Review by SpiritStar2112

Reviewed: 03/10/15

Throwing Your Money Out of A Window Is Less of A Waste Buying Either Metro

I'd like to know what kind of masochist actually finished these games. I got them thinking that they'd be like the STALKER series. Which, bugs and issues aside, was a great deal of fun. Solid gameplay and an interesting story. Metro...wasn't that. The games look great and it's a nice story. There's so little actual game to play though. It's like watching an older sibling playing a game and then for a few minutes every hour they hand you the controls so you can aimlessly press buttons for a little bit. Then the game snatches away the controller to amuse itself some more, pounding more and more nonsense exposition into your ears - usually so muffled that by the middle of the game you no longer know or care what your purpose is. And that is probably the harshest criticism I could think to offer. I've played both games (I bought them as part of a package. I know, fools and their money, right?), gotten up to the last couple of chapters and then just stopped. I had little idea as to what the purpose was and I had no interest in finding out - especially since "finding out" meant putting up with the gripes I've listed below. The game's designers, for all their expositional overload, can't explain objectives, both in terms of the overall story and individual missions. So I didn't care about the characters enough to finish the story.

Usually the only action is getting mobbed by ammo-wasting baddies, where all finesse and skill are lost in favor of blasting wildly away at mobs swarming you and you have to blast through all your bullets and just pray you're left with enough. And that you can reload before they turn you into Borsch.

Another big design deficit is that there's a curious reliance on the "supposed to lose" fight. What that means in practice is that you waste precious time (and lose precious patience if this happens far from a save point and you need to repeat your actions for the last 20 minutes leading up to the fight) trying to figure out if you should spray-and-pray and use up your ammo, run or prepare for a QTE or just wait for the cutscene. Obviously, there's no way to figure out which until it's far too late.

Having to wander around in timed sequences is another problem. Without wanting to get too Spoiler-y, there are parts of the game which place upon you a strict, "or else" time limit to achieve your objectives. All well and good but those objectives occur on maps that are described charitably as "a mess". There is no clear indication of where you're supposed to go, what you're supposed to be doing and there's always a flash mob waiting to jump you, have you use up your medkits and ammo and have you just hope that while reloading or using a medkit you don't get ripped to beet stew. If you have a high toleration for repetition, AI that only knows The Zerg Rush and frustration then the Metro series is for you - otherwise, don't bother.

Rating: 2

Product Release: Metro: Last Light Redux (US, 08/26/14)

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