Difficulty is also increased because the behavior of some of the enemies in the game. When you reach the surface of the game you have to deal with large mutated creatures that hunt in packs. One alone is easy enough but if you don’t take them out quickly enough they let out a howl that summons friends. When those friends get they they call their friends and then those friends call those friends and soon you’re knee deep in them because you can’t kill them fast enough. Couple that with the limited bullets and you’ve got a difficulty curve like the Marianas Trench.
This is further compounded by the fact that that you have to stop to pick up ammo rather than just automatically picking it up when you walk over it. I know this is a more realistic approach to the game but it just gets in the way of the fun factor which was a bit of a downer in my opinion. In talking to some of the folks on hand they know the difficulty is an issue and will be working to make the final game less hazardous for wireless controllers.
The game also has a moral system built in where you'll be presented with some moral options. The one we saw in the game had a fellow survivor asking you to borrow a bullet so that he can get some medicine for his child. Given the ammo as currency situation this is a fairly significant choice you have to make. The decisions you make along the way will impact which ending of the game you get though so you'll need to choose wisely.
Graphically Metro 2033 looks solid and certainly what you would expect for a current generation title. Metro 2033 is using a proprietary engine the characters have a very Elder Scrolls:Oblivion/Fallout 3 look to them. The art design is oustanding as the architecture and design feel uniquely Russian. I would have like to have seen some more variety in some of the creature design but then again this was only the early stages of the game. There's an inherent claustrophobia to having a game that takes place mostly in a subway system and that comes through which is good as you'll be spending around 70% of the game below the surface.
The audio is also very well done as you've got the distinctive call of the feral creatures on the surface (something that still haunts my nightmares) as well as the basic atmospheric sounds like the sounds of you sucking wind in your gas mask. The voice over work is likewise solid as the Russian accents are distinct and don't come off as a series of Yakov Smirnoff impressions. The gravity of the situation comes across really well in the acting and further fleshes the game out.
From what I saw at the event it looks like THQ has the potential for a huge hit on their hands if the game is given a good dose of polish and love. The story and atmosphere pull you instantly into the world and are different from almost every game on the market. Metro 2033 is set to come out on March 16th and I really hope that the folks at 4A are given the time to do the game right and tweak it until it's just right.
Honestly I would love if THQ would push Metro 2033 back a month or so it's not lost in the March shuffle of high profile games as I think they have the foundation of a new franchise here. The book already has a sequel and if Metro 2033 is marketed right and delivers on the promise I saw last week I think gamers are in for a real treat.
More On:Metro 2033
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