Deep Silver are soon to release their first title based on the assets bought from the now defunct videogames publisher, THQ. Metro: Last Light is the sequel to the popular Metro 2033, an experience that was largely considered to be more enjoyable as a journey than it was as a videogame. Metro: Last Light hopes to change that with significant improvements to its action set-pieces while maintaining the elegance of its predecessor’s pacing.
Sadly in the preview build available to Electronic Theatre there was very little of any of this on display. A vertical slice of a videogame severely lacking in polish does not allow for any kind of examination of pacing except to say that it’s not a suitable experience for a hurried hour at the helm. Reportedly about a quarter of the way through the videogame, more than three of content was apparently available with a key moment for the plot highlighting the rivalry between the human factions that dwell beneath the surface. It was clearly meant to be a section of the videogame that showcased both the tense story and the terse combat; instead it simply offered half-hearted attempts at both.
That’s not to say that Metro: Last Light will play this way upon release – in fact, Electronic Theatre is certain that the time between this build and the final release version will allow for most of the cracks to be patched over – but there was little to suggest that Metro: Last Light will be a follow-up worthy of it’s stature. Aside from the poor visual quality Metro: Last Light showed some interesting incidental detail – using a lighter to burn cobwebs, changing filters on your gas mask etc. – but without the knowledge of how these elements will truly affect the gameplay it’s hard to tell of they’re just mechanics for the sake of appearing ‘different.’
Metro: Last Light allows the played to carry three weapons at once, but for some reason the preview build began with the guns featuring the lowest accuracy and punishing rate of fire. Things livened up with a little bit of progress and the discovering of a more versatile arsenal, but still Metro: Last Light seemed to make a big effort to put the player up against enemies which simply weren’t much fun to shoot. Bouncing and springing across the open areas in a seemingly erratic fashion there was less tactical nuance than in a Serious Sam videogame.
There are many genuinely innovative ideas in Metro: Last Light that Electronic Theatre hopes will become an intimate part of the overall experience, but the build presented didn’t once suggest that this would be the case. Standing as side dishes to a malnourished main course, Metro: Last Light needs to fill in the spaces between in order to become a truly memorable experience. With Electronic Theatre’s in-depth review coming next week, we’ll soon have the chance to find out if it does.