanding of things before you make your judgement".
Otherwise all is well, and you are actually otherwise pretty cool.
I don't care how flagrant this act of necromancy is, but this quote must be appreciated.
OT, as if it matters any more: The reviewer seemed to go into this expecting a vastly different experience, and never adjusted this outlook. His complaints would be valid if this were a COD kind of game, but it's trying hard not to be.
I know this is necromancy, and I hope it hasnīt been brought up yet, but the complaint about the enemies taking unusual amounts of punishment? Yeah, adjust the difficulty higher...
What is this, you ask? Higher? Are you mad?
No, I am not. The difficulty rises by having you find less stuff, less MGRs, less Filters (and you will LONG for filters if you really explore the surface), less ammo overall, but counters this with enemies taking less amounts of punishment, including you and allies.
So the game is harder, but in some aspect, itīs also easier...itīs...fairer, I guess.
I recently started anew in Hardcore mode, and, whilst constantly being low on ammo (Awesome!), having to stealth where possible (even stealthed by my first surface run, barely had to fight any mutants, and it is a very delicate feeling when a mutant brushes past you mere INCHES, but ignores you because you havenīt been murdering itīs family and friends...) to conserve as much ammo as possible, I have yet to encounter a serrious problem in firefights...enemies go down explicably easier, carefully aiming at vital areas (like, the head), and giving off short bursts is actually rather efficient, and I have yet to find a room full of enemies that I cannot clear with 1 or 2 Mags of my AK...
Also, the bastardgun is inaccurate as hell, if you tried it out on the range in fullauto, most of the shots donīt even hit the target 5 feet away from you, unless you use bursts (YES, unlike Call of Duty, which just tells you to use bursts because it sounds all military, this game actually MEANS IT!), and so is every other gun to a point, but it is also laughably weak.
If you escorted Bourbon through the Tunnels, turn around, you will find his AK. It is one of THE strongest assaultrifles, damage per round wise, the strongest one being the silenced VSS type rifle, and is also much more accurate then the Bastard.
And no, it doesnīt feel like you can run and gun, at all. You shouldnīt...in this game, taking cover, or using stealth are vital in a firefight with humans, although exept for librarians and that one level which I mentioned earlier where I somehow managed to sneak by multiple mutants, unnoticed, even when one ran into me and wanted to eat me, and I had to introduce itīs neck to my knife, mutants can mostly be defeated by offence. But you can also be smart about your offence, too.
The stealth is awesome...I donīt know what feels broken about it, itīs great. Itīs suspenseful, usefull (saving ammo), and athmospheric, as well as self explainatory, and if you fuck up even once, your cover is blown and they are out for your ass.
The guns....the developers really showed great care about the guns. They not only look the part, they also have nice visuals about their mechanics, like the Auto-shotgun Uboyneg, which you have to load a special kind of way to make use of all 6 cylinders it offers, or the Revolver having a little hole for you to see when itīs empty, or most magazines being halfcut, so you can actually see the rounds remaining...this game doesnīt need a HUD for the most part...
You donīt have enough time to invest in the stations? Why not? What is the hurry?
Just because someone tells you to "gear up and get going." doesnīt mean you have to.
Noone is gonna bite your ear off if you take your time, listen to storys, look at the people, knock on doors, give beggars some bullets etc etc... I took alot of time just exploring the stations and levels for every nook and cranny, and get to hear some of the greatest, most athmospheric storys told by people about events I wasnīt there to witness, but through the accounts of these people, felt like I had been. And it felt like a bigger world outside. Like there is something else.
The Nazis? Sure, donīt laugh, there are more Nazis in current russia then there where in germany back in 1940, but there are also communists.
Why are they there? Well, because it is based on a BOOK and there are also various factions in the Metro, so why exclude them, just because they sound silly on paper?
Yeah, letīs add Tunnel Nazis....nooo that would be too strange.
Well, I do admit the game has flaws, but they are most likely not found in the story telling, athmosphere or gameplay department.
One thing I liked the most about the game was the little extra animations they added. You did feel like a human, and not some weird camera on wheels that could hold a gun.
For example, in the Library, Artyom searches through various cabinets, looks at the content and throws them away, puts them back, whatever, and keeps searching. After a while, he kind of snaps and just yanks out these things like crazy, until he notices one marked "D6", the base you are searching info for. So he finds it, and hauls ass to the exit, whereupon a librarian almost kills him, but you are saved in the last second by your comrades. All a cutscene, all first person, and all unplayable, but still feels very much ingame.
Same goes for the HUD...you can look at your watch freely, which has a build in light meter and a timer for when your filters will run out and need to be swapped, which also happens visually. Depending on what gun you are holding, he will look differenty at his watch, using a method most convenient for the kind of weapon he is currently holding.
Putting on the mask, as well as the NVGs, which are really cool btw, is also done in first person.
Itīs not like how in other games, you press a button and now the feature is activated, but you really see, hear or feel like you breathe heavily through a used up filter of a gas mask...
Well yeah, I like the game despite itīs flaws, one of the best singleplayer experiences Iīve ever had.
I know this is quite late, but if you didn't find any opportunities for stealth rather than combat, I'm wondering whether you played the game right. Also, the easy difficulty which I assume you were playing on gives the enemies more health as well as you, whereas the harder difficulties give both the player and the enemies less health. I know the storyline wasn't great but if you've ever played S.T.A.L.K.E.R. then Metro 2033 feels extremely familiar in setting and gameplay, although admittedly they had the Bethesda problem of copy pasting voice actors.