Metro 2033 was a very mixed game. On one hand, it had astoundingly terrifying atmosphere and interesting characters. On the other hand, it was broken, with terribly frustrating stealth and combat. Its sequel, Metro Last Light, fixes all of that, and is one of the better games I have played this year.
(Caution: I am about to spoil 2033, so if you have not played it yet, stop reading if you do not wish to be spoiled)
Last Light picks up a year after the events of 2033. You play as Artyom, the protagonist from 2033, who is now an elite ranger. He sets out to find the last of an alien species that was supposedly all wiped out at the end of 2033. Along the way he meets several quite interesting characters and becomes involved in an intricate and even intriguing political conspiracy that threatens all of Metro.
Last Light is an audiovisual feast for the ears and eyes. From the sharp character animations to the wonderfully detailed environments, the game is visually stunning. On the audio side, the voice acting has noticeably improved over 2033, the soundtrack is surprisingly immersive, and the best news is that the dreading atmosphere that 2033 was known for has survived here with the some of the most tense and downright scary environments I have ever had to go through abounding.
The big draw for me though is that combat and stealth are no longer broken. The game does seem to lean more on the combat heavy side, but at least stealth is fun now, not frustratingly mandatory to the point that if you are caught you may as well reload the game since your enemies have telepathic vision and aim as was the case with 2033. Level design has also improved to accommodate these improvements allowing you much more flexibility in how you approach situations.
I will admit that these improvements do make Last Light easier. However, the lack of frustration also allows me to spend more time soaking up the atmosphere and the story. The ironic thing is that although Last Light feels easier, it is much more enjoyable for it.
Last Light is a prime example of how sequels should be done. Take what was good and amp that up, while throwing out the bad and fixing what, literal, was broken. It reminded me of Uncharted 2 in many ways, and that, is one of the highest compliments I can give. Do yourself a favor and pick up Last Light.
4.5/5 or 9/10 for Destructoid rating purposes.
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