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Metro: Last Light

Metro: Last Light

Metro: Last Light

Metro: Last Light is a single-player first-person shooter video game with survival horror and stealth elements, developed by Ukrainian studio 4A Games and published by Deep Silver for Microsoft Windows, OS X, Linux, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. It was released in May 2013.

The game is set in a post-apocalyptic Moscow, part of 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 did work with developer 4A Games, 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.

Metro: Last Light Plot

Metro: Last Light takes place one year after the events of Metro 2033, following the canonical ending in which Artyom chose to proceed with the missile strike against the Dark Ones. The Rangers have since occupied the D6 military facility, a huge pre-war bunker with miles of tunnels that have yet to be fully explored, with Artyom himself now an official Ranger. Despite their best efforts, word of D6 has spread around the Metro, with rumors that the bunker may contain enough supplies to sustain the Metro indefinitely. Tensions run high as the rival factions prepare for war in the hopes of seizing the bunker and its contents for themselves.

Khan, a wandering mystic, arrives at D6 to inform Artyom and the Rangers that a single Dark One survived the missile strike. Khan believes that this Dark One is the key to humanity's future, and wants to make peace with it; Colonel Miller, the Ranger's leader, wants to eliminate it as a potential threat. Miller sends Artyom to the surface with the mission to kill the Dark One, accompanied by Anna, Miller's sarcastic daughter and the Rangers' best sniper.

Artyom succeeds in finding the Dark One, who turns out to be just a child, but is quickly captured by soldiers of the Fourth Reich and separated from the little Dark One. Pavel Morozov, a good-natured Red Line soldier, helps Artyom escape, and the two befriend each other after fighting through the Metro tunnels and across the devastated surface. When they reach a Red Line settlement, however, Pavel is revealed to be a high-ranking officer of the Red Line, who proceeds to detain Artyom to learn more about the Rangers and the Dark One.

Artyom manages to escape, though, and races Pavel's forces to locate the Dark One and Anna, who has been kidnapped. En route, he stumbles across a contingent of Red Line forces massacring the inhabitants of a station, supposedly to contain a mysterious epidemic. In fact, as Artyom quickly learns, it was the Red Line who introduced the virus to the station, weaponized ebola acquired from the D6 vault by a Red Line double agent, in order to test its efficacy. Artyom finds Anna and frees her, and the two amorously copulate.

With Khan's assistance, Artyom finally manages to locate the young Dark One, and in a series of hallucinatory flashbacks, recalls not only that he was saved by a Dark One as a child but, as the first human they met, he was psychically adopted by the Dark Ones, intended to form a bridge between their species and his. Artyom thereafter vows to protect the little Dark One, and the two travel to Polis, the Metro's central station, where a peace settlement between Hansa, the Red Line and the Reich, is taking place. There, the little Dark One uses his telepathic abilities to make the Red Line leader, Chairman Moskvin, publicly confess that the peace conference is simply a diversion to enable General Korbut to seize D6 and its bioweapon stores, who would then use them to purge the Metro of all the inhabitants not aligned with the Red Line. Artyom and the rest of the Rangers rush to the bunker to make a final stand against Korbut's army, and very nearly defeat them, but are ultimately incapacitated by an armored train ramming into their station. A heavily injured Artyom awakes to the group surrounded by Red Line soldiers, who are preparing to execute them.

There are then two possible endings, based on how many moral points the player has acquired. In the standard ending, Artyom activates D6's self-destruct mechanism 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. Later, Anna is shown telling their child of Artyom's bravery. In the good ending, Artyom prepares to activate the device, but is stopped by the little Dark One, who along with several other surviving Dark Ones proceeds to defeat Korbut's army. Artyom then calls the little Dark One humanity's "last light." In both endings, following the events of the game, the young Dark One leaves with the surviving Dark Ones, promising either Anna or Artyom that they will come back to help rebuild the world.

Reception
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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