Thursday, November 28, 2013

Notes on Metro: Last Light

1. I went into Last Light braced for disappointment. Metro 2033 had been one of those games that I loved for its roughness, from its personality that came precisely from not being polished to within an inch of its life. It had this jagged silhouette that if it walked into the room, you knew exactly what game it was. That kind of roughness can only come from a team with a big heart and a small budget. When that kind of game does good, and a larger budget is given to a sequel, that roughness rarely survives. It almost is impossible for it to survive. So I went into Last Light excited for more Metro but ready to accept that more of what made Metro good might be impossible.

I was ultimately surprised, then, to find that Last Light, largely held onto much of what made Metro 2033 feel so good. The oppressiveness, the bleakness, the kind of stand-off-ish design that will just dump you in a place with no clear waypointing or objectives and just let you figure it out. Some parts of the game have been polished up, but only selectively and to the game's benefit. Guns in 2033 felt jangly like you would expect a gun built from scrap to feel, but they lacked a punch. Last Light's guns are punchy enough that skirmishes are enjoyable, while still feeling super messy. It feels like they tried to polish the jags into being more pronounced, not just polish them away to a curved nothing. So that is nice. It still lacks some of what made Metro 2033 special, but it is about as good as a sequel to a rough game could hope to be.

2. Which is not to call the game perfect. Last Light still seemed to lose focus on what made 2033 so special. In particular, the sense of life in the metro the first game evoked. There was this real sense of being a commuter, fittingly enough, of just passing through this towns that were other people's entire lives. The people in the bunks on old carriages, or the way a station is sectioned off into small houses. It was always amazing to stop and look at these places, but always fleetingly as you were always on your way to meet someone. Last Light still has a bit of that, and when it does, it is terrific. A moment near the start of the game where you are dashing through a nazi station under fire and you get this faint glimpse of everyday life as you dash past. The theatre station and the flooded station of Venice are particularly strong highlights of just 'life on the metro'. As is the refugee train.

But, for the most part, with the story focusing on WAR and militaries and all that, we don't get the same diversity of lives and lifestyles 2033 gave us. We have army bases and prisons and dead towns and army dudes and more army dudes. It feels less like a place and more like a serious of videogame levels at times. It felt more like a videogame story than an adaption of a novel this time, essentially.

3. Related to that is the sheer number of men in the game (or the lack of women, more accurately). It's just a bunch of gruff dudes and the occasional woman (they all look the same) sobbing in the background. 2033 was largely men doing things, to be sure, but the places felt alive with children and grannies and dogs and all kinds of people. Now we just get soldiers. The two women who speak in the game are a prostitute (whose nipples you can see while she offers you sex) and a sniper lady (whose nipples you can see while she offers you sex. Also she has your son, of course). How to sap any atmosphere from your world: homogenise the people you populate it with.

4. I really enjoy the stealth of Last Light. It's that kind of stealth that goes really good until you screw up, and then you pull out your shotgun and improvise. That kind of stealth works in very few games, because usually there is some fictional context that makes that kind of stealth feel very wrong, even when it is mechanically possible. Some games get it right. Splinter Cell: Conviction always presented contexts where the enemy knew Fisher was around somewhere, so if things devolved into a gunfight, it felt natural. The same goes for Last Light. I never felt like I needed to reload the game when I was seen, just change my tactics.

5. That grittiness of 2033 remains. The constantly pressure of needing to recharge your batteries, needing to replace your oxygen mask filters, needing to pump your airgun. All these little things always taking up your attention just to stay alive. It's incredible effective here as it was in 2033. It is weakened, though, by a timer giving you the exact number of seconds of filter life you have left. It is strengthened, though, by the need to press a button to wipe water or blood off your oxygen mask to see clearly.

6. I really like the subtly of both 2033's and now Last Light's approach to the supernatural. Not so much with the 'dark ones' who are just some generic alien monster things, but with the shadow-ghosts that disappear if you shine a light directly at them, or hallucinations of a thousand arms stretching out to get you. They never really try to explain it; they just do it and it's kind of cool.

7. Last Light's ending is terrible. There are two endings, to be sure (like 2033, Last Light has this very subtle series of choices through the game that never tell the player they are about to make a choice, and I really love that), but the ending I got was terrible, and I don't doubt the other one was just as bad. The game has this slow steady build up of 'war is coming' and needing to find answers and needing to make peace and all of that. Then, while there are still all these loose narrative threads unresolved, the 'war' happens, and it is just a terrible stand-your-ground turret section, and then some dude tells you, by the way, I rigged the place to blow, and you blow the place up, making the Ultimate Sacrifice. Then you find out Sniper Women Who You Had Sex With was telling this whole story to your son because of course if you have sex once you are going to have a child.

It is actually the most terrible ending I've experienced since Far Cry 3 (Far Cry 3's endings (both of them) made me laugh at my television they were both so terrible). It is the most generic, bullshit, 'oh I guess we should wrap things up now' kind of ending. It's the kind of ending of the fantasy stories I wrote in my teenage years with absolutely zero planning about how they would end. One day I'd just get bored of all these action sequences I was ripping right out of Dragon Ball Z and stick an ending on them. That is how Last Light ends and it is appallingly bad, to the extent that it damaged my overall feelings about the game.


AKPuran Gaming said...

Very useful post. This is my first time i visit here. I found so many interesting stuff in your blog especially its discussion. Really its great article. Keep it up! , ,

قمم التميز said...

