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Metro: Last Light

Metro: Last Light

Metro: Last Light

Metro: Last Light is a single-player first-person shooter and horror video game developed by Ukrainian studio 4A Games and published by Deep Silver for Microsoft Windows, Linux, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. It was released in May 2013. The game is set in a post-apocalyptic world and features a mixture of action-oriented and stealth gameplay.

The game exists in the universe of the novel Metro 2033 and its sequels, written by Russian author, Dmitry Glukhovsky, but does not follow any direct storylines from the books. Previously announced as Metro 2034, the game is a sequel to the video game Metro 2033, and although Glukhovsky has apparently been working with the developers, it bears no relation to the book Metro 2034. Rumours on his website point to the upcoming book, Metro 2035, to be a novelisation of Metro: Last Light. Initially, the game was to be published under THQ and expected to be released in the middle of 2012; it was announced on February 2, 2012, that the game would be delayed until the first quarter of 2013, and on March 1, 2013 the game was delayed again until May. Following THQ's closure in January 2013, the intellectual property was acquired by video game publisher Deep Silver. A PlayStation 4 version of the game has been announced. Although no release date was given, the developer has stated it will most likely not be a launch title for the platform.

Metro: Last Light Plot

Metro:Last Light takes place one year after the events of Metro 2033, proceeding from the canonical ending from the novel, ending where Artyom chose to call down the missile strike on the Dark Ones. A hidden 'Karma' system based on the players actions during the game, such as shooting surrendering enemies, killing non-hostile mutants (negative karma), listening to NPC conversations or donating to beggars in stations (positive karma), is present throughout the game, but its results are not revealed until the last level. Since the end of 2033, the Rangers have since occupied the D6 military facility, a huge pre-war bunker with miles of tunnels the Rangers have not yet fully explored. Thanks to his work in destroying the Dark Ones, Artyom has become an official Ranger. Despite the Rangers' best efforts, word of D6 has spread around the Metro that the facility has been found and it contains supplies that could sustain the Metro forever. Rumours point to rival factions pushing for war to take the supplies for themselves. Khan, the nomad mystic, arrives at D6 to inform Artyom and the Rangers that a single Dark One survived the missile strike. Khan believes the Dark One is the key to humanity's future, and wants to make peace with it, whereas the Ranger's leader, Colonel Miller, wants to kill the creature, ending the threat of the Dark Ones forever. Miller sends Artyom to the surface with a mission to kill the Dark One; he is accompanied by Anna, Miller's sarcastic daughter and the Rangers' best sniper.

Artyom succeeds in finding the Dark One, who turns out to be a mere child, but the two of them are captured by soldiers from the Nazi Reich. A good-natured Communist Red Line soldier, Pavel Morozov, helps Artyom escape the Reich, and the two befriend each other after spending considerable time fighting across the Metro tunnels and the wasted surface together. The little Dark One has left the Reich already. However, when Pavel and Artyom reach a Red Line settlement, Pavel is revealed to be a high-ranking officer of the Red Line and captures Artyom. While escaping captivity, Artyom learns of a plan by the Red Line's head of military intelligence, General Korbut, to capture D6 and take control of the entire Metro. Korbut is assisted by Pavel as well as Lesnitsky, a traitorous Ranger who escaped to the Red Line with samples of a bioweapon stolen from D6.

Artyom manages to rescue the little Dark One, with Khan's assistance, from the Red Line. After a series of flashbacks where Artyom learns the Dark Ones saved his own life when he was a child, Artyom decides to protect the little Dark One. While escorting the little Dark One back to Polis, Artyom reaches a station infected with a mysterious plague. Red Line troops are cleansing the settlement in an attempt to slow the plague. Artyom finds Lesnitsky, who is holding Anna captive, and saves her. The two amorously copulate.

Afterwards, Artyom is confronted first by Lesnitsky and later, Pavel. The Dark One uses his powers to read their minds, allowing Artyom to learn of General Korbut's plan to capture D6 and its supplies, and use a bioweapon from the facility to exterminate all human life in the Metro not aligned with the Red Line, making them the sole occupiers of the Metro. The plagued station was a test of the bioweapon's destructive power. After each confrontation, Artyom is given the choice of forgiving his enemy, or taking revenge on them and ending their life. Killing them gives negative karma, and saving them, positive.

