Metro: Last Light Has All The Graphics, None Of The Hope

By Nathan Grayson on December 12th, 2012 at 4:00 pm.

But everyone, look on the bright side. Now the sky's turned to cotton candy!

God probably died. That’s the most prominent point put forth by a new Metro: Last Light trailer’s wearily somber narrator, and it pretty much sets the tone for the whole game. Society’s in shambles, monsters and radiation seep from every crevice, and everything above ground has turned gray for some reason. Except things that were gray before. They’re now double-gray. Pretty dismal, huh? And by the looks of things, Metro will leave your PC’s insides looking like the bleeding ruins of a bombed-out Russia too. By which I mean it’s completely gorgeous. Just in an awfully depressing type of way.

I still fondly stroke my copy of Metro 2033 and tell it that it’s a beautiful, beautiful triple-A snowflake amongst a permafrost of uninspired rehashes, so it’s only natural that I’m worried about each and every aspect of Last Light. But then I see trailers like this and my heart flutters like a giant radiation pterodactyl happily munching on a small family.

I mean, the atmosphere’s foreboding without being overbearing, the narration manages to be shockingly un-cheesy, and the non-shooty bits look suitably detail-rich in their depictions of down-and-out squalor. Assuming 4A’s managed to de-clunkify the shooting and iron out a few other kinks, Last Light could well realize the promise Metro 2033 brought to the table. And that, for the uninitiated, is quite a lot of promise indeed.

Actually, you know what? Just play Metro 2033 right now. It’s completely free on Facebook if you just go and “like” THQ’s Metro page. Yes, yes, I’m fully open to the idea of a discussion about how icky it is to ask people to “like” something they’ve presumably never played, but I also have a policy of only speaking to people who’ve played Metro 2033. So it seems we’re at an impasse.

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47 Comments »

  1. rei says:

    I just finished the first game last night! For the third time, two of which have taken place in the past week. I just wanted to play through it again using weapons that I’ve previously passed on. Best BB gun in gaming.

    Very excited over Last Last.

    • InternetBatman says:

      That was one thing I loved about Metro, almost all the weapons are viable choices that play very differently. I think the AK and then VSV are the easiest to use, but the Volt Driver and Helsing really shine in difficult situations.

  2. povu says:

    Tough combat, stealth and traps don’t mix well with checkpoint saving, especially when the checkpoint saving isn’t all that well done at times. Here’s hoping we’ll have access to quicksaves this time.

    • AJ_Wings says:

      No quicksaves. Stuck with checkpoints again.

      I love everything they’ve showed so far but that’s probably the most disappointing thing about it.

      • Grey Ganado says:

        I actually like it that way, saves me from save scumming.

        • Ginga121 says:

          I have to agree here. If I had quick saves part of the challenge would be gone. I wouldn’t be so worried about death as I could skip back to just before I died.

          With Checkpoints, if I die I lose a lot more progress. It can be annoying but Metro is one of the few games where I like the checkpoint system

          • Syra says:

            Yeah it’s one of the few times when you felt like you had something to lose and that added to the tension. Except for that one bit near the end with the fucking slime balls that NEVER STOP SPAWNING WHILE YOU’RE ON A GLORIFIED ESCORT MISSION arrrgghhh.

          • MichaelPalin says:

            For me manual saves is not a way to make things easier and less relevant, it’s a way of not having to repeat the same part of a game a million times. Every bit of immersion that the sense of being severely penalized when failing that checkpoints may give goes to waste when I have to repeat the same part of a game more than, say, three times.

    • Stevostin says:

      Quicksaves kill the thing. I am all in for good checkpoint. That being said there are no excuses for stupid checkpoints and we still see way too much of them. Death Penalty for wrong checkpoint (like before an unskippable non playing, no skill involved event, godamit, what are those devs thinking ?) should fix th issue.

      But Quicksaves, seriously, no. Should be punished by 30 years in jail for every immersive gameplay. I can’t not use it because quicksave = bad checkpoint (why to do it well ? no need) at least in my mind and just, well, apprehension reflex, conditionning, whatever.

      That being said, there was ONE good quicksave system in the past, that preserved the tension without forcing you to loose some progress or suffer stupid checkpoints : no more than 3 quicksave for each mission (Soldier of Fortune 2, if I remember well). Worked perfectly, don’t know why no one keeped that ?

      • MichaelPalin says:

        Why exactly is impressive to repeat the same bit of a game a dozen times because you are not given the option to decide how often you want to save? Why can’t games, especially when they are linear games, just give both options?

        • Dervish says:

          When was the last time you saw that game that offered quicksaves but also said, “Just FYI, this game was carefully designed around its checkpoints and you should avoid quicksaving if you want a well-balanced challenge?”

          • Nucas says:

            mirror’s edge actually had such a good checkpoint system, i never bothered with a manual save at all. never found myself losing more than a few steps. either they had hundreds of checkpoints around the levels or they knew just where to put them near difficult challenges.

            god i wish they’d make another.

