It’s not often we get a game inspired by a book but in Metro 2033 that is exactly what we got. The game was’t hugely successful at first but garnered a cult following that helped see a sequel released in 2013.
Metro 2033 takes place in a world devastated by a nuclear war, specifically Moscow. The surviving population live in Metro stations deep below the surface with most never venturing foot outside because of fallout from the war, mutants & the dark ones – mutated humans with psychic abilities that live on the surface.
As the years have gone by Metro factions have arose in certain settlements dividing big sections of the lines into mini-countries. The biggest two being ‘The Red Line’, a communist faction & the ‘Fourth Reich’ who share principles & a similar ideology of the Nazis. The two major factions are in a constant state of war over control of the Metro while independent Metro stations try to survive around them.
The lead of the book is Artyom, a young man who works as a security guard at the Metro station, VDNKh. The Metro station is constantly under attack from the dark ones & people inside are beginning to lose hope.
One night while on duty Artyom meets Hunter, a ranger that spends his time moving from Metro to Metro helping where he can. Hunter wants to try & stop the dark ones from attacking the station & finds out that when Artyom was younger he made an illegal run to another station that led outside. Artyom was so scared that he left it open which may be how the dark ones are getting in.
Hunter makes Artyom promise to come to Polis station in case Hunter doesn’t return from his expedition.
This is the start of Artyoms journey through the Metro of Moscow where he will travel through many stations & meet many different people (some dangerous, others friendly). Artyom will come up against the might of The Red Line & Fourth Reich during his travels as well as all kinds of monsters & paranormal entities.
His quest doesn’t end at Polis station either…in fact Artyom will end up in the position to end the threat of the dark ones completely.
Metro 2033’s setting is fantastic…the Metro tunnels are an oppressive place & the on-going war makes for a thrilling set of sequences. Add the victims of the nuclear war, the dark ones, mutants & you end up with a story that should thrill at every turn. Sadly it doesn’t quite manage that.
The problem lies in how quickly Artyom moves from Metro station to Metro station…it all feels a bit rushed until we hit one of the big ones. We never get to read enough about every day peoples lives going about in Metro stations that are in deeper. As Artyom goes from one minor place to another I found myself getting bored. It rarely lasted long but it still happened!
That being said Metro is an excellent story that twists & turns all the time to a fitting & satisfying conclusion.
The videogame managed to stay extremely true to the book but with more urgency & action. It is an extremely faithful adaption & one everyone should be proud of.
Metro 2034 is available now as a direct sequel to the book. Metro: Last Light is a sequel to the game but does not follow any events in the book.