The question why in Ukraine are able to make high-quality world-class shooters, and in Russia – no, definitely deserves a separate study. In the meantime, scientists hypothesize, where hands grow domestic developers, we can amuse ourselves that the best Ukrainian shooter inspired by Russian writers of books. This, of course, about S.T.A.L.K.E.R. and the recently released “Metro 2033”. And if the first is distantly related to the novel by the Strugatsky brothers’ Roadside Picnic “, the” Metro 2033 “- a game directly on the fantastic book.
S.T.A.L.K.E.R., but not the
Between the “Stalker” and “Metro 2033” do a lot in common. They were made the same people: the backbone 4Games are from GSC Game World. Accordingly, here you can find similarities and combat mechanics, and in the implementation of weapons, and even in the character models. And most importantly – like worlds in which the action takes place both games. Network Glukhovski novel “Metro 2033” – is also a post-apocalypse, painting the effects of the nuclear disaster in the former Soviet Union. Only here in the Zone has become not adjacent to the Chernobyl nuclear power plant area, and our capital city, Moscow, or rather what was left of it. And it remained basically only subway: it was there, in the tunnels and stations, after the nuclear disaster took refuge a few tens of thousands of survivors of Muscovites.
Everything else is very similar: here, too, there are stalkers, which rise on the cold surface of the dead city in search of supplies, there is a reasonable anomalies that sometimes seem to play with their victims, there is radiation and mutants, there are bars where drunk peasants poison bikes and sing to the guitar, there are traders at the stations, at which you can buy ammunition and weapons.
But with all this, “Metro 2033” – is a completely different game mechanics than the “Stalker”. This, if you want an alternative view on how to do these projects. If GSC Game World have relied on a large open world that lives by its own laws, and the plot there was only a pretext to release us into this world, that 4Games, on the contrary, put it an interesting, exciting scenario of paramount importance, and everything else is sacrificed bright dynamic and extremely scripted action in the style of Half -Life 2 and Doom 3.
Instead we got a really intriguing story about how a young man named Artem went to seek aid in order to save their station from the onslaught of new mysterious mutants. In this way he and we have to go through a lot: he finds and loses friends, going to the front in the Red Army, fires back from the Nazis (!!) and crowds of mutants, comes to the surface and goes to the library (!!!) (!) It finds a secret missile base and eventually almost decide the fate of the survivors of the world …
Cinema under the ground
By itself, this story may not represent anything special, even more so, that the game still does not boasts of the same study of character, motivation of the hero, which was in the book (which editor this memo strongly doubt, because it does not find such advantages in a wretched creature Glukhovski). But all the redeemed setting and filigree work with scripts, which, as we previously thought, trained only rare western level developers Infinity Ward.
Ride the trolley from one station to the other turns doomsday. Intimate conversations with fellow travelers interrupted the mass loss of consciousness and strange visions, then you crowds attacking mutants, you furiously to shoot, while the one on the right is trying to bring to life a friend, then you are fighting off a single enemy with a bayonet, another stuck in the jaws of the knife .
And all this is complemented by a very precise, detailed study of the atmosphere. Periodically, you will be really scary. Creepy librarians look straight in the eye, attacking from the air and kill demons grab teammates anomalies approaching slowly and pulsate in the wires, friends and comrades fall under hypnosis and begin to bear the frightening nonsense, weird vision Artem booming echoing in my head. Especially authors like to lock the player in a confined space, causing furious shoot and fend off monsters constantly Stalking.
Post-nuclear life of the stations shown vivid detail: the dirty, gloomy people tell each other scary stories, share the latest gossip and memories of the “pre-war life”, someone trades with someone trying to get in touch with St. Petersburg or Kiev subway, some woman scolds a drunken husband, and the bartender persistently offers “a great folly.” In all this, it felt the same color shovels that we have seen in the “Stalker”, but to create an atmosphere of the presence of this very place. In addition to “Metro 2033” all the more serious and a darker or something, there is no domination of flat jokes, no poetics of alcohol, which is so irritating to many people in the “Stalker”.
To survive, but to lose freedom
Gameplay – match for the script and carefully arrayed authors atmosphere. As in “Stalker”, we have survival-shooter, that is the main thing here is not shooting itself, and survival. Shooter just in “Metro 2033” banal. You can use a few basic types of weapons and their modification, equipped with optics, a silencer, a bayonet or a possibility, as is the case with the shotgun, shoot doublet. Plus grenades and dynamite attached to the enemy. You can shoot in the open, but you can try to remove the enemy silently, trying to go unnoticed. According to the latest fashion of shooting handguns necessarily combined with scenes where we use a variety of heavy machine guns and even a stationary fixed on the trolley flamethrower. In the same fashion the hero has no health meter: getting injured, you just need to wait for some time and does not stick out. Enemies, people are nice, but nothing more than that: they are trying to change the position, enter the flank, throw grenades, hiding behind cover, but still remain relatively predictable opponents. In contrast, mutants, attacking suddenly and from different angles, and sometimes even from the ceiling, from the sky or from the ground.
But thanks to a shooting here does not survive. You have to constantly take care of filters for gas masks – without some missions simply physically not pass, the hero begins to suffocate and die. In addition, in the first half of the game there is a serious shortage of ammunition. Therefore, as in the Novels of Bioshock, you have to constantly search the dead bodies and the most hidden corners of the levels in search of ammunition, first aid kits, new filters and masks, to replace the old with the cracked glass in the fighting. And we are looking for local currency – a certain caliber ammunition, which in the world of “Metro 2033” equated to money. Accumulating and acquire vital here. For cartridges, the money can be purchased at the stations modified “trunks”, the same filters and kits.
To emphasize that in front of us is survival-shooter, not just a shooter, the authors added a few important details: a flashlight, without which there nowhere, slowly sits down, begins to shine weaker, and it has to be charged with a special device; to determine how much is left in the filter mask, you need to look at specific hours; to navigate using a compass, which is sometimes hard to see because of the crown or because of misted glass mask, so we have to bring a compass close to the eyes or cover it lighter. All these details accurately and competently operate a total harsh atmosphere. And for those who say that the entire game can be completed without using the shops without buying new weapons, without experiencing deficiency cartridges or filters for gas masks, we recommend increasing complexity: only then you get a feeling of “Metro 2033” for real.
However, in this game really is not all perfect. Some scenes seem stiffly plot, character and motivation of the individual characters worked superficially. Stealth is sewn with white thread, and by and large do not need: you can even extinguish the lamps and other light sources to go unnoticed, but the enemies you manage to find in almost any situation. The graphics looks nice, but the engine is poorly optimized. The need for money is almost lost in the last third of the game, from where bullets have crammed his pockets, and the best weapon you can get for free at one of the stations.
But the main thing: it still felt kind of innuendo, incompleteness. Many stations clearly is, where carousing, but we will not let behind closed doors. And the other asylum simply sweep past – we only have time to see how it would be interesting, dropped us off here the authors at least for half an hour. We can understand why the staff 4Games wanted nothing to do with a complex system of life simulation, which was in the “Stalker”, and in this case, this rate is justified. But the opportunity to wander through the stations to communicate with someone, run a couple of story and side missions from the perspective of implementing anything difficult is not represented. But the game is obviously would benefit. A project looks bright, fascinating in its current form, beautiful, atmospheric, but still only a workpiece to something more grand and varied. Hopefully, 4Games did not stop there.