Throwback: Metro 2033 (Originally Posted December 7, 2012)

So, after I finished Halo 4, I started getting back into PC gaming. I've been buying Humble Bundles whenever they're out because I love the charity and the games are super cheap, so when the Humble THQ Bundle dropped I immediately bought it. Mainly I got it for Saints Row: The Third, but then I realized my computer sucked and could barely handle it. After bouncing back and forth with Company of Heroes and starting a new run on New Vegas, I decided to give Metro 2033 a try.

Holy. Fucking. Shit.

Not only is this two year old game gorgeous, it feels alive.  Every time I enter a metro or market, especially after the desolation of the tunnels or topside, I'm reminded that there are thousands of people crammed down into the stations under Moscow. That reminds me, I should probably give you the synopsis huh?

Metro 2033 takes place in the year 2033, after the world decided to nuke each other, leaving it full of mutants, bandits and monsters called the "Dark Ones".

You play Artyom, a 20 year old living in one of the Moscow metros who is sent Polis when Hunter, an elite Ranger, doesn't return from a hunt. As soon as I was able to walk around to metro I spent far too long taking everything in. The sounds of cooking and chatting. Arguments between people over the price of a pig or a fight between a couple. The steam and fires, sounds of work being done, distant gunfire of some unseen fight.

Scattered around every where were homes, beds, boxes, chairs, everything that these people could bring with them or scavenge to make a home. The homeless and injured hiding in dark corners, the beggars asking for ammunition to trade. The children with their parents, kids who've never seen the world outside the metro station. The older people who can still remember when, just 23 years before, the world as they knew it burned above them.

Anyway, outside of the supreme visuals and glorious sound, the game handles well and incredibly interestingly. Having to stock up on filters for your gas mask for radioactive or toxic areas, carefully deciding to use one of your health kits or not, or to switch a trusted gun for a new one.

That is honestly a very heavy decision for me, leaving a gun behind. The new one could be amazing, but I've spent time with the old one, I have ammunition for it and I know how to properly use it.

Stealth works interestingly in the game. You have to avoid rubble and broken glass, stay in the shadows and try to learn a target's paths before taking them out, if you choose to be quiet about it. Sometimes though, it's best to just grab an auto-shotgun and run in, spitting lead.

The game does suffer a bit from 'same place' syndrome, but there's really only so many ways you can make a post apocalyptic subway system in Moscow look. When you're on the surface it's absolutely gorgeous, in a strange way.

Also, did I mention there's Nazis and Soviets you have to fight through, on top of the monsters?

Pretty much, this game is lovely, go pick up the Humble THQ Bundle and play it.