Metro 2033 Review

Old school Stalker developers return to bring you the apocalyptic shooter, Metro 2033. You are stuck in the underground metro system pitted in a conflict against mutant creatures known as the dark ones. Put your gas masks on, avoid those anomalies, and let’s see how the game holds up.

Good

Atmosphere: The whole station and your surroundings are visually impressive. You really feel like you are in an underground metro system and you are forced to live like a rat. In addition, towns come to life with the population and chatter going on around you. You really get a sense of the human element you are trying to protect throughout the game.

Graphics: The game supports DX11 and other stunning effects. It is definitely one of the best looking games on the market.

Story: The story was interesting despite it being a rehash of what one would expect from a game based off of the apocalypse. However, some scenes are a bit too scripted. In one part of the game, one of my military comrades died. So, I reloaded to try and save him, but he kept dying at the same point. The developers don’t really give you that many options. You do get a choice at the end, which I won’t spoil, but it was a bit cliché.

Bad

Linear: Compared to Stalker, Metro 2033 is a linear experience. You don’t get any side missions or the ability to free roam. This is a bad thing for Stalker veterans, but it isn’t a bad thing for everyone. It does help keep the pace of the story, but players will feel a bit limited at times. Station areas filled with people could have been a great hub for traveling back and forth from to complete side missions. In a sense they do feel a bit wasted as you never get a chance to revisit these populated areas. It takes away from the connection you may feel with some of the individuals. I simply felt that a little more freedom could have been implemented.

AI: The AI has two very harsh extremes and it is extremely buggy. In some cases they are very stupid and you can easily overcome your opponents, but in other cases the AI can be a nightmare. For instance, you can get away with sneaking pass enemies even when you are practically right in front of their faces. However, once they have spotted you, every single person immediately knows where you are located.

This immediate awareness is similar to the first Farcry, where the AI could see through objects. In one area of the game I recall someone yelling “I am going to to get you” half way around the map. It wasn’t till much later, through some tunnels, that I finally found this guy. It was very odd that he was already alerted to my presence across such a great distance through various twists and turns.

Familiar faces: It almost seems like everyone you meet has the same face. It would have been nice if they tried to vary this a bit more.

Currency: The game can be pretty frustrating with just the AI, but combine this with the fact that your own ammo is actually your currency, and it spells disaster. This sounds like a great challenge to some individuals, and it seems like a more realistic approach, but in all honesty juggling my own ammo was not fun. If you run out of ammo you are left with a knife that handles like a tooth pick in some cases. This was a flawed choice and doesn’t add to the game. It just makes the game even more frustrating.

Buggy: The game is buggy, which most Stalker fans can cope with. When I first tried to launch the game I had to get some specific PhysX version to start the game. Oddly enough, my brother didn’t have to do any of that, and it just launched for him. I was also chatting with lancerevo18s on steam and he suddenly reported to me that his game crashed every time he tried to load his latest checkpoint.

Conclusion

In Metro 2033 the positive aspects almost over power the negative aspects. The game just looks great and it really pulls you into the whole story. You believe you are trapped underground and you must struggle to bring human kind back to the surface. Now, if you are a Stalker fan expecting some sort of open world area with plenty of side quests you will be disappointed. However, I am not saying that if you are a Stalker fan you won’t enjoy the game. You just need to have an open mind while playing the game. If you can get past most of the frustrating and gimped elements of Metro 2033 it will be a mostly positive experience for you.

Metro 2033 Review by FacTor-X

Special thanks to Pixel Smashers member lancerevo18s for providing me with the screens for this review (I had a problem taking screens with this game for some reason).