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Metro 2033 review

A Review On: Metro 2033

Metro 2033

Rated # 11 in PC Games
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Pros: Great atmosphere, great graphics

Cons: Demanding engine in DX11 (but that is to be expected), character animation could be better

Metro 2033 is, simply put, one of the underrated gems of 2010. I bought it and played it late that year and have to say I keep fond memories of playing it. So much so that I have Metro: Last Light on my Steam wishlist ever since it appeared there.

Having said that, I didn't have an easy relationship with the game at first. The game didn't perform that well on my newly acquired GTX 460 1GB, and I soon found out that my Core 2 Duo E8400 was the culprit. But all things have a good reason, and Metro 2033 was the reason I upgraded to a Q9550. Even at stock, the Q9550 let the GPU perform as it should and I could finally play the game on High settings.

And what a game. Sure, it's not easy to get into it because it deviates from the norm in some respects, such as not giving you much ammo throughout much of the game, so you have to be smart about it. The A.I can also be a pain sometimes because the human enemies don't come out of their hideout on a predictable schedule for you to conveniently shoot; instead, they wait, hiding until you make your move, which means you have to study the area, figure out where they are and then be quicker than them when shooting and quick to hide again for the next round of enemies. Don't expect to clear out a subway tunnel in one go, it just won't work unless you're a pro. While this can seem frustrating at first, combined with the lack of ammo, it only makes for a more rewarding experience in the end.

The graphics are excellent, with high resolution textures and glorious DX11 effects. It's one of those games that can max out a GTX 480 / 580's 1536 MB of VRAM at 1080p, which was extraordinary considering only GTA IV before it could actually make use of so much VRAM. But contrary to GTA IV, which is a console port using DX 9, Metro 2033 can render in DX 9, DX 10 or DX 11. It truly is a PC marvel to experience, and one of the few games in the last years to give PC gamers something truly remarkable to experience. There is one aspect that might not please the enthusiast though: you can't tune every graphical aspect to your liking, although the developers made the smart move to tell you in a detailed item list exactly what kind of eye candy each quality preset has. Apart from that, you can define what DX rendering mode you want, AA, AF, advanced PhysX and depth of field in DX 11 mode.

The one point the next game clearly needs to improve is the facial animation, which is very basic. The skin tones are good, but the characters you interact with can't convey their emotions properly. Luckily the general character animations are good and the voice actors do a good job, meaning that the general atmosphere of the game doesn't let this aspect get in the way of the experience.

One thing that is clearly noticeable though is that much of the beauty of the game is hidden behind a gas mask, especially outdoors where you have to wear it all the time (you can take it off for brief seconds to admire the beauty of the game in its full glory, but that doesn't last long because your sight will quickly become fuzzy because of the lack of clean air and you have to put the gas mask back on if you don't want to die), which you also have to manage, including replacing it or replacing the filters, and the capabilities of the engine in general may seem also hidden behind the fact you play a lot of the game indoors, but all that is an integral part of the story and why the game has so much character.

After you have learned the game mechanics you really start to enjoy the story. And unlike perhaps all other shooters, this game is based on a book, and that shows throughout, especially on the level loading screens, which are very well used to put the narrator (you) speaking about the experience you just had and the expectancy of what lies ahead. The general mood of the game is also very well accomplished with sounds and music to match the destruction visible throughout the game and the precarity humans are living in that post apocalytpic world. In a gaming world full of first person shooters, this one stands out not only for it's advanced engine but also for being memorable for the atmosphere it successfully creates.

And for the low price (€ 10,20) I bought it for and the low prices you can currently buy it for (normally around € 9,99 or $9.99) it's more than worth it.


Beautiful game, great review.
Love this game so much, thanks for the truly great review
Getting this soon after I build my first rig, reading the book, and wondering when the second one comes out, looks awesome!
One of the best games I've ever played.
that is oen thing that bothered me was the limited vision with mask and night vision. They over stated the limited vision range, if you have ever used binoculars in real life you would no you don't see through two circles like in the movies. Also great review.
Who do you think wrote the fantastic story for the game?
One of my all time favorites too...looking forward to LL. Didn't think I would like it in the day, but after going ahead and deciding to play it, wow I was impressed, kinda like a Dead Space meets BF meets Fear meets Border Lands meets BioShock that said hello to S.T.A.L.K.E.R.
Another thing if you can pick it up for under ten bucks you owe it to yourself.
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