Nothing feels like “coming home” like 13 minutes in the blasted ruins of Moscow in the year 2034.

THQ is teetering on the brink of oblivion. It’s desperate, and desperation has a way of encouraging people to get “hands on” with things they have no business touching. That’s why some gamers who really enjoyed Metro 2033 are just a wee bit worried about what it’s in store in the sequel, Metro: Last Light. THQ needs Last Light to be a hit in the worst way possible. Will it trust its future, possibly its very existence, with the team at 4A Games?

Based on this 13-minute gameplay video, the answer is yes. “Welcome to Moscow” debuted at E3 and has now been unleashed on the world, and veterans of Metro 2033 should feel right at home as they watch Artyom and his new friend Pavel make their way to Theater Station. Pavel’s constant talk feels forced – Artyom should rank among the best of the Rangers at this point – but newcomers will need some kind of introduction to the world and this is probably as good a way as any of going about it.

The important thing is that it looks and “feels” like Metro. Despite the greening of the blast zone, demons still prowl the skies, hiding from danger remains the best choice in most situations and the Bastard Gun is still the weapon of last resort. It looks tough, ugly and unpleasant – exactly what a Metro shooter should be. I don’t know if it’ll be enough to save THQ, but I’m sure looking forward to finding out.

Metro: Last Light is currently scheduled to come out in early 2013 for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Wii U and PC.

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