Metro: The Funeral

I’m mourning. Here ends my love affair with a franchise that once was so wonderful.

Angry woman love interest. Strippers. Awful borderline torture porn scene. Even more awkward lapdance. Angry woman love interest becomes the damsel. Awkward sex scene with not so angry woman love interest. Awful and cliché ending.

Am I, as a woman, supposed to feel intrigued by this? This is the bloody people I identify with and you portrait them like either loving (read boring) mothers or whores?

Of course, there were moments of brilliance in both gameplay and story as excpected, but all of the mistakes above makes the game seem like fine wine with a dog turd in it.

No. I’ve got nothing more to say. Just, if you cant portrait females in a respectful way, don’t even bother. I am beyond dissapointed and 4A games lost a fan last night.

Storytelling – Metro 2033

Metro 2033, a pretty great book. Metro 2034, a quite mediocre book. Metro 2033, a fucking AWESOME game!

I picked up Metro 2033 right after reading the book by Dmitri Gluchovskij and found the game just not to be a good FPS (not that I’m an expert on the subject), but also a good example of the thing that makes games fascinating to me. Gameplay seamlessly merged with storytelling.

I’m not normally a fan of linear storytelling, but in Metro 2033 it’s just so goddamn well excecuted. The game just kind of flows, just like when reading, and the switching from gameplay to plot is almost seamless. I think this comes down to one thing: the lack of cutscenes. The game is divided into chapters, each presented with a still frame and a narrator (Artyom) in short words telling us where we are and why. During the chapters (i. e. after the prologue/tutorial is over) there are no cutscenes, at least not in the sense of cinematic animations. Instead, when the area allows it, NPC actions are played out in-game. You COULD run away and miss it all if you wanted. But why would you? Listening to Miller speaking russian is AWESOME. If not, for example in a dresin which is the Metros main type of transportation, your character is frozen but you can still move the camera. This creates a feeling of participation I guess and even though these parts sometimes are quite long, they are never boring.

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Phew, the Metro is pretty crowded after all.

When presenting the plot in this way there is no risk of drowning in it. A danger when it comes to linear storylines where cutscenes can be too long or too closely spaced, certainly in an FPS. I mean, at least in my opinion you don’t play FPS for the sake of a good story or even the feeling of being immersed in a fantasy world, you play them because shooting stuff (or sometimes, in the case of Metro, running away from or sneaking around stuff namely librarians) is fun! The focus in Metro 2033 is undoubtedly on the gameplay, but our objective is always clear. Everything is just so well balanced I can’t stop praising this game!

Metro 2033 is in my opinion an excellent example of adapting a novel to a game, but also an excellent example of a good linear storyline woven together with the gameplay. Just like when adapting a novel to a film certain things in the manuscript need to be changed to suite the medium in question (and if you want to know more about that check out this video by my favourite critic NostalgiaChick). It was a while ago since I read the book, but I remember the “fantastic” elements as being toned down in the game. Somehow the plot in the game actually made more sense than the book, I remember it as more relalistic. And still, the main questions and themes that appear in the book are also raised in the game.

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“Thanks Artyom, this is a really good book”. Indeed, now READ IT. NOW.

And speaking of that, 4A games are now working on the sequel Metro: Last light. A game that  (at least from what we know) will have nothing to do with Gluchovskijs sequel Metro 2034. My feelings are kind of mixed in this matter. After reading 2034 I’m not very surprised they chose to create another story, it is very bleak in comparison. It lacks the depth of the previous book and is nothing but entertainment for the ones already familiar with the Metro universe. Last light will feature Artyom from the first game as the main protagonist, instead of Metro 2034’s outcast child Sasja (Some will argue with me on this but I claim the main character is Sasja).

And here is the thing: HOW I would like to see more non-sexualised females as protagonists in games. We NEED more non-sexualised females as protagonists in games. 4A games could have done what they did with Metro 2033, changed the parts of the story they don’t like and make an AWESOME adaption from the novel. They could have made the semi-shitty Sasja a BADASS aspiring action hero, just like Artyom was in the first game. Instead of following Mr. Love interest around, trying to be pretty, she could have been taking initiative to the travels around the Metro herself. FUCK YOU 4A for not taking this oppertunity, FUCK YOU very much!

One could argue that the main character in Metro 2033 (the game) is not really that defined. Artyom is the narrator, but over the course of the game we get to know very little of his background. Which of course has the natural explanation that the main plot is about the Dark ones. Plus, he is more or less always doing what he is told, following Miller and a bunch of other dudes around. Perhaps this is what 4A games intended with the sequel, revealing more of what happened before the people of Moscow resided to the Metro. Or perhaps Artyom will still be a kind of follower and undefined character and it was just an easier choice choosing a name the fans were already familiar with? In any case, the choice makes sense. I guess we’ll see and I’ll return to the matter once Metro: Last light is released. Oh how I long…

Metro: Last light pre-order…

… is apparently avalible. Pre-orders can be done online but I gave a call to my nearest Game store and ordered mine. If you don’t know about the Metro franchise, it’s about fucking time you look it up. Just try and show me a better way of implementing story to gameplay than Metro 2033. I’m writing an article on it right now.

Anyway, 4A games pre-order page can be found here: http://enterthemetro.com/uk/news/game_information_uk/ranger_mode_returns_in_the_metro_last_light_limited_edition_pre_order_now_uk/