Eastern and Western culture and interests are often like oil and water: completely different and they never mix. On occasion though, that gap is bridged. Created by Ukrainian developer 4A Games and published by THQ, 2010’s Metro 2033 is the most recent iteration of this. Described by many (including THQ’s own Huw Beynon) as “a flawed masterpiece”, Metro has earned itself a very strong cult following since release.
Enter 2011’s sequel announcement. Dubbed Metro: Last Light, 4A Games puts players back in the world of main protagonist Artyom and his continuing quest to free his home of radiation-created monstrosities as well as conflicting Fascist and Communist regimes.
Little is known about the story at this point in development. Rumors, allusions from the original game, and Metro’s Facebook page all point to a growing unrest between the different factions and the discovery of a doomsday device hidden within military bunker D6 as the general plot layout. Also unique to the story is its basis. Metro 2033 was based upon a book of the same name by Russian author Dmitry Glukhovsky. Though Mr. Glukhovsky has been working with the 4A Games development team, Last Light‘s story has been written specifically for the game and does not follow the storyline created in Glukhovsky’s written sequel Metro 2034.
According to Huw Beynon, 4A Games has rebuilt all aspects of the often criticized – and the game’s only true hiccup – combat system. Don’t mark it up as another “point and shoot” FPS game just yet though. The company hasn’t forgotten that the originals engrossing atmosphere was its strongest and most loved aspect. “We’re giving the studio complete creative freedom to tell the apocalypse their way,” Beynon said. “We don’t want to dumb this down, or westernize it.”
If 4A Games and THQ can deliver on their promise to combine a much needed combat revamp with an atmospheric setting that’s on par with the original, we could see a return to the iconic play styles created by the original Resident Evil and Silent Hill series. Here’s to hoping Metro: Last Light burns brightly.