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No Rage Against The Dying Of Metro 2's Multiplayer Light

Snow joke

This is scandalous! When I buy a shooter, I expect – nay, demand – for it to include a multiplayer mode that makes a mockery of the carefully-created fiction, is defined by the hollow pursuit of unlocks and is so rapidly abandoned by its players that it’s near-impossible to find a match about a fortnight after release. So hearing that Metro 2033 sequel Last Light has dropped its multiplayer really grinds my gears.

(It doesn’t. It seems like a very smart thing for a singleplayer-focused shooter to do).

Explains the THQ-published, Russian-made shooter’s site, “Throughout the development of Metro: Last light a small, dedicated team had been working on a number of multiplayer prototypes. After E3, we decided to fold this multiplayer team back into the main group and focus 100% of the studio’s resources on the single player campaign. As a result, Metro: Last Light will not ship with a multiplayer component.”

I can think of so many shooters that could well have been hugely improved if resources and humanpower hadn’t been spent on a keeping up with the Joneses multiplayer mode that was never going to steal many people away from yer CODs and Battlefields. BioShock 2 is perhaps the most notorious recent example of this, but even stuff like Fall of Cybertron or Syndicate could have made more fulsome singleplayer modes had box-ticking onlione shootybangbang been goggling up their budget.

(The same could be true of the inverse, mind – a multiplayer-only Transformers game with enormously customisable bots, for instance). So I’m glad to see Metro going this way. Even if the first game, 2033, got on my wick with its QTE bits and weird gun handling, it was a mightily impressive slice of atmosphere and strangeness that I hope isn’t too diluted by any aims to make Last Light more ‘accessible.’

The site also claims that they hadn’t gone too far down the multiplayer path before pulling the plug on that mode. “Fortunately, we never dedicated too many resources to the MP component beyond prototyping – it never entered full production. By making the decision when we did, we think the single player campaign will benefit as a result.” Hopefully we can take all this at face value, and not a sign of financially-troubled publisher THQ having to simply slice budgets aggressively.

The game’s still due for release early next year, apparently. Here’s the E3 footage to remind you how it looks, sounds and feels (so cold, oh so cold).

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Alec Meer

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Co-founder of RPS. Dungeon Keeper & X-COM 4 Life.

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