Saturday, March 26, 2011

Hidden Gem

Hey everyone. It's been a while. I was very busy with finals the past few weeks. Anyway, it was a good quarter and I'm glad it's over.

When the quarter was finished, I purchased HOMEFRONT. Since I pre-ordered it via Steam, I also received a free copy of Metro 2033. HOMEFRONT had a good story but it was a bit short. The single-player can be finished in about 5 hours but the multiplayer is the addicting part of the game.

But this post isn't about HOMEFRONT. This post is about Metro 2033. For those of you who don't know, Metro 2033 is a game set in Russia in the year 2033. An apocalyptic event has occurred and mutant demon creatures have taken over the surface. Radiation is everywhere and humans have been forced to live in the subways and tunnels underground. Sound like a pretty solid concept, right? Well it was released about a year ago and it was one game I feel did not receive enough attention.

I had heard of Metro 2033 when it came out but did not see too much about it. Probably because some big title belonging to a well known franchise had come out and stolen the attention. Or perhaps it was the lack of multiplayer in today's market of competitive gamers. Either way, I'm gonna give this gem what it deserves.

I know I already said that it had a lack of multiplayer, but Metro 2033's single-player experience makes up for it. The story is an interesting concept but perhaps a little bit cliche or similar to other stories from books, movies, and other games. The way the story is told is incredible though. Immersion plays a big part in helping to tell the story because you never leave your character's view. You may not always have complete control over your character but you never completely lose control either.

For the most part, there aren't many cutscenes in the game. Most of the scenes that help to drive the story along are scripted events in which NPCs talk to one another but you still have control over your entire body and/or your head, depending on the event. The game doesn't really break immersion, which really gets me into the game's story.

The graphics are also impressive, with support for DirectX 9, 10, and 11. The lighting and environment effects help to improve the games atmosphere. The tunnels underground have an interesting haziness about them which prevents seeing things from far away...which, in turn, provide for some spooky moments.

The sound also adds to the experience with more ambient sounds than music. The sound definitely creeps me out with growls of mutants coming from far off in the smoky distant tunnels and ghostly sounds of anomalies and other supernatural things.

Most people are probably thinking that no game is this good without a little bad. Well, the game isn't perfect. The AI are a little slow sometimes but most of the time they are pretty challenging. Though, my main issue are the bugs. Sometimes the game will mess up if an animation or cutscene is skipped or interrupted, leaving the player with no ability to use any weapons, look at their objective journal, or do any other actions. However, there are many checkpoints in this game and players can load any checkpoint from any chapter in the game to play through (granted the checkpoint has been reached at least once). Loading the game from the previous checkpoint will fix this bug and I've only had to do this one time.

All in all, Metro 2033 is an interesting, worth-while single-player experience that is a bit of a hidden gem. I recommend checking it out if you are looking for an immersive experience that will keep you on the edge of your seat. And it's only $20 on Steam!

As always, thanks for reading my blog. If you have any suggestions, I'm always open to ways I can improve my blog. If you have any questions about anything, please feel free to leave me a comment and I will try to answer it. Also, be sure to follow me on Twitter.

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