Metro: Last Light Delayed

4 02 2012

Sad days are upon us, the sequel to Metro 2033, one of my surprise hits of 2011, has been pushed back to 2013.  According to THQ’s release schedule, Metro: Last Light has been pushed back to Q1 of 2013.  It’s sad not just because of the delay, but because the world ends in December 2012 so I’ll now never get to see what happens to Artyom, those sneaky f**king Russians, or those neo-fascist Nazis.

Burke





Where are the Creative IP’s? The Rebuttal

4 12 2011

Earlier this week Srsbizniz pondered the question, “Where are the creative IP’s?”  As I did agree with many of Srs’ observations, I did find it necessary to defend the developers and titles that have broken down the wall of complacency and brought us new and creative IP’s.  I’m not a game developer and I’m not a video game publisher, hell, I’m not even a business man.  I don’t know the first thing that goes into running a successful business.  I am a consumer.  Plain and simple, I know what I like and I know what I want.  So when Srs’ also asked the question why we keep getting fed the same reheated leftovers time and time again, I can only assume it’s because people buy it.  It does seem hard to find those new IP’s during this holiday season filled with hordes of third installments from popular franchises.  But trust me, they’re out there, you just have to traverse the gaming universe to find them.  Like an astronaut preparing to enter space, you have to do your research, study uncommon topics, and take risks.  This goes for both the consumer and the developer.

What if Quantic Dream didn’t take risks in creating the story and game play style of Heavy Rain?  And what if Atlus didn’t believe in Catherine?  Those are just two examples of new and creative IP’s that had both critical acclaim and financial success.  It can be done, you just have to go looking for it.  And somewhere out there, you’re missing a creative game that hides within larger successful genres: the first person shooter, RPG, music game, open world and even the classic side scroller.  A small excerpt from a Thomas Edison quote says, “…I never pick up an item without thinking of how I might improve it.”  I love when developers, publishers and consumers embrace this ideology, it almost always leads to stellar ground breaking titles.  Ken Levine’s Bioshock is my immediate first thought followed quickly in succession with Gearbox’s FPS/RPG, Borderlands.  Both games grabbed hold of the first person genre and shook the foundation until it caved in.  Metro 2033 is a lesser known title that I hold as one of the most under rated games of last year.  Metro, influenced by Bioshock and others, still has the silent protagonist, but added special game play mechanics that made this game a stand out title among other FPS.  The Fallout series hopped out of it’s top down dungeon crawler mode and dove head first into the FPS/third person RPG and had world domination like success.  Fallout 3 is still one of my favorite games.

Before this turns into some lovefest over every game I think is the bees knees, I just want to make my point that the risks that are taken are what drives the success of this media.  I’m very grateful for people like Tim Schafer and Ken Levine, and developers like Gearbox software who aren’t afraid to take chances, having a connection with their community and always trying to improve our gaming experience.  Now that they’re doing their part, it’s time for us, as consumers, to do ours.  WE MUST BUY THE PRODUCT!  Steam, PSN, and XBLA are filled with small, large, independent, and non independent developers who are flooding the market with new creative content every day.  Take the plunge and try something new, you never know, you may just like something you’re unfamiliar with.  Everything can’t continue to be Call of Duty, the media must progress if it’s going to survive.

nerdfarm





Stunning Metro: Last Light Gameplay

28 07 2011

Metro: Last Light gameplay demo part 2 = stunning.  Are you kidding me?  Goosebumps, and then some.  I really need to stop watching these videos because the wait for Metro: Last Light will drive me mad.





Metro 2033 Review

15 06 2011

This review is for everyone who missed this Xbox exclusive when it was released in  March of 2010,  I know I did.  I remember seeing some previews, reviews and some gameplay video’s, but what I can’t remember, is why I never picked Metro 2033 up.  Now a sequel has been announced, Metro: Last Light, and I want everyone who hasn’t played this game to at least try it before the sequel arrives hopefully in 2012. 

Here’s a little insight into the games plot.  It takes place in a post-apocalyptic Russia where the surface is covered in radioactive fallout and infested with mutated beasts.  People have taken to Russia’s metro tunnels for shelter and have created “cities” in some of the many metro stations.  You play as Artyom, who has to leave his station that is in danger, in search of help from an elite group known as Rangers.  Metro’s story is very strong, and you’ll find yourself easily immersed into this story.

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First things first, I loved this game.  Metro is a unique experience, one that was a pleasent change from the other games I’m playing. Metro is a survival horror FPS, and it plays this part extremely well.  A lot of the metro is dark, damp and gritty, the only light is from lamps and torches half the time.  The sound in this game is amazing, if you have surround sound be prepared to be paranoid, the beasts growls and footsteps echo off walls and always seem to be running right behind you.  The weapons in Metro are basic with some small customisable features, such as scopes, silencers, laser sites, bayonets, etc.  Ammo is scarce, and is also used as currency, so planning what weapons you want to use, and ammo conservation are essential.  Your light source is from a flash light, and later in the game night vision goggles, both of which are powered by a hand pump “generator”.  When your light dims you pull out the generator and pump it back up to full strength.  Air on the surface, and sometimes in the metro is toxic, you wear your gas mask at these times.  The gas mask uses filters that you can buy, or find, and these filters need to be changed often depending on the total toxicity of the atmosphere.  These unique aspects of this game are what I enjoyed so much about it.  You fear running out of filters, you have anxiety about your gas mask breaking and not being able to find another one in time, and running out of shotgun ammo is always a bummer.  This is the way great survival horror games are supposed to be. 

But, this game did have some chinks in it’s armor.  The gameplay mechanics are not the greatest.  Guns don’t feel “real” when fired,  and seemed at times extremely inaccurate or unaffective.  The game in certain chapters want’s you to “sneak” through the shadows, showing how “hidden” you are by 3 lights on your watch.  I found sneaking very difficult and broken, with throwing knifes being inaffective and guards seeing you from a distance in the shadows when your watch says you’re hidden.  And lastly, it’s not my goal to get every achievement, but when you finish a game and there’s still 10 “secret” achievements, there’s something wrong in my opinion.  Achievements should be achievable, and I don’t want to go searching the interwebs for “secret” achievements.  I feel these are only minor inconveniences in what is a great overall game.

Metro 2033 is an example of developers doing something bold and imaginative with a new IP.  I would highly suggest any fan of survival horror, first person shooters, or post-apocalyptic sci-fi thrillers to pick up this game. 

Metro 2033 scores an A.