Perhaps I Need To Give Metro 2033 Another Look

Best Video Games Of The Year lists are good for fomenting argument. But maybe they can also give an overlooked game another chance for attention. Here's one man sticking up for Metro 2033, and sticking up for it... interestingly.

Amid the Red Dead Redemption talk and Call of Duty conversation over at Slate.com's Gaming Club (I used to be a member, sob), here is writer Tom Bissell giving love to a game I ignored all year:

What I love about Metro 2033 is that it takes the power fantasy tropes of the first-person shooter and effectively Russianizes them. In Western shooters, typically, you progress through the game, unlocking deadlier and more accurate weapons and cooler and ever-more-neato technology. Metro 2033 says, To hell with all that. Your sniper rifle is pneumatic. You actually have to pump the thing up manually before firing it. Your bullets suck. Really good bullets are the gameworld's only currency; they're literally what you use to buy stuff. This means that, when you switch to the good bullets to fight, you're losing money. Ammunition's expensive in real life, of course, and this was the first shooter I've seen that tries to explore that fact. Also, you've got a miner's light on your helmet for use in the gameworld's underground Metros (where most of the action takes place), but the battery sucks, and it's constantly running out of juice, and, yet again, you have to manually pump a hand-held generator to brighten up the light again. This is a shooter imagined by the heirs of a resource-scarce culture, and as such it's a culturally revelatory experience. Metro blew me away.

I notice he's not saying the game is fun. Let us nevertheless all at least think about playing this game again, or, perhaps, for the first time.

The Gaming Club [Slate.com]


Comments

    You never played metro? one of my games of the year that i will look back on next year thinking hmm metro had a nice ...
    when you play through it take your time in the small 'cities' (stations) and listen to the chatter it is really well done i think the gameplay wasnt the best but it was everything else that made it for me.
    Also a non sandbox game? something different for once :)

      People, Metro offers everthing Nvidia has to offer! The game is definitely not a sandbox toy, either. I play this in 3d surround 5760x1080p. That is the only way to play the game. 3 screens add the 180 degrees of vision of the real world. Name the other game that offers everything Metro does to a player. Try doing the game without killing anyone if you want a real challenge. You may have to figure it out. I haven't gotten around the killing the mutants yet. My nickname is metro at some places I work. I havent found a game that offers everything at different levels. the best platform to play any game is a PC in 3d surround. I wouldn't think you can see out of the tunnel vision without the extra vision. Use the 3d surround sound too it is the thing that applies extra sense of reality with a vibrating controller. Makes me jump and engages 3 senses of 5.

    I had to change my mind about Metro, I tried it first on 360 and didn't rate it at all.

    Then I had the chance to play it on a nice Dx11 PC I built for my Dad. (all that power just for Civ5) The game was actually better, not just the vastly improved graphics either.

    You're right though, it's not something I'd say I had fun playing but I was drawn back to the world to finish it anyway.

    For those interested in giving it a look steam has it on sale for $7.49 (75% off)

    http://store.steampowered.com/app/43110/

    I thoroughly enjoyed Metro (on PC).

    It took a little bit to get into it but once I did I liked the dirty feel to it.

    It felt more like a survival horror game than shooter which i believe was the intention. Don't get me wrong it WAS a shooter but the subtle dirty things they did with environment, gameplay etc made it feel different to anything else ive played. It definately worth a look if your tired of the same monotonous boring shooters.

    Easily best graphics of the year on PC.

    YEah graphics were great, my 5870 handled it well on high. Gameplay was a bit clunky at times. I really enjoyed it, but its not something id go out my way to play again.

    Yeah I fell in love with Metro. Played it at near-maximum settings on my 4870 and as such the framerate would occasionally drop down around the 15-20 mark but it didn't stop the gameplay.

    What's more the environment which was created mixed some amazing audio with the great visual effects for a few truly creepy encounters. I had a few moments where I needed to drop the difficulty down but I'm glad I stuck with the challenge.

    Loved it.

    I bought Metro after I was induced by an article about the game's gritty system but I put it down after several stations because I didn't feel I was on the cusp on anything in the story.

    First scene into the gameplay and I was duking with some radiated fleet of monsters, whereas I had expected more anticipation for the horror themes. The fact that "I" was the narrator, telling myself how I felt along the way was inbreeding the emotes. So nowhere before the ragequit did I feel like there was something valuable waiting for me. I didn't mind that resources were scarce, etc, that was fine, there just doesn't seem to be a good enough/memorable reason to go through all the horror.

    As a side comment, it felt a lot like what Half-Life 2 would be if it used Fallout 3's art department. I might pick it up and force myself to finish it, like Fallout 3.