The two arrive at Polis, the Metro's central station, where a peace settlement between Hansa, the Red Line and the Reich, is taking place. The little Dark One uses his telepathic abilities to make the Red Line leader, Chairman Moskvin, publicly confessing his crimes, including the fact that the peace conference is simply a diversion for General Korbut to attack D6. Miller finally reveals that D6 never contained any food, medicine or weapons that could help sustain the Metro indefinitely, only bioweapons from before the apocalypse. The Rangers kept on exploring the facility, hoping they would find the supplies, but they found only death; the war has been for nothing. Artyom, Miller, Khan, and the Rangers make a final stand against Korbut's army, and after they are nearly defeated, send in orders to activate the destruction of D6. As the orders are sent in, General Korbut commandeers the train armed with the self-destruct device and rams it into their station, incapacitating all of the defenders. A heavily injured Artyom awakes to the group surrounded by Korbut and his men, who are preparing to execute them.

There are two endings to the game following this, being decided on the player's karma. In the bad ending, Artyom will activate D6's self-destruct device to prevent Korbut from using the facility to wipe out the remnants of humanity, resulting in the deaths of both the Ranger and Red Line armies. Anna survives, who is shown an unspecified time later telling the child of both Anna and Artyom, about his father's adventures. In the good ending, Artyom prepares to activate the device, but is stopped by the little Dark One, who arrives along with several other surviving Dark Ones who had been hibernating inside a secret chamber in D6; the Dark Ones defeat Korbut's army, making it unnecessary for Artyom to sacrifice himself and D6. Artyom credits the little Dark One with being humanity's "last light" of hope for his efforts. In both endings, after the events of the game, the Dark One child leaves with the surviving Dark Ones, promising either Anna or Artyom that they would come back to help the world rebuild. It is unknown which ending will be made canon by Glukhovsky in Metro 2035.

Metro: Last Light received positive reviews, with most complimenting the game's graphics and story, but also criticizing the game's induction of linear sequences. The game was nominated for best shooter for Spike's 2013 VGX game awards. Game Informer's Jeff Marchiafava gave the game a rating of 8.75/10, stating that human AI has been greatly improved. He also explained that the game "features tighter controls and improved sound design for its arsenal, which now puts the gunplay on par with most triple-A shooters". However, Marchiafava felt that the monster battles were not as interesting. He also criticized the voice acting and character animation. Despite this, the upgraded stealth mechanics and colorful atmosphere were the strongest parts of the game. He explained that "Metro: Last Light fixes most of its predecessor's flaws while also improving upon its strengths".

IGN's Colin Moriarty stated in his review that "Metro: Last Light is a bold post-apocalyptic first-person shooter adventure uniquely told from the Russian point of view. Last Light's setting and presentation are its strong points, though the last third of its campaign is weaker than everything that came before it. If you want a fun first-person shooter that doesn't rise to the greatness of single player-centric adventures like BioShock but is still fun in its own right, then Last Light may just be for you. He scored it 7.2/10 for consoles while he later gave the PC version a 7.7/10 for its superior graphics. GameSpot's Kevin VanOrd awarded it with more positive score with a 9.0/10 calling it "an astonishing and moving postapocalyptic journey".

Polish gaming website Gry-Online gave the game a high rating of 9/10. "Metro: Last Light certainly isn't just another AAA shooter aimed at a typical gamer. The game's strength lies in that its viscera are filled to the brim with mature, brutal and ruthless content". The story, and its gameplay mechanics, stealth elements, atmosphere, presentation, environments and audiovisual elements were praised by reviewer Krystian Smoszna as Last Light's best qualities, whilst minor technical issues (including uneven enemy AI) were highlighted as the game's main flaw.

The game's implementation of Ranger Mode, as a pre-order bonus or paid downloadable content (DLC) caused some negative reactions in the gaming community. The advertisements for the Limited Edition of the game even stated that Ranger Mode was "how Metro: Last Light is meant to be played" proving that the content was already created for the game but was being held back as DLC. On the Steam forums, a community manager from Deep Silver defended the implementation of Ranger Mode as DLC. The manager claimed that Ranger Mode became pre-order DLC at the insistence of the game's previous publisher, THQ. He further claimed that after THQ's bankruptcy, and by the time of Deep Silver's acquisition of 4A Games, game development had ceased and there was not adequate time to integrate Ranger Mode into the main game.

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