Metro: Last Light Review

Continuing the Journey

Some games seem bad because they are exactly that. In the case of Metro: Last Light, it is more of a question of expectations: what do you want from the Metro series? For me, it is a first-person survival horror shooter set in a terrifying and dark post-apocalyptic Russian subway, with scarce resources and a chilling storyline. And rest assured, Last Light has all of that. However, if you were hoping to see female breasts, quick-time events, and helpful companions, then congratulations – you are part of the wide audience that this game is targeting.

Metro: Last Light is torn between the niche established by its predecessor and the genre concessions made to boost sales. For example, for a good portion of the game, you are accompanied by companions – in the golden age of shooters, this element could have been considered a good support, but in Last Light, it rather spoils the atmosphere. Not that Anna and Pavel are unpleasant characters (the latter, for example, is a charming talkative rogue with a couple of interesting surprises up his sleeve), but their presence doesn’t seem all that necessary.

Metro is based on Dmitry Glukhovsky’s book series, which tells the story of a ruthless dystopia where humanity is bleeding – both literally and metaphorically. Metro 2033 managed to capture this atmosphere and fill its narrow corridors with it. Last Light does the same, albeit with some reservations.

Navigating Close Corridors in the Darkness

First of all, it is important to understand how Last Light is structured. Like the first game, it is a linear shooter that often provides space for exploration. This means that you can find a hidden box of rare bullets or, conversely, stumble upon a room filled with unpleasant surprises. Last Light is designed to be savored, rather than rushed through each level. This becomes particularly evident in the populated areas that you periodically come across – almost every character, and there are quite a few of them, can engage in a lengthy conversation with you.

The main way the story is presented in Last Light is through eavesdropping. Upon entering a city, I immediately stop and start listening to the first conversation. Then I take a few more steps forward, and then a few more, and so on. No, I wouldn’t say that this is necessarily a bad thing. Instead of playing, you are more like observing and, with crossed fingers, tormenting yourself with the thought that you might miss a key dialogue.

Because it is here that the story of Last Light unfolds in all its glory: here is a widow being told that her husband disappeared on patrol, and here are parents comforting their children with a little lie. Often, the details you hear in these conversations will unexpectedly manifest themselves later in the story – to a significant extent or not so much – and sometimes the player themselves, as the main character, Artyom, can participate in them. However, at times, this forced passivity becomes truly annoying – when it comes to action. Stealth missions often begin with a conversation among a small group of enemy guards, and after this conversation, which can take several minutes, finally ends, the guards become much more vulnerable. You really have no choice.

The Post-Apocalyptic World

Given the above, stealth is the most exciting combat style, and this excitement is largely related to lighting. If you come across a spacious room with enemies inside, know that somewhere nearby there will definitely be one or several light switches. However, the harsh life in the apocalyptic subway has taught guards not to pay attention to changes in lighting, so they will not panic if the lights suddenly go out. Instead, they will simply put on headlamps and send someone to fix the problems in the electrical panel.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t look very good in screenshots, but Last Light reveals its full beauty in these situations: a pitch-black room filled with various obstacles, and beams of light crossing your view. It not only looks magnificent, but also allows you to determine which way the enemy is facing, which leads to the most thrilling moments in Last Light – at least on Hard difficulty. Unfortunately, in Normal mode, stealth becomes too easy.

And this is one of the main reasons why human enemies in Last Light are much better than monster enemies. The latter resemble monsters from Doom, and fighting them is not fun at all, even though they can easily kill you with one hit. They only retreat and strafe, retreat and strafe. But fighting soldiers is much more enjoyable – largely due to the group AI and absolutely deadly concentration of fire. The challenge is so difficult that once you find yourself in such a melee, you start praying fervently that the enemy will notice you last.

However, it’s not just about shootouts. The atmosphere of Last Light truly unfolds when there is no one around. The surrounding environment begins to tell horrifying stories through bodies. Dead bodies. As you progress through the tunnels, you come across the corpses of those who were here before, frozen in poses that can tell a lot about their last moments. Here are the skeletons of a whole family huddled in a corner, and here is the body of some vagabond, who collapsed next to the corpse of the monster he killed.

Not only are the tunnels narrow and dark, but over time you realize that the scariest thing in Last Light is the sound. The game uses surround sound effects to disorient you: while you wait for attacks from multiple directions and hear the threat getting closer and closer, the noise becomes truly terrifying. Last Light is a game where you spend a lot of time in poorly lit spaces, which makes the rustling in the darkness and the scratching of claws on the walls stick with you for a long time.

However, despite the fact that Last Light still carries the spirit of its predecessor, there are moments in the game that detract from its charm. In one place, you visit “Venice” – the cultural capital of the Metro. The famous ballet of the Bolshoi Theatre turns into a variety show, where they now dance the cancan, and in a way, it’s actually funny. However, this joke is presented in a tasteless manner, as you have to witness a whole row of absurdly trembling breasts peeking through transparent bras. I don’t want to tell the developers of Last Light how to do their job, but it doesn’t change the fact that the female breasts don’t shake like that.

Do you think “tasteless” is an exaggeration on my part? Listen further. If you want to get a closer look at the girls, you can sneak into their dressing room, not to mention a few more naked women behind frosted glass just ahead. Later on, you can pay for a striptease – of course you can. Hook up with a beauty in the Metro!

But this tonal idiocy is not the worst part. The pinnacle of Last Light’s nonsense is one of the worst bosses in the gaming industry: the Big Momma. More precisely, the fact that you have to fight her using only one exhausting tactic and nothing else. However, before the showdown with the boss herself, you will have to fight with ruthless and merciless guards – mostly gorillas with claws. Waiting for the elevator that was supposed to take me down, and shooting down waves of these monsters one by one, I gritted my teeth in despair. In the end, I ran out of ammo for the guards and unintentionally saved at a checkpoint. Need I say how my first battle with the Big Momma ended?


After reincarnation, I needed ammunition, so I rummaged through a couple of nearby caches. Then I stepped into the opening again, quickly dealt with the guards, and, remembering her attacks, emptied all the bullets straight into her face. Unfortunately, she didn’t think about dying. I fought her countless times, saving every bullet and trying the craziest strategies – the space around was filled with walls and columns, so I, like a matador, tried to direct the boss towards them. No results. Last time, I noticed that the wooden floor breaks under the weight of the Big Momma, and the center of the arena looked exactly like wood. The next twenty minutes, I danced around her on that wooden floor, praying to all imaginable and unimaginable gods for her to finally fall through. And again, failure.

In the end, the Big Momma was defeated, but only after getting stuck near a wall, after which I approached closely and shot her in the face about two hundred times. It took about ten minutes, which felt like three hours. And of course, as expected, after she finally collapsed to the ground, I got the coveted achievement. In general, Metro: Last Light has joined a very specific club of games that make me wonder what the hell I’m doing with my life.

Last Light is a decent game, but it’s not as good as its predecessor. Metro 2033 had its flaws, but it tried to go its own way. But Last Light feels like a regression. There are enough similarities between these two games, but our reviewed game today is a more conservative FPS. While 2033 had a few terrible mistakes, Last Light got too caught up in competing with other titles at the expense of finding itself. So sit down and play Last Light, leaving your expectations behind, and you will be pleasantly surprised. Not the highest praise, right?

Metro: Last Light
PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One
Deep Silver
4A Games
Release Date:
Editor's rating:
Is it worth playing? (If the score is more than 70%)



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