Metro Last Light - Live Action Preview
Almost a year ago, we saw the first signs that Metro Last Light, the sequel to Metro 2033 was looking good. Now, it doesn’t look good, it looks eye-pricklingly stunning.
According to Lead Communications Man Huw Beynon, the development team at 4A Games have spent the last year working hard to meet their own goal of making the best looking game of this generation "By the time we release in early 2013, we believe we will be on the edge of graphical fidelity." Thankfully, Metro Last Light isn’t so shallow to be all about just looking good as the thrilling single player experience is story driven and crackling with adventure from full on action to survival horror. Previously, having only seen heavy action sequences of the game, we were curious as to how the promised Eastern European supernatural theme would be woven into this carefully crafted, post-apocalyptic network of feuding Moscow Metro factions. We’d seen heated gun fights on speeding trains, stealthy attacks in the dark on unsuspecting patrolmen and the leading man, Artyom barely escaping with his life as civil war brews underground. Huw continues "Metro Last Light features a strong narrative that’s intended to combat the current FPS fatigue amongst gamers who are tired of the apparent relegation of the single-player campaign as a shooting gallery training mode for multiplayer."
With electric flashes lighting up a heavily clouded Moscow sky, in the latest demo, Artyom has been forced into an alliance and must head above ground. Immediately blinded by the nuclear sky (we’re told the dynamic weather system plays a bigger role in the sequel), after wiping his visor clear and setting his watch to let him know how much air remains in his gasmask, Artyom and a new companion set off to find a brand new station. Weaving through dimly lit concrete corridors that are slowly being reclaimed by nature, the pleasure of recovering vital resources like additional air filters, rusty old weapons and bullets or exploring the environment is agonisingly interrupted by the ticking of his watch; a reminder that every second above ground is full of danger. "We want the player to feel threatened by the environment and the foes that they face," says Huw. "We want them to wonder whether they’re equipped to deal with what they’re going to face out there; so, you should feel scared that you may not have enough resources to make it to the end of the level, but more immediately, you’ll be wondering whether you have enough equipment to make it through the next few seconds."
A sense of calm control starts to descend after emerging and the urgency to turn around and stay underground forever passes as the ravaged world above reveals its secrets, until a skittish noise just ahead, out of sight, around a corner rings out and every nerve is set jangling. As east meets west at the end of the world, hulking shadows dash past then the game’s horrifying monsters come out to hunt and all rational planning of using each bullet with precise care is abandoned with Artyom wildly filling the bloody creature with bullets. More noises follow and we quickly learnt that to survive at all, keeping a cool head in hot situations is going to be key. More monsters wait ahead in the dark. Climbing through an old aeroplane with charred, skeletal bodies soldered to their rotten chairs, flashback memories of the pilots hopelessly fighting to control the plane as the big nuke hits Moscow are seen before Artyom’s companion is found hyperventilating and gibbering away in a corner. Breathing hard, it’s a stark reminder that if the monsters don’t get you, your lack of air and resources might. Finally, it’s an edgy, taut dash to the nearest station and refuge as Artyom slides under a metal grill barricade to safety as more blood thirsty monsters snap at his boots.
THQ and 4A games have also released a brand new live action trailer filmed on location in Kiev, reintroducing the Metro with a chilling and gritty yet emotional tone.
Though we have to wait until 2013 for Metro Last Light to be released on Xbox360, PS3 and PC, it seems this title is definitely going to be worth the wait. Let’s just hope the world doesn’t really end this coming December.