Metro 2033...

Well.. it's a bit meh really. I've been playing for about 2 hours now, and to be honest I'm glad I just borrowed it. It's by no means a bad game but Jesus H Christ it's BORING.

You're wondering through the ruined subway system of Moscow after a nuclear war, shooting mutants and bandits, and somehow it's so utterly mind numbingly BORING.

The game has several problems, none of them major, but all of them arsey. First of all, the controls are weird. Left trigger aims and right trigger shoots like most other FPS titles, but apart from that all the controls are just randomly arranged on the pad. B is crouch? What was wrong with right stick click? Oh, it's given over to the flashlight... okay. So why not assign it to a shoulder bumper? Because RB is given to reloading... WTF? So what's X then? X is interact with objects. So what's A? Jump. Oh...kay.

Now, this isn't a bad thing, the controls are perfectly functional, but it does beg a single question- why? Did you think that the controls we've been using for the past 10 years where just not good enough?

Okay, granted that's a nit picking, but it is something that annoyed me time and time again. When I want to reload I naturally press X, so most of the time I just end up getting my face chewed while I suddenly remember I need to hit RB.

I think the big problem is the music, or rather the lack of it.In my full reviews I always include a section for sound because of games like this. Music is VITAL to creating a good game and it's so often overlooked. Without some pumping baselines to accompany it, a fight sequence just feels hollow. Without some morose strings to pluck at your heart, sad scenes don't invoke anywhere near as strong of a reaction.

Metro 2033 has no soundtrack. Aside form set pieces I didn't notice any music at all. This little oversight is a major contributor to the sheer boredom factor.

Infact, the sound in general is a little wanting. It's hard to make out what anyone is saying, and the guns don't sound like guns. They sound like little firecrackers going off under someone's pillow.

There's a game mechanic whereby you need to wear a gasmask in certain sections to avoid dying. Problem is that the gasmask needs filters to keep it usable- I stopped playing when I ran out of filters halfway through a level on the surface an cacked it. If you're going to put some shit like this in then give us a good spread of batteries for our life saving mcguffin. Plus, why do I need to manualy take it off and put it on? wouldn't it make more sense to have this little ditty being automatic? Apparently not, as you start choking before putting on your mask, and can waste it when you've left an area you didn't know was 'hot'.

But that aside, lets take a quick look at the good.

The scenery and setting is well presented, especially the look of the guns. They look like home manufactured pieces of shit- just what you would expect from a post apocalyptic society with no mass production.

The levels are interesting, which is saying something considering the game mostly takes place in the tunnels under Moscow.

The graphics are pretty good too, but nothing spectacular. The fire effect from your lighter is laughable, but that's not a huege part of the game.

Characterization is pretty well done, in that the characters are not the usual cut outs you get in these games, and there's no assumed rapport between your character and the others. They act like people, not scripts.

Overall, metro 2033 has done nothing to endear me to it, and nothing to make me dislike it. I'll play it a little more before I make any solid judgements, but if it doesn't start to buck up soon, I'll leave it by the wayside in favour of something that is actually engaging. Provisional advise- get it if you enjoyed the combat in STALKER, but get it cheap.

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