شركة نقل اثاث
شركة شراء اثاث مستعمل بالرياض
الاثاث من الاشياء التى نستطيع ان نبذل فية الكثير من الجهد والوقت من اجل ان يتم القيام باعمال النقل من مكان الى اخر سواء الى اى مكان فى المملكة او اى مكان خارج المملكة ، فاعمال النقل من الخدمات التى تبدو لنا انها سهلة وبسيطة الا انة فى نهاية الامر من الخدمات التى تؤدى الى التعرض الى مشاكل كثيرا من الصعب ان يتم القيام بحلها من الكسر والخدش والتلفيات والضياع ،شركة قمم التميز من اهم وافضل الشركات شراء اثاث مستعمل حائل
التى تحقق اعلى مستوى من خدمات النقل للاثاث والقيام بالاتفاق مع مركز التعاون الخليجى من اجل ان يتم الحفاظ على الاثاث ضد اى مشكلة ، فاذا كنت فى حيرة من امر النقل فتاكد انك الان تمتلك افضل الشركات المميزة الخاصة باعمال النقل من خلال الاعتماد على توفير عدد من الخدمات المميزة . شراء الاثاث المستعمل بحائل
شركة قمم التميز على وعى كبير باعمال النقل والتى تحقق افضل مستوى من خدمات النقل التى تؤكد ان الاثاث يتم الانتقال من مكان الى اخر دون ان يتم التعرض الى اى مشكلة من اهم الخدمات المقدمة الاتى :- شراء اثاث مستعمل بحائل
1- التعبئة تتم من خلال صناديق مخصصة مغلقة حتى يتم انتقال بيه الى المكان المراد النقل الية .
لا تكتفى شركة نقل اثاث بالقيام باعمال النقل فقط بل تهتم باعمال التركيب واعادة الاثاث الى ما كان علية بعد ان تتم اعمال النقل مباشرا . محلات شراء الاثاث المستعمل بحائل
شركة تخزين اثاث
تخزين الاثاث من المهام التى نجتاج الية فى اوقات معينة اثناء الانتقال من شقة الى اخر او القيام بالسفر لفترات طويلة ، فالحرارة المرتفعة والرطوبة والاتربة الناعمة تؤدى الى ظهور التشققات و تؤدى الى التكسير المفاجىء للاخشاب ، فاذا كنت فى حيرة من اعمال النقل فتعاون مع شركة المتخصصة فى اعمال التخزين من الامور التى لابد من القيام بية بطريقة مميزة على ايدى متخصصين فى القيام بهذة الخدمة .
ارقام شراء الاثاث المستعمل بحائل
شركة قمم التميز من اهم الشركات التى تقوم بانشاء مستودعات طبقا لمعاير ذات جودة مميزة والتى تساعد فى الحفاظ على الاثاث ضد اى عيوب او اى مشكلات
ارقام محلات شراء الاثاث المستعمل بحائل
شركة شراء اثاث مستعمل بحائل
تظهر مع مرور مدة التخزين بالاضافة الى ان المستودعات مقسمة من الداخل الى اماكن مخصصه للزجاج واماكن مخصصة للاخشاب وهكذا حتى يتم الحفاظ على الاثاث فعليك ان تتعاون وتتواصل مع الارقام المتواجدة على الصفحة من اجل ان تتم الحفاظ على الاثاث ضد اى تغيرات من الممكن ان تحدث ، بالاضافة الى اننا نقدم عقود مميزة فى اعمال التخزين فى مقابل ارخص الاسعار .

ngocanhng said...

I like your all post. You have done really good work. Thank you for the information you provide, it helped me a lot. I hope to have many more entries or so from you.
Very interesting blog.

Sophie Grace said...

I love all the posts, I really enjoyed, I would like more information about this, because it is very nice., Thanks for sharing. net worth

meldaresearch said...

Finding the best biological science paper writing help and Biological Science Writing Services is not easy unless one is keen to establish a reliable biological science research paper provider & biological science coursework writing services.

Rankerz said...

I just want to know about the pbn building service I read the article on it and want to know something more facts because I want to start these services online for the new users.

Meta Name said...

click on one of the sites below to get a variety of the best tips and tricks in life. Live Draw Hk

SR said...

click on one of the sites below to get a variety of the best tips and tricks in life.

Live HK

Aditya said...

click on one of the sites below to get a variety of the best tips and tricks in life.


teju said...

Thanks for the best share and i loved it,
cinema apk

ND Universal said...

go to my blog
go to my blog
go to my blog
go to my blog
go to my blog
go to my blog
go to my blog
go to my blog
go to my blog
go to my blog
go to my blog
go to my blog
go to my blog
go to my blog
go to my blog
go to my blog
go to my blog
go to my blog
go to my blog
go to my blog

Anveshj said...

Thanks fort he best share and i loved it, 192.168.o.1

Antony Christ said...

It was nice to read your blog. Are you in need of professional assignment helpers? Well! You have reached the right place at MyCaseStudyHelp.Com where you receive a one-stop solution.We offer one of the finest University Assignment Help for students' benefits. We have more than 5000 professional Case Study Writers experts to support students in doing their university projects. We provide assured quality and credibility. That's why a majority of students trust our Assignment Help.

6t6 said...

The professionals of BookMyEssay are providing the finest assignment help to academic students who are in search of Dissertation Thesis Writing Help . They have experts who provide there students with 24*7 hours assistance and Quality information.