E3 2012 Impressions: Metro: Last Light (Microsoft Xbox 360/Sony PlayStation 3/PC)

I will admit that I’ve never played Metro 2033. It’s not that I don’t think it looks good, just that it got lost in the shuffle during the onslaught of releases that had taken place around that time. After viewing the demonstration for Metro: Last Light, however, that is about to change.

The demo opens with two Russian soldiers that are scavenging a desolate city landscape for supplies. In fact, getting a view of the remnants of the city reminded me much of Fallout 3. But that’s where the similarities end. Metro: Last Light begins to come into its own when freaky creatures start jumping out at you and the experience starts to look a bit more like Dead Space. At one point a spider… thing jumps on top of the player’s face like something out of Aliens, forcing you to reach up and squish it with your bare hands, spattering blood all over your gas mask. Blood, rain, and debris has to be constantly wiped away from your gas mask, not to mention having to collect filters in order to progress. The latter seems like it could be an annoyance, but hopefully it will add to the immersion rather than detract from the gameplay.

Another scene depicting the player exploring a dark room with nothing but a flashlight mounted on his gun showcases a much larger creature leaping on top of him for the kill to be dispatched by a shotgun blast to the face. It’s moments like these that keep you on the edge of your seat, and one of the main reasons I was captivated during the demonstration – and I don’t even like survival horror games.

One scenario that I found to be particularly stand out was while exploring a crashed plane. As you move through the wreckage towards the front cabin, you get to see a brief flashback of what actually happened to it in its final moments. While you are viewing the scene from behind the pilot’s seat, you don’t really get to see their faces, but you do get glimpses out the window, not to mention their body language to what is occurring in front of them. The level of horror that the developers were able to create as the passengers on the plane not only witnesses the destruction in front of them, but see the ground hurdling towards them while the plane loses power. It’s incredible stuff.

Metro: Last Light will be releasing in 2013 for Xbox 360, PS3, and PC, which should give me plenty of time to get caught up on the original.



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