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Metro 2033 - Xbox 360

  • Publisher: THQ
  • Genre:Action, Shooter
  • Developer: 4A Games
  • Release Date:Mar 16, 2010
  • # of Players:1 player
  • ESRB:M - Mature (Blood,Sexual Themes,Strong Language,Use of Drugs,Violence)
  • Platforms:
Game Description: In post-apocalyptic Moscow, the city's expansive metro system serves as humanity's last refuge from the toxic and deadly wastelands the world's surface has become. In this gritty and atmospheric first-person shooter, players will be tasked with venturing into the dangerous and terrifying underground world in the hopes of protecting humanity from annihilation.
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    3.9 / 5
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Metro 2033 Hands-On Preview
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Article_69872

Metro 2033 Hands-On Preview

By Matt Cabral - Posted Feb 04, 2010

Metro 2033

I recently got the opportunity to murder packs of ravenous mutants in the hollows of Moscow's metro system. Well, more accurately, I engaged in said subway monster-slaying during a demo for THQ's and 4A Game's upcoming story-driven, first-person shooter Metro 2033. Sure, plenty of run-and-gun romps toss out the “story-driven” descriptor in their marketing , but Metro 2033 damn well means it. The game is based on a popular Russian novel of the same name, which will soon see an English translation. Not only does the game stick to the events of its page-turning source material, author Dmitry Glukhovsky even holds a position on the design team.

Taking place in -- you guessed it -- the year 2033, gamers are put behind the gun-clutching hands of Artyom, a young man who lives underground in the metro system. Moscow has been leveled by a nuclear blast and the few survivors have made a new life for themselves in the city's vast network of subterranean tunnels. Like Artyom, many of the subway dwellers have lived their entire lives below the surface, safely sheltered from the nuclear winter above. While the subway supports a thriving community, complete with small businesses, villages, and some assemblage of government, all is not well. In addition to murderers and bandits who've splintered from the makeshift society are monstrous creatures, mutated by the nuclear fallout. Unfortunately for the humans, they are always looking to the metro for fresh meat. An even greater threat comes from the Dark Ones, evolved and irradiated humans, though their motives aren't as clear as their terrifying ability to literally steer the survivors into madness.

While my demo opened with a brief above-ground firefight that saw me unloading clips into rampaging hordes of wolf-like attackers, I was soon kicked back to a preceding time period in the metro system where Artyom's story begins proper. It's immediately clear the developers are serious about crafting a compelling narrative, complemented by immersive atmosphere and characters worth caring about. As Artyom makes his way through his village, we see children -- who know no other life -- laughing and playing, vendors peddling their goods, and chatty folks gathered around fires. The brimming-with-life community feels like the real deal, giving players a sense of what they'll soon be fighting for.

Metro 2033

Things go from friendly to frightening fast, though, as Artyom enters the medical ward; here, among the wounded who've likely lost their limbs to mutants, soldiers robbed of their minds by the Dark Ones ramble aimlessly while staring into space. These scary sights and sounds certainly stirred my nerves, but did little to prepare me for what would come next. In a nearby room, I'm taunted by the haunting sounds of sharp-clawed intruders. Violent scratching can be heard, and an NPC suggests  that “they” can smell the blood from the medical ward. Soon enough, I see snarling, four-legged creatures -- like the ones I briefly defended against in the prologue -- pushing against metal grates along the ceiling. The panic among the other villagers in the room is almost palpable as they brace themselves for the inevitable. Armed with an old pistol, I begin firing frantically as mutants spill into the dark, claustrophobic space from all corners. My NPC allies and I fend off the beasts up-close because they're quick and clearly have an appetite for our faces during the frenzied battle.

I'm able to turn the creatures into bloody, pulpy piles, but not before witnessing a few of my friends' throats being torn out. Although brief, this fight served as an excellent example of Metro 2033's ability to spike your adrenaline with a perfect storm of atmospheric auditory and visual cues; from the character's panicked expressions to the sound of claws scraping metal, this encounter shot more than a few chills up my spine.

Metro 2033

The title's FPS controls, while not bringing anything new to the genre, did offer a comfortable familiarity that also helped me remain in the nerve-racking moment. A4 is aiming to add some innovation to the lock-and-load formula, though, with a promising ammunition-fueled economy. You see, bullets serve as the game's currency, and their value depends on their quality; pre-apocalypse ammo from the surface is worth more than the shoddy stuff manufactured underground. The kicker is that the good stuff also does more damage, so in theory you'll be faced with the decision of shooting your “money” for ultimate survival, or spending it on upgrades and other items. My time with the game really didn't afford an opportunity to see how well this was implemented. However, if done right it certainly holds some game-changing potential.

The player's dependency on gas masks on the surface and in hazardous underground areas also poses some serious promise. Enemies can break masks, which is displayed with some sweet real-time cracking effects. Air will deplete, making oxygen as valuable as ammunition. I actually found both of these commodities in too-short supply, but hopefully some further tuning and balancing will alleviate the frustration of being sent back to the last checkpoint because of an empty clip or starved lungs. 