    • discordance says:

      quicksaves are utter garbage that only exist because developers give up on making a competent checkpoint system. Checkpoints aren’t perfect but if you get them right (through extra testing time devoted to testing save points) they at least meet the functional requirements of saving and not being incredibly distracting.

      Keep your awful quicksaves out of a game that would be poorer for it.

  3. Kestrel says:

    All I have to do is register a Facebook account and hit the ubiquitous “like” button?

    The price is far too high.

    • ArcaneSaint says:

      Use a fake account?

      I know for a fact that you can use the [at]chammy.info mailinator address to register for a Facebook account. So make up a fake name (though names as “Thisisafakename” get refused by the registration system) and like the page. Though I’m not sure how it works, does it send an email to the address you registered your Facebook-account with, or do you first have to link your Steam to your Facebook? I got the game with the THQ bundle already, so I didn’t bother with the Facebook action.

      • Kestrel says:

        Good advice, thanks.

      • pbnjoe says:

        Yep, you can make the fake account with the mailinator account just fine, then you like the page, click Reveal the key, allow the app to see your fake details, then go back to the page and your key will be revealed.

        Now, instead of downloading the application, just open Steam, go to Games, then Activate a Product on Steam.

        Wham, bam, boom, you’ve got Metro 2033 without any snoopiness on you.

    • The Random One says:

      Well, I had an unused key from Gamersgate when I got a second copy from the THQ bundle. So I could give you for free… as soon as you +1 my FACEBOOK SUCKS hangout and retweet my tweeretweets

    • MichaelPalin says:

      If you are going to create a fake mail account to create a fake FB account just go to piratebay. Some times I’m surprised to see how much effort people put into avoiding piracy when their contribution to the publishers/developers of the game is practically the same in both cases.

      • darkChozo says:

        It’s not that weird; ultimately, you’re still compensating the game company in exchange for a game, just with a service instead of money. It’d be a bit like going to a doctor’s office just to take their free candy; sure, it doesn’t cost the doctor much, but it could still be seen as a bit dickish. (feel free to insert your own equivalent metaphor, dunno if you Brits do the whole sugar-in-exchange-for-taking-care-of-your-body thing)

  4. phelix says:

    The sky may have turned to cotton candy, but it’s irradiated cotton candy and it will kill you.

  5. InternetBatman says:

    I only played Metro this year and I absolutely love it. Virtually everything about the game was so polished and well thought. There are few weapon upgrades, because most choices are even if you change playstyle to match the gun. The little touches, particularly in the interface, were what really made this game shine to me. It’s things like how your mask gets fogged up the longer the filter was in and cracked when you took damage, the way it showed your supply of knives by having them in the players hand rather than a hud element, and how an overcharged pneumatic weapon makes a sound that enemies can hear.

  6. McDan says:

    Metro 2033, one of the best games in the last 5/6 years. Played though it so many times now and have big hopes for Last Light, here’s hoping for another great one!

  7. Text_Fish says:

    I really want to enjoy 2033 and for the most part I succeed, though it really fucking annoys me in any fps when the enemies can be “inside” you. Are the programmers too lazy to do proper collision, or do they actually think it’s fun to spend ages turning around in search of the thing that’s hurting you only to find out you couldn’t see it because it was sharing the exact same physical space as you? Pff.

  8. D3xter says:

    I still haven’t played the first game, since it is like the only game for now I’m interested in that runs unacceptably slow on my aging 460, dropping to somewhere between ~20-30FPS on Highest/High settings and I can’t really enjoy it that way. Other games like Crysis, Battlefield 3, Max Payne 3 etc. all still running fine.

    I had some problems with Batman: Arkham City on the highest settings, but I heard it’s mostly a Port problem since apparently even GTX 580 cards with DX11 disabled seem to run into trouble: http://www.geforce.com/optimize/optimal-game-settings/Batman-Arkham-City-GeForce-GTX-580-OPS

    Plan is to wait it out and see what the “Next Gen” consoles have as GPUs and possibly get one from the following GeForce generation.

    • wengart says:

      The game still looks stunning on medium you know.

    • Fierce says:

      Whoa whoa whoa. Hold on a minute there.

      First off, it pains me that you can’t seem to play Arkham City with acceptable framerates as it is the quintessential Batman game of our time and everyone should experience it at its best.

      Secondly, and this is the good news, that setup is grossly marred by the needs of Marketing and PR to spout all things 32x CSAA as opposed to using a sliver of common PC gamer sense.

      Your 460 is long in the tooth and if you have $200 you can throw away, you should probably get a holiday sale GTX 660 and then resuming waiting for the Next Big Thing. However, I wouldn’t be at all surprised if your 460 played AC in the 50+ fps range once you turned off Tesselation, Motion Blur (why do people even use this, real life isn’t Hollywood), Distortion and maybe Dynamic Shadows. If there’s a “Normal” setting for PhysX, that couldn’t hurt either.

