Metro 2033 came out as a pleasant surprise for survival horror lovers, as it managed to quite successfully build on the genre’s traditional elements while putting the entire game in a fresh setting and introducing some new concepts that spiced up the gameplay quite successfully.

And even though it didn’t manage to build up much of a hype and was only talked about for a few months, some gamers are probably still firing it up for a new play-through, as it always offers something new each time you play it.

Gameplay

The game’s plot is largely based on the novel with the same name written by Dmitry Glukhovsky. The story revolves around a post-apocalyptic world, poisoned with radiation, and the player takes the role of Artyom, the main protagonist, who has been born and raised in the subway systems of a ruined Moscow.

Most of the actual gameplay takes place inside the subway systems, though there are some levels which take the player upwards and above surface, mainly when looking for goods. However, don’t expect to be spending a lot of time outside of the tunnels, as the surface has been heavily poisoned with radiation, and even wearing a gas mask won’t allow you to survive for long.

The gameplay takes on the survival genre very strongly. The atmosphere is very grim and tense, and a lot of the HUD elements traditional for shooters have been removed. For example, you never know exactly how much health you have, as there’s no indicator for that – you can only make a guess based on how fast your heartrate is. While using a gas mask, you’ll have to be careful and replace its filter often.

Also, the developers have used an interesting idea for a money system – ammunition is used as a currency, as it’s quite rare yet very useful to everyone you’ll meet. You’ll get even better deals if you manage to find original pre-war ammunition (as opposed to the standard cartridges made by other underground dwellers), though you may also be tempted to save it for yourself as it can get you out of a lot of trouble.

Graphics and System Requirements

The engine used is quite capable, and it offers some of the best visual effects to date. It should be noted that the developers went through some legal disputes with the folks from GSC Game World (authors of STALKER), as the latter claimed that Metro 2033′s engine is actually based on their X-Ray one, though this was never proven.

Regardless, it offers complete DirectX 11 support, as well as PhysX-enhanced ragdolls and cloth simulation. Even though most of the game takes place in underground tunnels, all of the levels still manage to look remarkably unique and varied, and you’ll never get the feeling that you’ve played a particular place before.

The game does have some demanding system requirements though, so you’ll have to prepare yourself with a good machine before buying it. On Windows XP, you’ll need at least a dual-core processor and 1 GB of RAM, as well as a video card that supports DX9.

Other

If you ever feel the need to see more of the game’s world (and you probably will), rest assured that a sequel has been planned, though no specific release date has been set yet.

Conclusion

Metro 2033 is one of the best thriller/horror experiences in late times, so if you’re a true fan of the genre, you can’t allow yourself to miss out on this one.

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