Metro 2033 Review
Xbox 360 | PC
Metro 2033 box art
System: X360, PC Review Rating Legend
Dev: 4A Games 1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid 4.0 - 4.4 = Great
Pub: THQ 2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
Release: March 16, 2010 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 5.0 = The Best
Players: 1 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair
ESRB Rating: Mature 3.5 - 3.9 = Good

It's when gameplay deviates from straightforward killing sprees that Metro 2033 is both at its most interesting and its most frustrating. Booby traps are periodically scattered about and make for a great change of pace from the regular run and gun moments. I had never been so happy to be skewered by a log full of spikes in my life, or to be blown up by a trip wire rigged to a grenade. The fact that each device can be disarmed if you follow it to its trigger makes the traps feel fair.

Metro 2033 screenshot

One of the best incorporations of atmosphere into gameplay comes with the gas mask and filter system when exploring above the surface. The gases will kill Artyom quickly if he's not adequately protected. Masks use filters that must be replaced with a spare or be rendered useless. Your watch shows the remaining time left on the current filter before it needs changing. Meanwhile, as the filter gets to the end of its life, Artyom will breath heavier and louder and the mask will start to fog up. Even worse, get into a fight and you'll see cracks start developing on your mask… a reminder how close potential death by the elements is at any moment.

On the other side of the coin, stealth is not as well done. Among Artyom's several pieces of equipment he carries is a device that shows how hidden he is at any given time. When the light is green (the trap is clean) Artyom is cloaked in shadows and safe from being detected, while a red light means he's as bright as a Christmas tree. In a handful of game moments you are charged with stealthily dispatching enemies or sneaking by them. The problem is there seems to be an all or nothing quality to how this works. As soon as a guard is alerted that something isn't right, every guard in the building seems to know and be aware of your exact location. I found myself reloading several times trying to avoid detection, assuming I was doing something wrong to get spotted, before realizing my enemies apparently were psychically linked to each other with an amazing ability to triangulate my position. Metal Gear Solid this isn't.

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As seems to be required for every post-nuclear holocaust scenario, the music of choice tends to be instrumental classics or jazz on vinyl. Perhaps because it is engrained into our consciousness we accept it but one would think some 80s glam rock would manage to survive. That small complaint aside, the music is actually quite solid. I just wanted to hear some Poison. Although you may expect Russians to speak Russian, they in fact speak Russian-accented English, which is probably for the best. It all helps in setting the mood and keeping you from forgetting that this adventure is taking place in a rarely explored part of the world, at least when it comes to video games. I did find myself desperately wanting to hear a John Malkovich as Teddy KGB in "Rounders" quote, however. These sorts of situations just don't present themselves all too often. One would hope this will be rectified in any future sequel.

It is worth noting that there is no multiplayer option whatsoever. Metro 2033 isn't built like your typical run and gun, so the lack of typical FPS game modes is easily forgivable. It's just something to remember going in, however.

Metro 2033 is a solid addition to both the post-apocalyptic and survival horror genres, although it does more to further the latter than the former. When creating a bleak world with people devastated as badly as those in Moscow, capturing the correct environment is paramount; something done with aplomb. While the gameplay won't revolutionize anything, it's generally solid if at times a little buggy and frustrating, but there's nothing that should put up a red flag. If you're in the market for an adventure with a more somber tone packed with atmosphere, look no further.

By Caleb Newby
CCC Freelance Writer

RATING OUT OF 5
RATING DESCRIPTION
4.1
Graphics
Environments are wonderfully done. Character models are less impressive, although certainly adequate.
4.0
Control
Typical first-person shooter affair.
3.7
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
Music is mostly noticeable when in a town with a record player spinning. Voice acting is great and spruced up with Russian accents.
4.0
Play Value
Despite some game mechanic hiccups, Metro 2033 is a game worth trying. The inclusion of an alternate ending only adds to the appeal.
4.0
Overall Rating - Great
Not an average. See Rating legend above for a final score breakdown.

Game Features:

  • Gripping, atmospheric first-person shooter experience powered by cutting edge technology.
  • Witness the everyday horrors of a broken society living in constant fear.
  • Brave the darkness of the tunnels, where mutants hunt their prey and ghostly spirits lurk.
  • Explore the desolate city-surface, trusting your gas mask and rifle to protect you from a poisoned world and the creatures that roam there.


  • Screenshots / Images
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