Today it is very difficult to say that this or that game will change the industry. Of course, there are developers who constantly say so about their project ... As a result, we get some kind of Beyond: Two Souls. But if we talk about Half Life 2, then with this game it was initially clear - it was supposed to change the industry. She showed us what a story in a first person shooter can be, how it can be presented. How physics, epic scale and a detailed world combine into one adventure.
Without her, we might not have seen many cool games that inherited the game design decisions of the second Half-Life, for example, Bioshock, Wolfenstaine, Dead Space and especially the Metro series. Today, with the release of Metro: Exodus, we want to talk about how its predecessor Metro: Last Light, which was truly the heir to Half Life 2. Even more, it created its own legacy that we already enjoy.
Both games had a very similar fate at the release stage. Half Life 2 came out at the same time as GTA: San Andreas, Halo 2, World of Warcraft and Star Wars Battlefront were born. Despite the fact that the first part of Half Life was also revolutionary and the public was waiting for the continuation, the attention of the players was drawn to the cult online projects, as well as other major releases, with which it was oh so hard to compete.
At Metro: Last Light in the year of its release, everything turned out similarly and even worse. In 2013, GTA 5, Battlefield 4, Call of Duty: Ghosts were released, and Assassin's Creed with the subtitle Black Flag, which had not yet gotten tired of everyone at that time. In other words, they were well-known anticipated franchises that definitely made money for publishers. In addition, Bioshock Infinite and The Last of Us were released in the same year, where the main bet was made on a single playthrough and a story. The sequels of these two games, although not released every year, the studios that created them have been on the market for a long time and have enough fans, which Metro did not have.
At that time, 4A Games were little known abroad, although they made an amazing Metro 2033. Another problem was THQ, which ordered a long life and, with its bankruptcy, forced Ukrainians to look for a new publisher right in the middle of development. But that didn't stop them from creating a good game. I told all this in order to show how these two projects could not get lost and become what they are today, despite strong competitors.
Metro: Last Light tells its story in a similar way to the sequel from Valv, and also uses a network to create mechanics.
Most often, Half Life 2 is praised for its innovative approach to cut-scenes, or rather, for their absence. We did not lose control of Gordan Freeman and constantly controlled him when other characters interacted with us or communicated. We were introduced to lore, showing how these characters interact with each other and their lives. In the sequel to Metro, things are the same.
Someone constantly accompanies us, communicates with us and acts in such a way that it influences our actions. Sometimes there are cut-scenes in Last Light, but there are few of them and they are purely metaphorical in nature, for example, when Artem recalls how he was saved in childhood by a black man. But in general, we are not "pulled out" from the body of our hero. We do not watch him do something without us, and therefore there is no dissonance of identity in the game.
What is the first, what is the second sequel - they do not try to bombard us with explanations, or chew everything, as is often the case when before the start of the game we watch a long cutscene, where tons of historical information about lore, races, plot and setting are poured on us ... We are simply thrown into the thick of things and forced to figure out what is happening and how we should act.
We are told about lore, you will not believe it, through the lore itself. We ourselves see how the residents of City 17 have become accustomed to totalitarian control, and Muscovites to the subway as a refuge and living underground. Being in certain locations, you observe how people settled in the subway and adjusted it to their own culture and lifestyle. You notice that the citizens of the city 17 all wear overalls and endure constant examinations and raids.
It is equally important that the entire environment looks realistic. It is easy for you to compare that if everything that you saw in these games happened in reality, then most likely the world would look exactly as each of the games shows.
As an example, observing Gordon's gravitational cannon, it is easy to believe that this very weapon would be used by a scientist in his struggle against a despotic system, and this is logical. Weapons in Metro have a similar feature, as they are strange structures made of debris, rags and metal plates. All this in a post-apocalyptic setting, together with a survival system, helps to completely betray the atmosphere. At the same time, the device of this world takes shooting into the background.
If you are playing on a higher difficulty than average, the realism is felt more. You have to keep track of the ammo manually, control the time and oxygen when you are out of the subway, and most importantly, you have to exchange your secret ammunition for supplies and other weapons, because this is the local currency. And this is also very logical, because we see that patrons are an extremely valuable resource and it is not surprising that the local economy puts them in such a position.
While this may seem inappropriate in other games, in Last Light such things make you a part of this world.
Whispering Shooting and Game Design Wonders
If you've played Half Life 2, you've noticed that the game is very versatile and when many other shooters are built on the principle of only shootouts, this game smoothly flows into other genres, passing styles, be it linear or semi-open world. The game design of levels constantly invites you to do different things besides shooting, diluting the gameplay. This is especially noticeable in the first and second episodes.
The metro follows the same road. The gameplay is constantly changing and gives us the opportunity to take a break from the gunshot. And if you look closely at the two games, then they even have the same narrative structure. We find ourselves in the center of events and go on a long and large-scale journey, fight with dangerous creatures, whose origin is a mystery to us. We cross the old bridge, which hints that this is a one-way path, and later we fight along with those who were considered enemies. Both games end in a heavy firefight. In addition, Artem and Gordon are both still silent. 4A Games knew exactly what they were doing and with whom to take an example.
The third part we got
It is a pity that the third part of Half Life never came out, although we are still waiting for it. At the same time, Metro is doing well and Exodus is the third part that will further develop the principles laid down by Valve. Last Light - great, though not perfect [I will never stop joking about AI, which can breathe in stealth, but he will not notice]. This is the kind of game that takes a deeper look at the shooter genre than the rest. And while Half Life is a thing of the past a long time ago, thanks to games like 4A Games' shooters, we won't lose the gamers who love these games and the developers who will create them.
The Topic of Article: Metro as a continuation of Half Life 2's legacy.