      Just don’t use 32x CSAA in your expectations of performance. That’s bonkers. Use 2x MSAA or something. Dunno how big your monitor is, but you probably won’t notice any jaggies with all the Glide Swooping you’ll be doing.

      • Synesthesia says:

        Yeah, jaggies arent that big of a deal when the illumination and all of the other decisions actual art directors make. It can work.

        And on the other side, real life does have motion blur! It is not a hollywood invention.
        Our brain just blacks it out, as if it never happenned. It’s quite interesting! I think if i don’t remember incorrectly, you are sort of blind, for 40 minutes a day, adding and averaging your daily eye movements.

  9. Ironclad says:

    Wait, what did they do to the stars of the Kremlin?!

    You used to go insane just by looking at them. Man, apocalypses just aren’t what they used to be.

  10. Arglebargle says:

    Brilliant ambience, wonderful underground world. Terrible QTEish crap, awful checkpoint saving, amazing visuals that you don’t get the time to look at.

    Wish I’d gotten it for free so that I could delete it without having spent the pittance it cost me.

    However, for free, Metro’s definitely worth picking up to see if your tastes differ.

  11. Shooop says:

    THQ cannot be allowed to go under before they finish releasing this. It’s too beautiful.

  12. caddyB says:

    I hope this sells trillions.

  13. strangeloup says:

    I played 2033 on the 360 and… it’s a good game, but I can’t say I particularly *enjoyed* it, because it’s so bloody miserable. Especially if you turn on Russian voices and turn off subtitles. Except if you speak Russian I guess, and probably even then.

    Picked it up on the PC for cheap since then, but haven’t got around to giving it another go. I didn’t get especially far on the 360 — does it perk up at any point or does it remain resolutely a depression simulator with guns?

    • Ruffian says:

      There’s more action in the later bits, bigger monsters and such. It’s definitely something to play on the PC, though, for the graphics if nothing else.

    • Stevostin says:

      “it’s so bloody miserable. Especially if you turn on Russian voices and turn off subtitles. Except if you speak Russian I guess, and probably even then.”

      What do you mean ? I love russian speaking in games (but why remove subtitles ? you have to be crazy !)

  14. Ruffian says:

    Can’t wait for this, 2033 remains at the top of my favorite shooters list. Probably my all-time favorite single-player campaign. Anyone remember which ending was supposed to be cannon? I forget, just curious.

    • rei says:

      It has to be the “enlightened” ending, surely, although I never finished the book (not because I wasn’t enjoying it, but because my copy was in Swedish which I’m not particularly fluent in).

      • thepaleking says:

        Definitely no. I have read the novel, and I can tell you the enlightened ending is not cannon.

      • welverin says:

        It’s not the enlightened ending, and keep in mind this is an original story since the 2034 was deemed to not work for a game. Though the author did help come up with the story.

        p.s. I’m really looking forward to this one and it’s been sitting at the top of my Steam wishlist for months.

  15. ShatteredAwe says:

    Seriously, Metro 2033 is one of my favourite games. I remember being scared of it for an entire month, but as I played it I began to understand it. And then… that ending.

    Can’t wait for Metro Last Light.

  16. Stevostin says:

    I hate corridor shooters. I really do. Metro 2033 was probaly the best a corridor shooter can do and it was very irritating because it would have been such an incredible game with a non corridor structure – not even saying “stalker like” but just you know, picking what corrido you’d take, allowing to go backwards, offer sidequest, harvesting, etc. Instead it was an inspired, beautiful thing but hardly bearable to complete.

    That one will be the same… still, it’s so inspired and beautiful I may give it a try. But at small prices. Publisher really have to get the picture that corridor shooter era is done. It’s Far Cry 3 era now for single player. We just can’t bare another roller coaster. This has becomed old a long time ago.

  17. bear912 says:

    For some reason the puddles in this game look absolutely fantastic, as do the droplets of water on the masks. I have hopes that this will be the greatest puddle stomping simulator ever created.

    Last Light is one of the few upcoming games that I will probably preorder.

  18. dmoe says:

    That looks fucking amazing.

  19. Vander says:

    I just hope they will give the weapons a little more punch. The rest was good, but when firing i had the impression of firing a airsoft gun…

  20. Carr0t says:

    Loved Metro 2033. Sadly it didn’t run too well on my old machine, with an AMD graphics card in it. But at least it ran… I got a shiny new box recently with a GTX 670 and one of the first things I broke out was Metro 2033, to see how shiny I could make it look and maybe finish the campaign.

    Crash to desktop every time I try to load my savegame. *weep*.

  21. sonson says:

    Great game, with very rewarding mechanics. Seems unfair at first but seeing your ability scale with the difficulty is very rewarding. The whole “Humans are the biggest monsters of all” chapter was utterly pointless and incredibly contrived but the rest of it was horrible depressing magic.

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