Metro 2033 - PC

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Post by Mr007 on Sun Dec 26, 2010 4:15 pm

METRO 2033

Those darn Russkies!

BY BladeMaster

Metro 2033 - PC Metro2033box

Platform: PC (this is a PC review) Genre: FPS/RPG Hybrid Single Player: Yes Multiplayer: No
Developer: 4A Games Distributor: THQ

The story of how I got acquainted with Metro 2033 began on the 15th of June when my friend purchased it for me as a 21st birthday present. Reading about the game and seeing the preview videos on the internet made me realize that it resembled S.T.A.L.K.E.R. and Fallout 3 a bit. Those two are my type of games. So, when my friend asked me what he should buy me as a gift (he said he’d buy me any PC game I wanted), after much persuasion as to why he needn’t worry about buying me such an expensive gift, I gave in and said: “Metro 2033 then, please!”. So, after installing it, I was greeted with an interesting looking main menu. You see, I look at every little thing when it comes to games. Even things like the main menu layout, draw a picture of how the game will turn out once you click on “New Game” and then “Play”.

After beginning Metro 2033, you could immediately tell that this game would be good. The first sequence resembled Call of Duty 4 and S.T.A.L.K.E.R.’s love child. So, after the slick tutorial, which showed that the game play worked well, movement felt natural and that the gun mechanics were solid, you begin your adventure. The first safe area/”town” showed 4A Games’ commitment to detail and enthusiasm for their creation. Most NPCs look alike, as you’ll soon notice after you venture further into other “towns”. This was an annoyance that I was willing to look over, seeing as other aspects of the game were top notch. Now, I’ve been speaking about “towns” a little, so, let me elaborate…

In Metro 2033; which is based upon a novel of the same name, the whole world has faced a nuclear apocalypse and some of the Russian populace managed to escape into the underground Moscow metro systems. Apparently, during the Cold War, the Russian leaders proceeded to fortify all the metro stations and tunnels that run along the whole of Moscow. They would serve as capable nuclear shelters if nukes did indeed fly around and destroy the whole world in many a bright, radiation filled mushroom cloud. So, with all these people underground, a whole new civilization was born. A whole new generation of people living, loving, adapting and surviving underground. Every train station serves as a separate unit and the different stations fight, trade and commune amongst each other. The player takes control of a twenty year old Russian teen named Artyom. The most powerful station, with the most influence is Polis and you are tasked with giving a message to a ranger named Miller, there.

Metro 2033 - PC Metro2033

This game’s music was haunting, in my opinion. I’m specifically referring to the main menu music and the intro’s music. It has a tragic feel to it that suites the game to a tee. The atmosphere is spot on as well. Graphics are excellent, all round. The NPCs faces could have been done better and their expressions aren’t wonderful, but otherwise, Metro 2033 uses one of the best graphics engines I’ve ever seen. It ran on the “High” graphics setting on my PC and my computer isn’t great. Therefore, you don’t need a super computer to run this game either (I’m looking at you Crysis). Crouching, sprinting etc. work and feel good (as mentioned before). The trading segments of the game could have been done differently and better though. The game is also not very lengthy when it comes to actual playtime. It took me around 10 hours to complete. Some people complained about the stealth mechanics in this game and that they don’t work so well. I disagree. While performing silent knife-throws to the back of some poor Russian bad guys head, I had a great amount of fun.

The guns fire great and feel like they pack a punch. Speaking of guns…there are many in this game. One can buy the basic model revolver or buy modified versions of the same weapon (a modified revolver with a longer barrel and a scope for example). You can also buy throwing knives, a custom made shotgun that fires it’s shells like a revolver and the usual, like an AK74 or a sniper rifle. You need to buy your own med kits and gas masks, as, when venturing outside, you could potentially damage the visor of your gas mask and need to replace it. You have company most of the time (NPCs that accompany you through the spooky, cob-web filled train tunnels), but the few times that you are alone, creep you out nonetheless. I’d like to note that this game has a lot of attention to detail in every environment. Lights can be blown out to provide darkness for the stealthy mode of play and whether you are hidden from view or not is represent by green, orange and red bars that appear on your watch. You have a flash-light that needs recharging with the use of your mobile, hand-cranked generator. Very cool.

