On The Tube: Metro 2033

After several years in development hell, it looks as if the Ukrainian shooter Metro 2033 will finally surface in “early 2010”. THQ have put out another trailer, showing a little more about the world, and the challenges that the lead character, Artum, will face. It’s worth mentioning that despite the post-apocalyptic theme and Ukrainian heritage this is not “another Stalker”, as it’s a traditional scripted shooter. Nevertheless it’s looking good, as you’ll see below.


  1. iainl says:

    Any reason the logo calls it METPO 2033? Or am I being hideously racist (or at least culturally insensitive) about misunderstanding cyrillic again?

    • Muzman says:

      In a word, yes (although ‘hideously’ and ‘racist’ might be a little harsh)

    • iainl says:

      Ah, thanks – I should have remembered that, shouldn’t I? After all, Мир was the name of the famous Russian space station.

  2. bhlaab says:

    looks nice

  3. l1ddl3monkey says:

    Looks really good but has GFWL which means it probably will only work half the time.

    • Don says:

      Is GFWL that much of a pain in the ass? I avoided GTA4 and Batman Arkham Asylum when they came out for various reasons, of which GFWL and Rockstar Social Club (for the former) were factors as they sounded like crap I could do without. But when they both came out on Steam at very low prices I decided to give them a go. In both cases, since I care less about multiplayer, achievements and suchlike, I used an offline account for GFWL – it’s not necessary for updates or DLC since they’ll be available via Steam. And as for the Rockstar Social Club I found that I could skip setting up an a/c and still play the game.

    • HexagonalBolts says:

      GFWL was a pain in the ass but not totally awful/unusable. It more annoys me because it fell to Microsoft to do something awesome that could have been a tremendous boost to PC gaming, and instead they made a cockjob of a dodgy-expensive-client-thing

    • Azhrarn says:

      @Don: Games for Windows usually isn’t a pain in the ass, the marketplace client it installs could have been better, but personally I find it unobtrusive providing it was integrated properly.

      In most games you’ll only see a brief flash of the GfWL interface as it logs in to your profile, after logging in it only shows itself if you ask it too (or for the occasional achievement pop-up, and those are not big).

      If you have set the GfWL thingy to remember your login info it’ll do it automatically for pretty much every game that supports it. The only time you really need to interact with the client is when it is used for matchmaking, and tbh my knowledge of that aspect is essentially zero. So that could be a pain in the rear, but I wouldn’t know. I somehow doubt it, as the rest feels fairly smooth, but it could have been much more if MS wanted to.

    • l1ddl3monkey says:

      It seems to be very much a case of “horses for courses” with GFWL. I’ve bought 4 GFWL games on my PC and all four have had problems with GFWL. So from my perspective it’s had a 100% failure rate, which isn’t good.

      It works sometimes and the problems it creates aren’t always show stoppers but that isn’t the point. The point is I don’t want to spend money on games that “might” work properly some of the time and from my point of view if it has GFWL on it then so far it’s been a guarantee of problems.

  4. The Announcer says:

    Red Spy is in the base!

  5. Heliocentric says:

    Aw, scripted? I had high hopes, maybe this hints at why the stalker devs (my credibility be dammed i can’t remember their name) and thq parted ways.

    The videos implied open world, the world does not need more roller coasters. If the world stops when you do and hasn’t changed when you go back i can’t get my jollies any more, i play games for jollies damn it!

    • Miles of the Machination says:

      It seems as if it has become more and more linear as the development has progressed, however that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Think of all the great cinematic moments previewed in this video that might not be there if they decided to make another STALKER. Sure, a fresh take on STALKER would be interesting (I still have not played CoP), but for a completely original IP, I think it’s going to be grand, regardless of its linearity.

    • Alexander Norris says:

      Look at it this way: it might end up being like Call of Duty 2, only set in an interesting setting rather than WWII yet again.

      Linear shooters aren’t necessarily bad.

    • kvertiber says:

      Well, the subway setting is not really suitable for open-world games. It is kind of hard to go anywhere you like if you are in a tunnel.

    • yhancik says:

      “Well, the subway setting is not really suitable for open-world games. It is kind of hard to go anywhere you like if you are in a tunnel.”

      I’ll have to disagree with that. After all, isn’t the point of a metro network to get you in different points of a city, as much as possible “anywhere” ? ;)

      And if it depends of what you call “open-world”. I think it can be ambiguous, because it can evoke “large open spaces”.
      To me, the most important part of a game like Stalker (or what it tried to achieve) wasn’t necessarily the size of the areas, but the possibility to “make your own game” within the game-world.

      And in this regard, I think it’s totally possible to make Stalkerish game where the “world” is limited to a metro network, a street, or even just a building.

  6. Miles of the Machination says:

    Well I must say that it’s looking pretty damn awesome. Also, my obsession with seeing the character use their hands is also greatly satisfied.

    • Jad says:

      I too love it when I can see my character’s hands, and those hands do more than just hold and reload a gun. Bioshock and Cryostasis, and to an even greater degree, Far Cry 2 and Mirror’s Edge all gained big points for me by acknowledging that the character I’m controlling actually has a, you know, body.