Metro 2033 appears to be treading a similar path to story-over-shootout entries like BioShock. While many of it elements, like the mind-melting Dark Ones -- seen only briefly as shadowy figures in a quick cutscene -- offered only a terrifying tease, I look forward to heading back underground. If this title’s gameplay mechanics can ultimately match its storytelling and atmosphere, Metro 2033 could prove a compelling alternative to all those mindless trigger-pullers cluttering game store shelves. Look for it on the Xbox 360 and PC March 16, 2010.

Comments are Closed

  • EZezzy

    It Looks Like Fallout 3 But in Russia.

    Posted: April 6, 2010 5:04 PM
    EZezzy
  • IssacGolden

    I think this Tunnel is very pertty & delievers an amazing bright vibrant light...For a dark long tunnel hole amogeger

    Posted: April 1, 2010 5:46 PM
    IssacGolden
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  • deadclownin

    how about a freaking review already i mean comeon final fantasy 13 had a review 2 days b4 it was out god of war 3 had a review almost a week b4 it was released but almost a week after release i cant get a review for this game WTF

    Posted: March 19, 2010 9:33 AM
  • algstx

    As far as ammo being currency, It sounds like if you find ammo that you can collect and it is for a weapon you do not use then that would be what you would hold on to and use to trade with someone? Or possibly you must even use ammo from the weapon you use itself. Even so, I can remember plenty of times when I have collected ammo on games for weapons that I do not like. So this makes good use of this otherwise pointless piece of the game.

    Posted: February 6, 2010 3:00 PM
    algstx
  • AngelsandDemons

    GOTY!!!!!!!!!!!!...don't you hate when someone says that after seeing a trailer

    Posted: February 6, 2010 12:10 PM
    AngelsandDemons
  • Mancer1516

    In soviet russia vault opens you!

    Posted: February 6, 2010 12:03 PM
    Mancer1516
  • Selkro

    Was this game just announced? Because this is the first time I've heard anything about it and it looks like it's gonna be awesome!

    Posted: February 6, 2010 11:24 AM
    Selkro
  • stricking spider

    it seems like this game is a fan of mcdonalds!

    Posted: February 5, 2010 1:10 PM
    stricking+spider
  • MrTruth901

    @ offwhitazn....hey guess what ,it is only on the 360 and last time i checked GOW 3 was on PS3.So the date doesn't really matter.But back to the game... it looks good but i will wait til further review to see if i will buy or not to buy.

    Posted: February 4, 2010 7:48 PM
    MrTruth901
  • Sarge494

    I think its a bit like Fallout 3, but fast paced and a bit of a different economic style. With Fallout and bottlecaps brings Metro with "AMMU-MONEY". I not saying it has the potential of being a Fallout esque game, I just saying it seems to have that kind of vibe to it. I DO like what this game has to hold and cant wait to hear more about it. But come on, Leaving the UNDERGROUND VAULT and Leaving the UNDERGROUND METRO TO VENTURE TO THE SURFACE FOR THE FIRST TIME?! Seems a little bit tied in with each others story line a bit dont ya think?

    Posted: February 4, 2010 7:44 PM
    Sarge494
  • offwhiteazn

    good luck to this game, coming out on the same day as god of war. that developer's got balls.

    Posted: February 4, 2010 3:35 PM
    offwhiteazn
  • DukeOfNYaNumba1

    Can't wait to actually see some gameplay footage, I feel like everything about this game is shrouded in teasers. I have high hopes though.

    Also, I've been wanting to read the books, last time they were supposed to be released was last month and they got delayed to this month, now they're delayed until March. I was actually hoping to read one of them before the game came out but I guess not.

    Posted: February 4, 2010 2:12 PM
    DukeOfNYaNumba1
  • nightsnipe

    i don't know what to think about this game

    Posted: February 4, 2010 2:03 PM
    nightsnipe
  • Quanstan

    Dang, i wish this was coming out on the PS3. Bummer.

    Posted: February 4, 2010 1:49 PM
    Quanstan
  • Quanstan

    Dang, i wish this was coming out on the PS3. Bummer.

    Posted: February 4, 2010 1:48 PM
    Quanstan
  • Bomblord

    If ammo is currency how do I buy ammo?

    Posted: February 4, 2010 1:28 PM
    Bomblord
  • EchoEpsilon

    Sounds good so far. Let's hope it stays that way or gets better.

    Posted: February 4, 2010 1:14 PM
    EchoEpsilon
  • logdog200x

    I definately like the "ammunition is currency" aspect of the game. Facing the decisions of upgrade or stock-up on ammo, coupled with the chilling Moscow subway setting should add an extra variable to the Fallout3+Bioshock equation. This looks to be a pleasant suprise this year. Hopefully it hits during a game drought.

    Posted: February 4, 2010 12:49 PM
    logdog200x
  • Bryan108

    I like guided experiences I think they are fun.

    Posted: February 4, 2010 12:48 PM
    Bryan108
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