The downfall of video game publisher THQ meant all of its game properties had to find a new home. Luckily, 4A Games' sequel to Metro 2033 (Metro: Last Light) found a new publisher home at Deep Silver. Here's what you need know about the game's development, plot, and the other facts surrounding this first-person shooter.
1. Metro: Last Light is a Sequel to Metro 2033
Metro: Last Light is a direct sequel to Metro 2033, which was based on Russian author Dmitry Glukhovsky's novel of the same name. This post-apocalyptic first-person shooter features a combination of shooting action mixed in with survival horror elements. Metro: Last Light was initially announced as Metro 2034, but the name was changed sometime after being revealed. It was first shown to gamers at the 2011 edition of E3. Originally, the game was planned for a release in the middle of 2012. After several delay announcements, the game was given a final release date - May 14, 2013. Check out the E3 2011 trailer for the game above.
2. THQ Was Set to Publish The Game; Deep Silver/KOCH Media Is Now Handling The Game's Publishing
After THQ was forced to close down, it sold off all of its gaming properties. Deep Silver, the publishing video game company mostly known for their Dead Island series, purchased the publishing rights for Metro: Last Light and the intellectual property for the series' games.
3. The Live Action Trailer Has Garnered A Ton of Hits
A 4-minute long live-action trailer for the game was released. It has garnered over 3 million hits thus far. You can check out the trailer above. Here is the description of the trailer:
The Moscow Metro. A monumental feat of Soviet engineering, with a dark secondary purpose - to serve as a refuge in the event of an atomic attack. As the Cold War thawed and the threat of nuclear annihilation seemed to fade, this purpose was forgotten -- except by a few, waiting for the signal, ready to open the vaults ... the last refuge for the remnants of mankind.
4. Three Live Action Trailers Have Been Released for the Game's Characters
Three separate trailers were released for the preacher, the model, and the commander. Those trailers can be viewed above.
5. It's Only A Single Player Game
Metro: Last Light is being released as a single-player game that forgoes a competitive, multiplayer FPS game. The first game was also developed as a single player game in order to focus more on the story and claustrophobic nature of the game's locales. Check out some of the gameplay that was displayed at E3 2012.
6. Another Mode for the Game Is DLC
There's been a ton of controversy surrounding the game's DLC - a second difficulty mode called "Ranger Mode," which is advertised as "the way it was meant to be played." This mode removes the game's heads-up display (HUD), makes enemies tougher to deal with, and makes finding ammunition harder to locate. Gamers have to pre-order Metro: Last Light in order to access this important part of the overall experience. PC Gamer received some comments from Koch Media's global brand manager, Huw Beynon, about the decision to offer this mode up as DLC:
Game makers and publishers now live in a world where offering game content as a pre-order exclusive is a requirement by retail, and Ranger Mode seemed like the best choice since it was a mode for hardcore fans who would most likely pre-order the game, or purchase it at launch in any case. We rejected requests to make story content or additional missions exclusive. We also rejected requests to make this a timed exclusive. We do not recommend Ranger Mode for a first playthrough, and this is made very clear both in-game. We expect Metro fans will want to try Ranger Mode for a subsequent playthrough, and we think that for this hardcore player, Ranger Mode offers a richer experience – but only once you've clocked the game at least once. We took all the steps we could to ensure that, while still offering retailers a pre-order incentive that met their needs, we did not force players to pre-order, or make them wait to get this content.
7. A PS4 Version May Be Released
It is no secret that 4A Games do want to release an SDK for Metro; finish the extremely promising multi-player component and release this in some form; and investigate a PlayStation 4 version provided it makes commercial sense (although no development has started on any next-gen console versions). We have confirmed these hopes and ideas plenty of times before. However, all these ideas are just ideas at the moment. It will be some time before we can officially commit to any of these projects or suggest when they might materialize. They genuinely might all happen, but equally, none of them might happen. Anyone expecting Metro: Last Light as a PS4 launch game is probably going to be disappointed...
8. The Main Character Will Travel to New Locales Beyond Russia
THQ's former Head of Global Communications for Original Shooter IPs, Huw Benyon, did an interview with Spong and gave gamers some details about where the main character would be heading this time around:
There will be other stations along the way. Like the first game, there’s a strictly linear level progression here. These stations aren't exactly hub worlds or anything, where you can get fetch quests and so forth. They’re very much there to help with a change of pace. To really explore the social fabric of the Metro world. Each station in the game takes the properties of whoever existed above it. So for example, Bolshoi station in Russia is built underneath the famous Bolshoi theater, and as a result it’s populated by actors and artists. There’s a cabaret show that you can go and see and other similar events. Some stations organize themselves depending on the factions that control them, too. There are three factions vying for power in Metro: Last Light - the neo-fascists of Reich, who are Russian nationalists essentially modeled after Nazis; a group of hardline communists, and a capitalist organisation that’s a little less hostile towards you, but is no less unpleasant in its quest for power.
9. This Game Isn't Based on the Metro 2034 Book
Huw Benyon also talked about the game's plot, which isn't based on the story detailed in Metro 2034:
Well, Metro 2034 isn't strictly a sequel to Metro 2033. It's certainly not written in a similar style. Dmitry (Glukhovsky, author and creator of the Metro franchise) described 2034 to me as his attempt at writing an art house novel. I've not read it because it’s still to get its English translation, but apparently the plot follows three different characters - none of them Artyom, who essentially stays at home, does the dishes and mopes about existentially. Right from the start it was apparent that Metro 2034 wasn't going to be suitable material for a video game adaptation. The first one was perfect, because it was a combination of a road trip and a coming of age story. And Artyom's two conflicting mantras that run through his head ultimately determine which infamous ending you got too. We obviously follow the canon ending for the premise of Last Light. The ability to change the ending in Metro 2033 is equivalent to... a glimpse into what could have been. An impossible dream, almost. Dmitry wrote the plot for Metro Last Light for us - it’s been another very collaborative project. It's been a slightly different experience from 2033 where again, it’s a loose adaptation of the book, but thematically we already knew what we were working with.
10. The Game is Being Powered By 4A Games' In-House Game Engine
In an interview with Now Gamer, executive producer Dean Sharpe also spoke about the in-game engine that was developed to handle the creation of his studio's game:
Well, the tech is still the original engine running from the first game, which we continue to improve and optimize. You can really see it in the E3 gameplay demo, specifically the scene with Artyom sneaking through a crowd of enemies. When I first saw that, even in the studio, I just thought it was amazing. Our lead programmer never ceases to amaze me. He’s just continuing to push the envelope, and I remember he came back from GDC this year and he was like, "Damn it!" So I said, "Woah, woah, what's going on?” and he's like, "The other programmers. They keep doing new stuff, so I guess I’m going to have to go and make my stuff better." I just said, "Yeah I guess you are" [laughs]. The guy is great, he never quits. I mean I could get into the specifics of the game engine, but I think that's probably a different conversation. The funny thing is that all of that tech was in the last engine, but we just didn't utilize it enough. When we came to do Metro: Last Light, we really souped it up a lot further along with the physics, and put an emphasis on building it into the gameplay.