      I’m intrigued by this title. I hope that despite being mostly set in tunnels they are able to have at least some variation in setting and level design. Also, while I have absolutely no problem with a linear game, I hope that there are at least some open spaces. Not entirely cramped, claustrophobic corridors (more Half-Life 2, less Bioshock). We shall see.

    • Zerotime says:

      Jad: Oh, come on. Like Trespasser’s depiction of the main character as a floating pair of breasts with an arm attached wasn’t extremely realistic.

  7. sigma83 says:

    I think it looks great!

  8. Popular Energy Drink says:

    I’m hoping it’s another great game in the likes of Cryostasis. Sure it was very linear, but the game overall was very nicely designed, and the story was pretty good to boot. Like Half-Life (it had scripted sequences as well, and we all love it still, right? Right?) as well.

    I’ve been trying to get a hold of the original novel, to read before playing it but unfortunately it hasn’t be released yet in English :(.

    • Miles of the Machination says:

      Yeah, I tried to do the same, but apparently the translated version comes out some time in march. In Australia anyway.

    • Wisq says:

      @PED: Indeed. My only complaint about Cryostasis was the (lack of) optimisation; I had a relatively modern gaming rig at the time, and yet it was still a right chore to make it through the slideshow that was late-game combat. It got bad enough that I had to godmode for a good portion of the game. Which is always something of an emotional relief in survival horror games, but also removes a lot of the impact.

      I think the linear style is the best fit when you’ve got a good story and want to make a game around it. There’s also nothing wrong with having a good game and wanting to make a story around it, but each approach suits its focus, and in my experience, it’s rare to see a studio manage both at once — that is, make a sandbox game with a very strong central story. So if Metro wants to pick a story focus and go with it, you’ll hear no complaints from me.

      (Incidentally: Rather annoying that the embedded video eventually takes you to IGN’s site whether you ask it to or not. I’m trying to read RPS, dammit!)

  9. skalpadda says:

    That’s one hell of a good trailer.

  10. Will says:

    I know nothing of it but what I read on io9, but apparently this is based upon a russian sci fi novel. Maybe you can check it out if you’re really interested? Think its in English at this point, somewhere. (note: its called Metro 2033 still!)

    • kvertiber says:

      Looks like the book has even been published in English. Look up “Metro 2033” on Amazon if interested. IMO the book does not have much to get excited about, though. It’s not bad, but not a sci-fi masterpiece either. But it does feel like a good setting and a good plot for a videogame.

  11. The Announcer says:

    One of the reasons this looks so much like Stalker is that the lead artist & original project manager for Shadow of Chernobyl is working on it (along with one or two other of GSC’s original staff if I recall correctly).

    Aside from the setting and visual presentation I don’t think this will really have anything in common with Stalker though, it’s going to be a pretty standard ‘linear fps’, although from watching an earlier gameplay video it looks like there may be some ‘hub’ locations where you can buy weapons/equipment.

    If it’s really well done I’ll definately be interested in it, but I don’t really have time for most linear FPS’s as I generally reach the point of boredom by about half-way through.

  12. SirKicksalot says:

    Artyom’s voice is odd :/

    Great trailer.

  13. Kryopsis says:

    The collaboration between the developers and THQ is interesting. Metro 2033 is based on a Russian novel by the same name, a part of an ongoing series by Dmitry Glukhovsky. The writer of the novels is implicated in the development and participated in a series of interviews that shed light on the development cycle of the game. Basically the story was adapted by American scriptwriters on THQ’s side. The voice actors are supposedly all actual Russian immigrants to the States, “actual Russian accents, not James Bond badly-accented English”, to quote Dmitry. STALKER, on the other hand, had James Bond badly-accented English.

    • Muzman says:

      It’s funny you say that, as I was going to point out that a couple of the voices appear to be voice actors from Stalker.

    • Kelduum Revaan says:

      Yep, sounds like at least one of the Stalker guys there…

      And there’s an interview in this months Edge where Glukhovsky say he actually wanted the actors to speak with perfect American accents “the only different thing being the names” to show that “on the other side, everyone is human as well”, but instead the publisher insisted on the “James Bond badly-accented English”, and he had a hard time convincing people on his blog that they were portraying the Russians are morons.

  14. Mad Doc MacRae says:

    Say a prayer to your Marx or whoever

    I liked the trailer but I’m probably too much of a wimp to play in scary subway tunnels.

  15. Vinraith says:

    “it’s a traditional scripted shooter.”

    Yeah, you mentioned that in the EWS and it’s a real downer (to me, anyway). Ah well, I need to give SoC another try anyway.

  16. Soylent Robot says:

    behold as i put my date of birth at 12/6/1435 and prove these date asking things to be completely pointless!

    • Thants says:

      Fun Fact: No one has ever put their actually birthday into an age gate.

    • Muzman says:

      Not true! I really was born on D-Day (in spirit at least. The rest came somewhat later)
      I am, also, a teapot.

  17. Sarlix says:

    Is this a PC only title?

  18. Sarlix says:

    Wait, what, teapot!?!?