You face various, hideous mutants (one of which resembles a pig mixed with a man) and Russian conscripts while on your journey to Polis, which provides quite an assortment of different fodder for you to destroy. You go from underground railway tunnels to the above, nuclear-war ravaged Moscow and the sites to see are quite extraordinary. While searching through the Moscow ruins, the player must always wear a gas mask, which adds to the sense of urgency while playing these levels. I always dreaded going above ground, as the mutants are numerous and you can hear their horrid cries piercing through the air. At this point, I’d like to note that this game can be very difficult at times. The game goes from being challenging to down-right impossible at certain stages, all of this while on the “Normal” difficulty setting. I had to try an end level bit, several times before I got it right. In the end, this game was a really enjoyable experience and was made even more so by it’s difficulty.

Final Thoughts:
If shooting at Russian soldiers and mutants while underground sounds like a good gaming concept to you and if you’ll forgive the games occasional glitches and maddening sudden difficulty spikes, then pick Metro 2033 up and give it a try! You won’t be disappointed.

METRO 2033 Review Scores:
Graphics : 9.5/10
Gameplay : 8/10
Longevity : 6.5/10
Replay Value : 7/10
Story : 8/10

SCORE: 8/10

Review written by: BladeMaster

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Metro 2033 - PC Empty Re: Metro 2033 - PC

Post by Mr007 on Mon Jan 10, 2011 2:37 am

Angels & Airwaves

Track listing:

  1. Et Ducit Mundum Per Luce
  2. The Flight of Apollo
  3. Young London
  4. Shove
  5. Epic Holiday
  6. Hallucinations
  7. The Moon-Atomic (...Fragments and Fictions)
  8. Clever Love
  9. Soul Survivor (...2012)
  10. Letters to ***, Part II
  11. Some Origins of Fire

When Tom Delonge says that his band’s latest album is “like blending Radiohead and U2 together", it’s hard to take him seriously. Maybe it’s because this is the same guy who once sang “I know a guy who has sex with his sister/He used his **** to pop her four-foot blister”. Maybe it’s because his whiney voice is more reminiscent of a male Avril Lavigne than it is of Bono or Thom Yorke. Or maybe it’s because after two mediocre efforts, it’s fairly safe to say that Angels & Airwaves (often referred to as AvA) will never be in the same league as U2 or Radiohead.

Whatever the reason, it’s still hard not to admire Delonge’s ambition. Following the implosion of blink-182, Delonge could have easily replicated his previous success by forming another pop-punk trio singing about sex and teenage rebellion. Instead, he decided to pull his head in and attempt to create what he considered to be the best band in the world. The music was as epic as it was pretentious. The lyrics were uplifting and anthemic, albeit clichéd. Everything seemed to fit the template of a stadium rock band. The only thing holding Angels & Airwaves back was Delonge’s lack of songwriting ability.

The main gripe I have with Angels & Airwaves is the constant failure of their music to reach a satisfying climax. Some of their songs have intros that last up to three minutes, only to lead to something tremendously underwhelming. It’s as though Delonge has the idea in his head, but he is unable to put it into motion in the real world.

If you’re expecting the band’s third studio effort to be an improvement on the first two albums, you are setting yourself up to be severely disappointed. To put it simply, LOVE continues from where I-Empire finished, which coincidentally is where We Don’t Need to Whisper left us. LOVE closer “Some Origins of Fire” could have easily replaced “Valkyrie Missile” as the opening track to We Don’t Need to Whisper.

The lack of evolution is not the only problem with LOVE. While AvA’s previous albums featured heavily processed sounds and effects, LOVE suffers greatly from overproduction. The prominent use of Auto-Tune on “Hallucinations” is simply irritating, and the overall preciseness of the project somewhat takes away from the supposed message of love that the album is meant to convey. At times, you can’t help but feel like you’re listening to a manufactured pop album, without the attractive catchiness.

That being said, there are some positives that can be taken away from this album. Tracks like “Hallucinations” and “Shove” are some of the most enjoyable songs this band has written, as long as you ignore the painfully generic lyrics and exasperating use of Auto-Tune. The album flows nicely, creating more of an ‘experience’ than the last two records.

In a sense, LOVE does achieve what Tom Delonge set out to do. It is engaging, stirring, and in some ways, fun. On the other hand, the lack of a climax or ‘destination’ can leave the listener feeling frustrated and unsatisfied, which is really what is keeping Angels & Airwaves from joining the likes of U2 and Muse as one the biggest bands in the world. Even though the potential to turn this into something great is still there, Delonge would probably be better off focusing his attention on another blink-182 album.


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