Based on the book by Dmitry Glukhovsky, Metro 2033 sees you wandering round the wastelands and underground system of Moscow as you fight for survival against some rather nasty mutants. You may immediately draw comparisons with STALKER but this isn’t an open-world affair and very much a scripted FPS more comparable to Half-Life 2.
There are moments when you’re wandering the tunnels alone or with a helping hand, and also parts where you explore the Metro stations and get to buy new weaponry and listen in on some of the NPCs going about their daily business. The atmosphere and sound effects are great but unfortunately the game is let down somewhat by some odd game design choices.
For a start the weapons just don’t feel meaty enough when you fire them and when you make contact with an enemy it doesn’t really feel like you’re connecting. Humans also take a lot of damage before they eventually fall over. It’s okay in games such as Gears of War when you’re fighting big locust men but people should die immediately if you shoot them in the face in a game that’s trying to be realistically immersive.
The game’s also a bit buggy and appears to be unfinished in places. Textures above ground leave a lot to be desired, some animations between poses are just missing when you watch your fellow combatants and I once threw a knife and it got stuck in mid-air. I know there are paranormal goings-on in the game but I’m sure this wasn’t meant to be one of them.
You’re not always shooting though. Sometimes it’s best to blow out lanterns and stick to the shadows as you creep about the caverns to progress further or just save your friends.
Although there are better FPS’s out there, you may just like to get this one for the atmosphere. The heavy breathing through your gas mask when you’re above ground actually makes you feel short of breath and the underground sections are suitably claustrophobic too. However, if you’re looking for true scares in a first-person shooter I’d still recommend the FEAR games. The guns connect better and it certainly makes you jump.
Metro 2033 gets 6 out of 10.
Get Metro 2033 now
New: Buy Metro 2033 from Amazon.com