Buried Treasure Review: Metro 2033 (Xbox 360)

 

 

Have you ever wanted to play a video game that was based on the scenes from the future in the first Terminator?  Now’s your chance.  Only switch out Terminators with mutants (and future Nazis), Americans with Russians, and time travel with the paranormal.  Is it good?  Let’s find out…

 

This game slipped under the radar for me when it came out in March.  Now that I’ve finished it, I’m sorry I waited so long to play it.  What this game does best is set up the dreary, hopeless underground world of the post apocalyptic survivors in future Russia.  But it also does a pretty masterful job of keeping you on edge a lot of the time.  Everything from the near constant need of a gas mask to the scarcity of ammo, you’ll never feel too comfortable.  Your character, Artyom, is just a guy trying to survive the same as everyone else.  That is, until he’s tasked with destroying “The Dark Ones.”

 

Game-play is a bit of a mixed bag.  The guns seem to work well enough, but the aiming is a bit floaty.  Melee attacks aren’t mapped to a button unless you’re using a shotgun.  This means if you need to reload, it likely takes less time to change mags than to fish through your bag to find your knife.  Also, the game’s monetary system is pre-armageddon bullets which are more accurate and powerful than the ones made in the Metro.  So if you don’t find enough “cheap” bullets to get you through, you’ll literally be firing money at your enemies (just like Link’s bow in the original Legend of Zelda).  And be careful not to pick up weapons you’re not sure you want.  Many times I picked up a gun from the ground only to see the one I dropped fall right through the floor, never to be seen again.  This also happened to Artyom a few times during the game.

 

Both while I was playing the game, and in retrospect since I finished, I found all of the good to completely supersede any nitpicking I could do about the mechanics.  The story was incredibly immersive.  The sound, music, and voice acting fit so amazingly well.  Listening to the narrated transitional segments was a real treat.  And there were many segments in the game that gave me chills.  The game’s final act involves some truly creepy scenes that rival most horror movies I’ve seen.

 

I completed the game on Easy, getting the most common ending and it took me around 8-9 hours.  I can’t recommend this game enough.  It’s definitely a good buried treasure!

Pros:

–Superb storytelling and atmosphere

–Interesting characters

–True scares (not boo scares)

–Multiple endings

Cons:

–Imprecise controls

–A few bugs

–No multiplayer (which isn’t even necessarily a negative)

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