It spends a significant chunk of time attempting to convey that although there are literal monsters waiting on the surface capable of eating you alive, humanity is the real terror, but the methods of combating that threat aren’t nearly as interesting. When fighting the mutated remnants of the outside world you have to fire everything you’ve got at them. There’s no chance to go undetected and you’ll barely survive most fights. Against human enemies you’re far too overpowered. You can’t be seen in the dark, which can mean an enemy can be practically looking at you but as long as you’re crouched and in the shade you’ll be hidden. You’ve also access to Throwing Knives which are silent, reusable and an immediate kill on any human they touch. This play style undermines the feeling of scarcity and making do with what you have.
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If you’re detected you’ll have to use your firearms, here Metro functions far better as an FPS than the previous, but that’s almost a detriment. In that game you were incentivised to stay hidden as much as possible because you weren’t able to withstand a real gunfight, now you’re equipped better and the controls have increased fidelity so it’s less of a concern. That’s not to suggest the game feels overly easy, just that difficulty is poorly implemented. Equally that’s not to undermine the quality of the combat, which is on-par with whatever any highly budgeted blockbuster can offer but with weapons that convey a greater sense of charm.
The pacing isn’t great either. There are more than a few moments where interactivity is withheld for a horrendously long period as the game offers rampant, unrestrained bursts of exposition without any player input. It’s amateur stuff, locking the player in place for agonising waits, especially since there’s some decent work elsewhere in the game where narrative and activity are intertwined well.
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It’s not a particularly groundbreaking story, but the characters are well defined, a particular highlight being your comrade Pavel who is probably this game’s Vaas
When it comes to visual fidelity, Last Light wants for very little with some superbly high resolution textures and great lighting effects.
Low Quality, SSAA Off, Texture Filtering AF 4X, Motion Blur Low, Tessellation Off
Normal Quality, SSAA 0.5,Texture Filtering AF 4X, Motion Blur Low, Tessellation Normal
High Quality, SSAA 2X, Texture Filtering AF 16X, Motion Blur Normal, Tessellation High
Very High Quality, SSAA 4X, Texture Filtering AF 16X, Motion Blur Normal, Tessellation Very High
Becoming more accessible means that Last Light has sacrificed a lot of what initially made it interesting. It functions now as a particularly good first person experience and a technical improvement over the previous, but has lost a lot of charm in the attempt. Anyone who has yet to experience the Metro series has a choice of starting here for a more streamlined spectacle, or picking up Metro 2033 and seeing the idea conveyed best.