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.
First-Person Shooter Release Date:
US: Q2 2010 Europe: Q2 2010