Metro 2033: First impressions
Yesterday at 10:07pm | Edit Note | Delete
I have a feeling the only thing most of us knew about this particular game was a random advertisement on the steam homepage, at least that was what i knew of it until i bought it on a whim. I looked at the screen shots, read the description and thought, "what the hell, ill give it a shot. Much to my surprise, I got more than even I expected. Definitely a sleeper. kinda like pulling up to a 75 ford ltd with a carefully hidden 427 inch Buick engine and challenging it to a rolling 30, then watching in amazement as you eat it's dust.
At first glance metro 2033 looks like a carbon copy of stalker. Set in post nuclear apocalypse Russia, where a small group (40k people) take refuge from the fallout in the metro subway stations to survive. the story puts u in the radioactive boots of a young Russian guy who finds himself setting out on a journey to the surface. The reason why is somewhat cloudy in the beginning, as it should be, it keeps you intrigued. After about an hour of game play the resemblance to stalker is minimal at best and you get a decent helping of cut scenes, and firefights against mutants, and bandits mixed with npc dialog. For some the cut scenes may seem a bit too much, but most are short, and all of them are very very cool, and contribute to the story line quite a bit. To avoid spoilers for anyone who decides to give Metro a shot, I'll go no further about the storyline and dig into the bread and butter that makes this game that lacks multiplayer worth it.
First and foremost, the visual immersion the developers of metro have achieved is quite astonishing. As you would expect, the graphics are up to par with other games of today, but 4A takes it a step further here. The tiny details are what make it visually astounding. For instance, the physics u can make use of with certain nvidia cards is killer. Rooms with fog, smoke, puddles of water, dust particles swept up by footsteps, rust falling off a ladder as you disturb it by climbing it. snow drifts flowing in from broken walls, dripping icicles, broken walls, completely destructable enviroments, shadows in real time, walking through the haze of a bar filled with people smoking cigars and cigarettes, and seeing the smoke not only move around you, but also around other people moving, or making hand gestures and disturbing the air currents is a real nice touch to say the least. As for combat: fire a gun, and it smokes. Get into a firefight indoors, and the smoke slowly fills the room. You can almost smell the gunpowder. Muzzle flashes, recoil that's so realistic you almost get frustrated. Guns with magazines that let u watch the bullets disappear from the clip as you fire. Trip wires and traps that are triggerable, disarmable, and salvageable.Reloading animations that actually look completely real. So real the time it takes to do it with certain weapons may let a mutant get to close before you can fire. But dont panic.You can always pull out your knife when it jumps on you, and stab its head in about 25 different ways, then push/slap/roll it off of you with a satisfied grunt. The animation for this grapple fest changes every time it seems, which contributes greatly to its believability. There's a ton of other cool effects and subtle touches that make the visual experience of Metro 2033 well worth it. It also has a great audio engine. Crisp, clean, realistic, motion and position sensitive. Even if your only running a on board sound and 2 speakers I can't imagine it would sound too bad. With x-fi and 7.1 surround it's positively orgasmic.
Now for the downsides. There is no multiplayer. There is no multiplayer....There is...No....Multiplayer!!! Need i say more? I didn't even know it was legal to make a game with no multiplayer at this point in pc gaming. Shame on you 4A! Other than that, the only complaints I have is that the game is a system hog. I'm running a bad ass rig, and even I get a noticeable drop in frames in certain rooms or areas with lots of effects. But its only happened a few times. Which leads me to believe the game could have been optimized a bit more. Shame on you 4A! Even so, it's 95 percent perfectly playable. Firefights are smooth as a Victoria secret models ass. On average I hit about 80 fps in dx 11, a few more in 10, and about 95 in dx 9, dropping to a crawling 15-20 in the certain rooms I mentioned, but like i said, its a rarity. also as one would expect, the dx 10 effects make it look like dx 9 with one or two extra dust particles. Dx 11 adds maybe three or four more, which makes sense since dx 10 has been a cash grab from the beginning, making no real difference in any game released with it so far, and dx 11 is shaping up to be much the same. Shame on you Microsoft! But the game is one of the first in a good long time to be released completely finished, with no crashes or nasty glitches or driver issues. That is a big deal in my opinion, since so many companies are pushing games to shelves months before they are tweaked to perfection just to meet a deadline. Not much else to be said, I give it a solid 8 out of 10: taking off 2 points for no multiplayer, which I would normally take 5 off the top for that, but the rest of the game is such a smorgasbord of epic win I cant make myself do it. So put Metro on your list if you enjoy action packed, lengthy, amazingly detailed games with great story lines. If the lack of multiplayer is too much for you to handle, there's always bad company 2.