Metro: Last Light is one of those games that hardcore gamers have been waiting to see released for a while now, with some snags encountered with THQ’s going out of business and subsequent fire sale. Even with all of those little snags that popped up along the way, Metro: Last Light still came to market and has been receiving good reviews and overall a positive reaction from gamers. That is good, because the last thing that anyone would want to see is a game get dragged down by industry troubles.
What’s interesting to note about the game is that much like we saw with the recent BioShock: Infinite, the general consensus seems to be that Metro: Last Light is an immersive experience that features a compelling story, interesting characters and a cool setting, but that most of the problems tend to arise from the gameplay. Metro: Last Light is a first person shooter, which means that no matter what you’ll know what to do when you pick it up as well as what to expect from it. That means that the gameplay will probably never feel fresh or all-that interesting if you know your way around a first person shooter, then you add in the fact that there are a good deal of slowdowns, glitches and that the enemy AI is flat-out poor in most places.
The team behind the game obviously put a lot of time and thought into it, as the story is one of the focal points and they do their best to give you a reason to want to keep playing. In that regard, they are absolutely successful, but Metro: Last Light is simply further proof that even with everyone’s best efforts to bring gaming forward with narrative and characters, the gameplay is still incredibly important. That gameplay is getting to be a bit tired, no matter what kinds of bells and whistles are attached to it. When a first person shooter is done right, it is a marvelous thing, but if there are little snags along the way it can seriously detract from a game.
While I’m not saying that Metro: Last Light is a bad game, exactly, it is showing that even with Hollywood-level storytelling involved there will have to be some steps made in the near future to really help nudge the gaming world along to catch up to its grand visions and ideas. I might not be the person to make that suggestion right now, because honestly, I’m not sure where games can go outside of first person shooters without a complete overhaul happening.
The reality of this is that good games like Metro: Last Light and BioShock: Infinite are going to have these footnotes attached to them, where they are heralded as great examples of games with strong narratives and original ideas that were weighed down by their limited gameplay. That gameplay which feels stale due to the sheer number of first person shooters that are released all of the time.
Hopefully companies like 4A Games continue to push the boundaries of what a traditional shooter is, but let’s hope that the tired shooter mechanics see an overhaul in the near future.