E3 2011: Looking forward to… Metro 2033: Last Light
Dmitry Glukhovsky’s Metro 2033 was a novel originally posted one chapter at a time on the journalist’s blog. With an instant following, the story focused around Artyom, a man who accidentally becomes the Metro’s saviour. Rising to cult status, it enjoyed a very successful book launch in its home country. To tie in with the release of the video game adaptation, a company finally picked up the rights and translated the work into English. 4A Games created the video game based upon Glukhovsky’s novel, both doing it an honour and a disservice. A lot of the book was missing. In fact, it was mainly only the characters that remained and the claustrophobia of the Metro underground where the survivors lived, kept secure from the nuclear winds blowing above ground.
Graphically stunning, Metro 2033 had a lot of clever ideas but fell short in many areas. Military-grade ammunition was more deadly but, in a clever twist, was the only source of currency. Take too much damage above ground and your gas mask would slowly crack, the poisonous air seeping in and damaging your lungs. Some of the politics from the book survived in the form of the underground factions, but were sadly never explored enough past ‘shoot back if they shoot first’ territory. If 4A Games has been working on refining all these unique ideas and survival horror elements then we could be in for a treat. Combine the original story with the scenes that 4A Games can create, with the sadness and hope it can instil, and there is so much scope for Metro 2033: Last Light to be more than just another run-and-gun-and-now-press-X FPS.
It’ll be interesting to see how much of the original atmosphere and play mechanics remain. For all its faults, the original was, well, original for a FPS today. So it is with a mix of anticipation and concern that I look forward to further information at this year’s E3.