The game is a visual step up from Metro 2033 and that game wasn't really bad looking either. Last Light is a really great looking game, there are a few places where the textures seem to be less detailed but when you're exploring the Metro's lost tunnels and interacting with psychic events (dodging monsters) and marvelling at just how atmospheric the whole thing feels and how immersed it makes you, you don't care at all.
The light/shadow and effects from the various light sources all combine to bring the Metro underground to life in many ways. The psychic event effects are better than many survival horror games and there are a few ‘jump out of your skin' moments in Last Light too. The graphics really help bring these to life, but they excel when the scares come from a subtle build-up of effects which creep up on you. The storms which can ravage the surface are epic affairs and whilst they're scripted they look amazing and really drive home the post apocalyptic landscape changing over time from Metro 2033.Animations
Like Metro 2033, the animations in Last Light are for the most part excellent. Highlights are the immersive actions from the first person view, which includes a lot of idle animations for the main character interacting with weapons and idling. There are a ton of great animations for the game spread across the board and Last Light really pushes the boat out in terms of enemy/character/NPC animated reactions.
Cut someone's filter off and they will collapse and choke for example.
Artyom interacts with the world in a solid and believable way. From grabbing onto ladders, knocking people out or stabbing them in a variety of context sensitive ways.Physics
The game delivers a nice sense of weight and impact to the world in terms of physics; it has some really nice tie-ins to the animation system and delivers great explosion effects, cover damage and some lovely physical impacts from combat.AI
The AI in the game is a varied mix of reactions, a beautiful meal of various human and inhuman archetypes. It is an amazing thing to see in action and being hunted by many of the game's human foes through a dimly-lit area is extremely exhilarating. What really sets the AI apart from previous games of this type is, rather like Splinter Cell AI, they react to changes in their environment quite well. Leave something out of place like a rail car in one of the later sections, the AI will react to it and become alerted to something ‘not quite right'.
Kill a friend of theirs and watch them react correctly if they see it. Kill a friend and watch them find the body later on. The other enemy AI is based on the type of monster, Watchmen are animalistic and use pack related tactics – Demons: they'll pick you up and drop you into deep water, off edges and cliffs or just throw you into a pack of other enemies.
On the harder difficulty levels the game becomes a tense game of cat and mouse with human opponents, and a fight for survival with the animal and mutated enemies. It's superb stuff. Human enemies make good use of cover and other tricks, as well as flushing you out and working as a team to cover each other's backs as you hide in the shadows and pray they don't find you.Sound
Along with the great AI, visual aesthetic and detail you have a really vibrant sound library which brings the dim Metro and dark places to life. The spooky areas of the Metro are made even more so by the sound effects and ambient effects.Music
A great score accompanies the on screen action/adventure. It is at times melancholy, echoing the destroyed wasteland and the deep forbidding tunnels and then quite uplifting when there are areas of the surface world which look quite beautiful. The score is so artfully composed and implemented in the game it never overshadows, or completely cues the player into what's going to happen next.Voice
There are some pretty good performances in Metro: Last Light and you can forgive some of the more flat ones because of it. It was nice to hear some familiar voice actors but also characters from the first game making a return. All in all, we can't complain about the VA in Last Light.Dialogue
There are a few issues here and there with the dialogue in the game, but for the most part it tells a pretty coherent story and has some real feeling to it when involved in the more expansive first person cut-scenes. Again though, these scenes are always delivered when the player is in motion or can examine their surroundings – so you never feel locked into any long winded written expositions.Multiplayer
None, just the way we like it – Metro: Last Light is a gloriously single player affair and it shows in the level of polish.Dead Moscow
This latest instalment has made me want to dive into the Metro novels, because of the meticulous attention to detail and high level of polish for the game as a whole. I can't recommend it enough and everyone who has played it has also said the same here, it's a great game with a ton of atmosphere and it feels like a polished brother to Metro 2033.
Get it if you liked the first, but if you didn't – jump in and play Metro 2033 and then get Last Light, you won't regret it. It makes a change from the same Call of Duty inspired shooters.