Metro: Last Light Preview
You may have missed Metro 2033, but it was a solid first-person action experience that had a really promising foundation and a slick, enticing atmosphere. You can expect developer 4A Games to build on that foundation and give us an even more impressive and engrossing adventure when Metro: Last Light hits. It was originally a THQ property but since the publisher just bit the dust, the Metro franchise (along with Saints Row) was picked up by publisher Deep Silver. Let’s just hope this transition doesn’t delay the game past the estimated March 31 date.
One thing that might surprise you— Metro: Last Light will feature a stealth mechanic, which was also a major element in Metro 2033. You’ll have to stick to the shadows, devise a plan of attack, and view the situation from afar. To stay enshrouded in darkness, you can remove light bulbs or shoot them – shades of Splinter Cell! – and a device on your wrist will glow when you’re too illuminated. This doesn’t comprise the entirety of the gameplay, however; you can opt to sneak or decide to take on your enemies with guns-a-blazin’. The latter may not be advisable, though…if you’re outmanned and outgunned, it might be best to remain silent.
Thankfully, you’ve got both lethal and non-lethal takedowns at your disposal, and the variety of long-range weaponry should keep you relatively safe, provided you’re strategic. Bodies can be moved after falling, which is always a huge plus, and you will be rewarded for your patience and timing. The AI is supposed to be pretty challenging, as they will respond to both movement and sound. If you’re spotted and your foes enter the dreaded Alert state, they’re going to continue to hunt for you until you get past them or take ‘em out. Personally, I find that somewhat annoying; not having a cool-down and reset phase sucks for stealth. But it is more realistic.
In order to add to the immersion, the HUD will be minimal. You won’t constantly be looking at gauges and meters and other numbers; if you want such stats, you’ll have to check your equipment periodically. The cool part is that the HUD can be completely eliminated, although that might prove to be a little disconcerting, especially at first. Players will also be able to purchase upgrades for their equipment, and you might even stumble across some super rare weapons. Just bear in mind that you won’t always have access to all the best ammo, which means stealth and careful planning is essential to survival and ultimately, success.
The only downside for some players will be the lack of multiplayer. The developer originally planed to implement an online multiplayer component, but it seems they weren’t too gung-ho about the idea. Instead, they opted to focus exclusively on the single-player experience, and I don’t mind that in the slightest. Besides, they say multiplayer could actually be added via DLC at a later date. Overall, I’m diggin’ the idea of a first-person action game with a lot of stealth, and the media we’ve seen thus far has been quite intriguing. This ain’t Call of Duty, so don’t make that mistake!
1/26/2013 Ben Dutka