Thursday, March 25, 2010

Video game number eighty: Metro 2033

Video game review number eighty in my 365 Games in 365 Days project is "Metro 2033".

For some reason I can't explain, Metro 2033 is enjoying being called a decent game by almost every game review outlet that I visit. Some examples:

Metro 2033 7.5
IGN 6.9
Gamepro 3.5/5
This guy at Joystiq actually loves it.

I am genuinely curious if I am playing the same game as the rest of these people. I don't think this one deserves to be called above average...and that's what all of these reviews are saying. In this challenge, I've played a TON of games so far, and this one is barely in the middle of the road. It's so unremarkable in every single way that there's almost nothing great I can say about it. Yet, review after review that I've read talks about how much anticipation surrounded this title, and how awesome parts of it are. I disagree with pretty much every comment they've made.

This game is set in some ugly, dark, gray tunnels in Russia. You're underground because of some apocalyptic event, and for some reason, there are monsters trying to kill you. These monsters come out of nowhere, and are inexplicably annoying to fight. Some can die with one shotgun blast. Others take a full clip of your machine gun. Some are only able to be easily killed by pistols. I don't know a LOT about guns, but last time I checked...a bullet was a bullet. It's metal, and when you shoot penetrates flesh. The monsters in this game don't seem to know that, and instead...only like to be killed with very specific weapons.

Speaking of bullets, for some this game, they are your currency. Even though there are still bars, food stands, weapon shops and trading posts in post apocalyptic has gone right out of the window. The currency of the day is ammunition for some reason, even though almost no-one else you meet carries a gun. I guess they like it because it's shiny.

What makes the whole "ammunition is money" concept even more retarded is that it's strewn all over every map like gold coins in Super Mario brothers. Mario Brothers is a cartoonish game, so when you see a gold coin just sitting fits in that world. In this game, it's supposed to be all gritty, and realistic. Everyone is starving and bullets are the only money to be had.....yet the kid who begs me for one bullet to feed his family will walk right past 15 clips of ammunition just sitting on the ground as we walk towards a destination. This is just stupid as shit.

The story isn't really entertaining, and I've played through the first 9 chapters. You walk from point a to point b, having conversations about how awesome the surface will be when you get back up there (it reminds me of "30 days later" actually), but you're interrupted every few seconds by a really lame monster you have to fight. The combat is no fun, so basically....the game is "watch a movie, shoot an annoying monster, rinse, repeat".

Overall score 3/10. I get what this game is trying to be. It's trying to be Resident Evil or Bioshock meets Fallout. It fails. I don't care about the characters, the story, the graphics are ugly...and the gameplay isn't fun at all. Rent this one for sure, because if you buy into the hype and buy it, there's a good chance you'll be sorry you did. If bullets weren't so damn might want to splurge on one to put right through your head before playing this game.

Achievements? Good luck. Apparently most of the achievements in this game are earned by meeting VERY specific goals. I missed about 8 of them, for really stupid reasons. One achievement involved shooting a guy before he became a threat. Another one involved knocking on every door in a stupid level. Another one I missed involved refusing to give the poor kid who wanted one bullet from me a handout. I suppose I could play the first 9 levels again to get these achievements, but I think I'm going to be busy. Probably until the real 2033.

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