Metro 2033 First Look

November 2, 2009 - Imagine that you've never seen blue sky, green grass or a sunny day. Then again, you've never seen animals, breathed fresh air or had clean water to drink. All you've really known is the harsh reality of struggling to survive, striking out into the ruined wastelands of a city to forage for equipment and items that could keep you alive. This is the setting of the harsh world of Metro 2033, an upcoming post-apocalyptic first person shooter from 4A Games and THQ that will give players a taste of a devastated Russia and its denizens scratching out a meager existence versus extreme odds. At a recent press event, I checked out some sections of gameplay in an alpha build to see just what kind of dangers can be expected in this frightening new world.

You take on the role of Artyom, a young man who was born just before the cataclysmic events that changed the world, but was raised underground in Exhibition station. Artyom had never had a reason to leave the confines of the Metro until an old friend of his stepfather's called Hunter arrives with a warning that all of the Metro stations have to unite against threats by new creatures known as Dark Ones, with Polis (the largest of Metro stations) being vital to their success. When Hunter doesn't return from a dangerous mission, Artyom takes up his work and attempts to unite the stations. The demo sections that I was shown started towards the end of Artyom's quest, and ended with a climactic battle between the human scavengers on the surface, a gigantic pack of rat/dog hybrid monsters, and flying beasts as well. As a creature lunged at him, the game flashed back eight days earlier as Artyom prepared to head out towards Riga, the first station in his quest. Before Artyom could head out, he needed to get equipped at a store with what he would need to survive the tunnels and surface world. Initially, this consisted of a gas mask, filter and a watch that indicated how much time the filter would work before you ran out of fresh air. Artyom also received a flashlight and a manual hand charger that could be used to power his gear when the batteries ran down. To protect him, he was also given a knife and a cobbled together firearm that fired 5.45 mm rounds. Ammo rounds, particularly pre-apocalypse rounds, take on a new significance in Metro 2033, as they act as the currency system for the Metro dwellers. You'll trade them for items, but clearly need them to fire weapons. The pre-apocalypse rounds have even more importance, as they pack more punch and cause more damage to targets when used, but clearly result in you burning a hole in your wallet.
Published by: THQ
Developed by: 4A GamesGenre:
First-Person Shooter Release Date:
US: Q2 2010 Europe: Q2 2010

Art buyers find few investment masterpieces

It was only when Jussi Pylkk√§nen was climbing down from the auctioneer’s rostrum that he realised the scale of what had just happened.

Having presided over the sale of a ravishing nude by Amedeo Modigliani for $170m, it struck him that this surpassed any previous auction figure achieved for the Italian artist’s work — by a staggering $100m.

“I knew the record would be broken, but not by how much. When you get a work that suddenly makes $100m more, that is the greatest single leap,” says the global president of Christie’s.

Since that New York sale in November 2015, auction records for individual artists have continued to tumble, underlining the appetite of super-rich collectors for the most desirable works of art. The global caravan of auctions, gallery shows and art fairs, which this week pauses in London for the annual Frieze fair, rumbles on in anticipation of the next masterwork to be offered for sale.

Many of those buying high-value art argue that the money involved is less important than gaining possession of a unique object of unimpeachable beauty or artistic value (and, perhaps, the chance to stand out from the gilded crowd). The idea of art as an investment is a secondary function, if at all. “You’re supposed to buy art because you like it. It’s a terribly corny phrase, but you get a ‘dividend of pleasure’,” says Bendor Grosvenor, a broadcaster and former art dealer.