    Metro 2033 is FANTASTIC, its nasty, gungy, hard, scary, oddly sad and feels like a perfect counterpoint to the 'it looks broken & dodgy but its not really' feel of Fallout (Fallout is still awesome and all but this feels vastly more realistic). It's definitely rough around the edges and has a few bugs here and there but they're never too bad

    Many's the time you're stuck underground with a light thats so weak you'd swear it was running on brand new eveready batteries, trying to quietly creep over a thin beam to avoid a pit full of nosalises who'd happily rip you a new one (or even a new five), dangerously low on ammo and only having the crap stuff and seeing everything through a heavily cracked gas mask that's down to its last filter meaning you have to be fast, careful and quiet all at the same time.

    If you thought stalker was good but needed more work, this is your game

    If you thought COD's streams of enemies were too easy, this is your game

    If you thought resident evil 5 was a crap example of survival horror, this is your game

    I could go on but trust me, this is your game.

      Also sometimes the game does weird things. I'm still not sure if this was a bug or just a rare AI event but there are these huge ape style creatures that are pretty much death on legs if you meet them without a loaded shotgun, one time I came around a corner in a building face to face with one and I only had my pistol. He was close enough to stab and by the time I switched to my shotgun I was expecting to be dead but he hadn't attacked.

      I just sat there looking at him, he stood there looking at me looking sort of curious (doing a dog like head tilt), I started backing away and he roared so I stopped and he stopped, I circled him slowly and he tracked me but never attacked and after a minute he just turned and wandered off.

      Its sure not part of that creature types standard AI responses because the next one I met made balloon animals out of my intestines.

      Weirdest encounter I've ever had in a game, it happened months ago and I still remember it vividly. If it was a bug it was the most perfectly thematic one I've ever seen, it just injected the scene with pure weird which worked remarkably well.

        *SPOILERS*

        AAAAAARRRRGH!! *rage*

        That's NOT a bug. That is how those enemies (Librarians) are supposed to act. It's even explained to you before you encounter them!

        If you look them in the eye they won't attack...but as soon as you turn your back...
        The fact that they look so huge and scary and violent is supposed to make you assume they are violent and will attack on sight. But actually, you have to keep a level head and have balls of steel to defeat them!

        I can't believe you missed that so entirely.
        And then you tell people it's a shitty bug - that makes me rage.

        */END SPOILERS*

        Anyway, the game is great. Even if you're not playing on High settings the game looks fantastic. The atmosphere is brilliant, and I agree with D in that it seems more like a survival horror game at times.
        It's not a COD or Half Life (love both of these series btw) or whatever and players should not go into the game looking for that sort of experience.

        For me it was a fresh and interesting game - it had a bit of magic or mystery - while I was disenchanted with most everything else.

        It's definitely for people who are looking for something new and different. And a lot of the people who haven't liked the game played it on Xbox...so maybe try it on PC if you have that option.

          I played through it on the Xbox and enjoyed almost every second of it. I ended up restarting one level because the save game had turned the AI on to "omniscient" and it was impossible to progress. There's alternate endings too depending on your play style rather than the usual rubbish "choose this conversation tree" stuff that litters western games. Very tempted to buy the Steam version and turn everything up to 11.

          One thing that does make me rage though is this quote in the article:

          "I notice he’s not saying the game is fun."

          One day you people will get over the need for something to be fun and realise something being compelling is a far greater drawcard.

            I, too, did not realise the whole 'look-into-their-eyes' mechanic and consequently feel PRETTY stupid. I don't know what it is about me and videogame plots/instructions; I just zone out, even when I'm making a conscious effort not to. Great game, though, aside from the fairly mediocre shooting mechanics. I think I'll pick it up again, seeing how cheap it is.

          But I tried to recreate the weird encounter with the next librarian I saw just to test and he ripped me to bits several times over. Maybe THAT was a bug instead.

          Now that you mention it I do remember hearing that you can stare down some adversaries but that was the one and only time it worked so I assumed it was an anomaly (either bug or rare event)

      Agreed. It's cheap now (since it was ignored) so everyone do yourself a favour and soak up an atmosphere that puts Fallout and maybe even Stalker to shame. Bring on Metro 2034 (hopefully, I heard a rumour).

    Its in my "to play" pile. Will be getting into it in a few weeks methinks.

    Spoiler alert: the librarians that you speak of, aliasalpha, respond based on direct eye contact if memory serves correct. They left a huge impression on me too. Honestly one of the most terrifying and memorable game experiences I have had, in that library.

    I bought it for $7.50 during the last Steam Sale, and I haven't had a chance to install it yet....4GB is just a little too much atm. Damn quota's.

    But yeah, I've heard some good things and some not so good things...so I'll see how it goes.

    Metro is brilliant.

    Very under-rated.

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