Metro 2033 is a futuristic, thrilling first person shooter that combines action and survival horror elements. It was published on March 16 2010 (NA) and March 19 2010 (EU). It is available on Microsoft Windows, Xbox 360 and newly on OnLive platform. Russian team 4A Games developed the game and THQ published it. The game is based on a novel “Metro 2033” by Russian writer Dmitry Glukhovsky.
The game takes place in post-apocalyptic Russia, and follows a survivor named Artyom. When the game begins, Artyom learns from an elite soldier, or Ranger, named Hunter that a group of mysterious creatures referred to as the Dark Ones are threatening his city in the Metro. Hunter asks Artyom to go to Polis Station and ask the Rangers there to help destroy the Dark Ones. Artyom must travel through territory occupied by Soviets and Nazis, and infested with mutants. Once in Polis, he meets with a Ranger named Miller, who agrees to help him. Miller knows of a missile silo known as D6 that has the firepower necessary to destroy the Dark Ones. Artyom, Miller, and several other Rangers reactivate the command center for the missiles, and Artyom installs a laser guidance system on a nearby building. After the laser system is installed, Artyom experiences a vivid hallucination induced by the Dark Ones. After the hallucination, two endings are possible, depending on choices the player makes throughout the game. In the normal ending, Artyom allows the missiles to fire, destroying the Dark Ones. The alternate ending has Artyom destroy the laser guidance device, citing a last-minute realization that the Dark Ones were attempting peaceful contact through the hallucinations.
The game is built on a 4A Engine, a next-gen graphics engine developed by a Ukrainian 4A Games team and GSC (makers of S.T.A.L.K.E.R.).It supports Direct3D APIs 9, 10, and 11, along with NVidia’s PhysX, and also NVidia’s 3D Vision. Engine itself is not very demanding, but at very high presets it uses a big amount of memory and CPU and produces a small amount of frames per second but shows all potential of DirectX 11 and PhysX System Software. Recommended system requirements consists of quad core processor of 3.0 GHz and graphics card of 1 GB GDDR. Engine is very impressive and has a wide variety of technologies that can be combined with. It support very big, high quality, high-def textures, HDR, bloom, dynamic shadows, blur, sub-surface scattering for skin shaders, multi-core rendering, deferred shading pipeline, tesselation for greater performance, real-time reflections, color correction, film grain and noise, antialiasing and anisotropic filtering and parallax mapping on all surfaces and greater geometric detail with a less aggressive LOD(s).
The game has received generally favorable reviews, scoring 81/100 and 77/100 on Metacritic for the PC and Xbox 360 versions respectively. Game Informer praised it, giving it 9 out of 10. The key factor of game’s “low” score is the lack of multiplayer component. The singleplayer itself is dynamic but at some moments very static. Length of the game rounds about 15 hours for casual gamers, but can be beat up at even 8 hours without a problem. Sneak elements weren’t much finished so many players won’t use them at all. Game really needs some polishing, but we hope that 4A Games team will do it with sequel “Metro 2034”. As a conclusion: Metro 2033 is really worth playing, but with its lack of multiplayer you’ll think twice about buying it.
Overall score: 87/ 100