The latest issue of Games TM is hitting subscribers doorsteps today, and contained within its pages are of course many reviews, including one for the much-anticipated Metro: Last Light.
They scored the game an impressive 8/10, praising its beautiful world and graphics. They touched upon the shooting mechanics which have improved considerably since the original game:
“Much improved on its forebear, gunplay has been considerably tightened, lending a hefty punch to firefights and producing an evocative sheen to high-octane scenarios, feeling every bit the triple-A behemoth it aspires to be.”
They also noted that stealth is now a far more viable option:
“Environments are tight but immaculately constructed to belie their restrictiveness, always allowing the action to organically develop. This works to the favour of stealth, another aspect that has been significantly bolstered in functionality, making it a much more feasible alternative to traditional pop-and-shot altercations. The addition of covert knife attacks alone makes it relatively easy to pass through whole stages without troubling any alarms.”
Games TM did note, though, that while stealth is now a viable option the enemy AI isn’t really up to the task of providing a challenge for players intent on ninjaing (it’s a word, I swear) their way through levels:
“While the length gone to making furtive play much more accessible is commendable, the AI lacks the necessary reactionary smarts to make taking this approach solely a fulfilling venture”
Yet they certainly weren’t happy with everything that Metro: Last Light had to offer. The biggest criticisms that the magazine leveled at the game were to do with the stripped down survivalist mechanics:
“The most evident of which is the gas mask – essential for surviving outside in the wilderness and the source of much frustration in the original – here reduced to near redundancy thanks to a surplus of air filters littered around the environment.”
They continued by explaining that while gas masks were something of a barrier to enjoyment in the first game, they’ve not been taken in completely the opposite direction and lost their purpose, that without the threat of respiratory collapse the game loses much of its sense of tension when you’re forced to go outside.
“Indeed, much of Metro: Last Light lacks the depth of the first entry, ultimately undercutting the challenge that players faced in the original. For instance, the monetary system – based on military grade ammunition – is of little concern for the majority of the game, as ammo and weapons are easy enough to discover. Not once during our playthrough did we have to resort blowing our cash and using currency as a replacement for our spent bullets. Last Light’s approach to survivalist mentality is superficial at best – a collection of interesting tools that looks great but adds little value.”
Overall, though, they were very impressed:
“It is a world that leaves you wanting more, which is as much a compliment as it is a regret. However, if succeeds for much the same reason the original remains such a leftfield pleasure, while a few notable improvements to the core tenets make it a much more enjoyable experience overall.”
Finally, they describe the game as, “an immersive and compelling experience.”
Meanwhile in the rest of the magazine the following games were reviewed and scored:
Fire Emblem: Awakening – 9/10 “A strategy-RPG masterpiece”
Injustice: Gods Among Us – 7/10 “Fun, technical and affable, but not elite tier.”
Army of Two: The Devil’s Cartel – 5/10 “A series the next-gen can ignore.”
The Walking Dead: Survival Instincts – 3/10 “Dreadful even by licensed game standards.”
Dead Island: Riptide – 6/10 “Would have worked better as a DLC pack.”
Tiger Woods PGA Tour 14 – 5/10 “Similar and uninspired, golf fans will still love it.”
Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Gates To Infinity – 5/10 “Trapped in the shadow of its combined lineage.”
Star Trek – 6/10 “Star Trek, but not quite as we know it.”
Deadly Premonitions: The Director’s Cut – 7/10 “Still crazy, but not a vast improvement.”
BattleBlock Theatre – 8/10 “LittleBigPlanet lite on XBLA with better platforming.”
Persona 4: Arena – 8/10 “Well worth the wait for all fighting game fans.”
Defiance – 7/10 “An enjoyable but understated experience.”
Lego City Undercover: The Chase Begins – 5/10 “An average game with few redeeming features.”
Terraria – 8/10 “Hard work at times, but enormously rewarding.”
ShootMania Storm -8/10 “No bombast here – just pure skillful gameplay.”
As always if you want to read the reviews in full go and pick up the latest copy of Games TM.
On a personal note a review copy of Metro: Last Light is currently sitting on my desk, so a review will be forthcoming. The embargo lifts on May 13th, so expect to see reviews popping up then, though I won’t promise having mine up at that point.