Metro: Last Light Strategic Hands-On (Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC) - Prima Games

Metro: Last Light Strategic Hands-On (Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC)

by Prima Games Staff

I was relieved when I heard that Metro: Last Light, a game that had spent a great deal of time being developed under now-defunct publisher THQ, was picked up by Deep Silver for a release during Summer 2013.  The project has been highly anticipated, especially since the preceding game Metro 2033 set an unprecedented tone for first-person shooting action.  The good news is that Last Light brings that back in spades.

Deep Silver recently invited us to their private suite at PAX East a few weeks back to go hands-on with a near finished build of the game, trying out two different sections.  One has your agent dealing with a team of rogue soldiers in the most stealthy way possible and another that was more survival horror-based, as you work your way through a monster-filled cavern.

Both sections feature a gameplay system where you’ll have to think as you proceed forward.  Your ammunition is sparse, even though you can find bullets scattered in parts of each stage.  The good news is that you can sneak up on enemies and dispatch of them with a quick knife stab, though you should avoid leaving a huge body count.  In some situations you’ll need to watch out for the environment, as toxic gases can easily kill you unless you manage to wear a mask with the proper filters installed.  You’ll also need to wipe steam off your visor in order to avoid fogged-up vision.

The first stage we played through in Last Light took us what appears to be an underground facility, deep beneath a nuclear-ravaged Moscow.  We found our player in a control room peering out on a group of renegade soldiers sweeping the area with their flashlights.  It’s here that we were introduced to the systematic stealth system.  If you don’t enter into lit areas and manage to walk around crouched, you can avoid detection.  These guards will be on full alert, so you’ll also want to avoid making noise unless it’s absolutely necessary.  Gunfire can send these guys into a frenzy, setting off the alarm and filling the room with their back-up squad.

Sometimes it pays to play it quiet, as you can move from area to area without running into trouble.  However, the game does prepare you for an action scenario with various weapons.  Our particular favorite is the shotgun, an old-school style blaster that can easily mow down any soldiers that get close to you.  Its ammunition is even more limited than the pistol, so time your shots carefully.  Don’t forget to move around as well, as enemies tend to run towards the area where they last heard a noise.  If you find an opportunity to scamper away to a higher platform, take it.

Metro’s stealth system works just fine, and its action is quite serviceable and fits in with the tone of the game.

The second demo that Deep Silver walked us through took place in an underground mine shaft, where you had to operate a small car riding on train tracks through a tunnel.  You eventually come to a halt when a gate blocks your path and you’re forced to work your way through catacombs to activate a switch.  It’s here you’ll run into a few monstrous scorpions with hardened shells that almost seem impervious to bullets.  Your best bet here is to either shoot maliciously at their tender skulls or just keep shooting away at any exposed parts. They’ll stop attacking eventually, though you may want to keep a health boost on hand if they do any significant damage.

Once we were able to clear the tunnel, we could get the car up to full speed.  The hallway soon filled up with some dangerous wolf-like monsters charging the car in the hopes of killing our player.  This was probably the most adrenaline-packed part of the game where we had to keep firing our shotgun at these things, not so easy considering they’re coming from all directions.  It’s moments like these that really make Metro: Last Light stand out from other first person shooters on the market.

Kudos to 4A Games for retaining a similar dark design style as the original.  You really feel the ambiance creeping up on you as you make your way around darkened halls, tuning in to noises as a clue of what could possibly lie ahead.  And to think, we’ve only seen two stages of the whole game thus far.  Imagine what the rest holds.

We’ll find out when Metro: Last Light comes to PC, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 on May 14th.

About The Author

Prima Games Staff

The staff at Prima Games.

More Stories by Prima Games Staff