Metro was a novel written by Dmitry Glukhovsky. The first one titled Metro 2033 was published in 2005. Inspired by the novel, Deep Silver Game Industry, decided to create a video game, Metro 2033. In 2010, they released the 2033 title, at 2013 the Last Light title and the last game of the trilogy, Metro Exodus came during 2019. In this review, we will discuss about some gameplay aspects of the games, some features and also the main story. This is the second part out of the three articles about to be released about the games. Here we will discuss about the second title title, 2034: Last Light. If you want to read our review on the second game, click here.
DISCLAIMER: We advise you, that massive spoilers are ahead so read on your own account. If you want to download the game, is available on Steam and the Epic Game Store.
A New Hope
The game begins after a year from the events of Metro 2033. The hive of the Dark Ones has been destroyed, thanks to Artyom, who is now a member of the squad of Polis’ Rangers. Though it was his triumphant moment during the events of the first game, he is suffering from nightmares and possibly PTSD. He wakes up from the voice of Khan, who calls to him, because he found another Dark One. Khan is extremely excited for this, because he wants to study the creature and find out more about it and its race. He considers the Dark One to be a new hope, a chance for humankind to redeem itself from the crimes committed against the Dark Ones. But all will change, when they arrive at Miller’s office, where Artyom is ordered to hunt down and shoot the Dark One.
Although Khan tries to reason with Miller, the commander orders Artyom to hunt down and kill the Dark One. Khan, just before forcefully exits the room, pleads with Artyom to not fall to command. Artyom then heads out to the apocalyptic surface, with Anna, the best sniper of the squad. Together, they manage to spot the Dark One and hunt it down. When he catches it, the Dark One shows him a vision that blacks him out. When Artyom wakes up, he is surrounded by Nazi soldiers. From now on, Artyom is a prisoner of war, at the hands of the merciless Reich.
Pavel, the Antagonist
Pavel Morozov is a true communist. That should seem enough to describe his character. You first meet the guy in a nazi cell, while you and him are captured by the Reich soldiers. You are both ready to face execution by the commanding officer, but at the clutch moment, Pavel frees himself and together you kill the nazi soldiers. After the escape, you will navigate to the mazes of the Metro, encoutering many beasts and even arise to the surface, in order to find a shortcut to reach Revolution Square faster. While in the face of danger, Pavel seems like a really cool dude, a friend even. But, that was bound to change.
Although, you’ve been through hell together, once you arrive at Revolution Square, things change dramatically. Pavel seems to have too many “friends” there, a fact that you realize when Artyom arrives with Pavel at the theater entrance. But Artyom keeps following him, watches the show at the theater and follows Pavel at a shop, where they stop for a bite. At this point, Artyom realizes Pavel has set him up and takes him as a prisoner of war for the Communists. All Pavel wanted, was info on the D6 station.
During his captivity, he learns a lot about the plans of the Commies, before he is freed by General’s Moskvin son, a young man, who is tired with the violence shown by his father and the Communist regime. Artyom hurries out from the station and saves himself. Artyom will cross Pavel multiple times throughout the game. During their last encounter he will finally bring him on his knees and he will have to make the choice to make him pay, or spare his life. A decision that can define the outcome of the whole game.
Artyom, A Man of The People
After escaping the communists, he finds Andrew the Blacksmith, an encounter from the previous title. Andrew smuggles people out of Revolution Square, in order to save them from the brutality of Communism. He is also willing to help Artyom and he gives him Regina, a railcar to help Artyom on his journey back to Polis. Of course, Artyom wrecks the car on the way, but that is irrelevant with this part of the story. It’s a fact that, Metro 2034, give a great emphasis on the consequences of war, an attribute that we shall discuss below. During a war, many thugs, bandits and other vagabonds try to exploit people and take everything they can for themselves. This is a concept at the 2034 World War.
But Artyom did not stand back and watched. When he fell upon the people Andrew smuggled away, he learnes that bandits ahead had a camp, killing many men and many women were thrown to captivity. Of course, Artyom decided to help. Now it’s a small tip, that Artyom gets negative points, if he kills nazis or communists, because he kills over ideology. But if he listens to them sometimes, the player himself can understand that they are human too. But the bandits, have no such restrictions. Artyom is allowed to hunt, shoot and kill them. Of course, our advise is descretion. Kill the rapists, but do so without raising the alarm. After all, many of the bandits have innocent people as captives. If Artyom raises the alarm, they can kill them all.
2034 World War, Metro Edition
In 2034, the game dives in more in the politics and warfare of the factions of the Metro. Around every corner, Artyom learns about the political and military maneuvers, as well as the threat that Nazis and Communists pose to the Metro. And it’s really interesting that, the player gets hooked on these events, because you get the feeling of actually being threatened. Yes, it’s true that the game has a one-way story. And yes, the choices of Artyom, do not really change anything on the political scenario. But still, it’s very well written, with a solid representation. The 4th World War is in actual effect down in the Metro, and it threatens the existence of humanity.
Also (and this is partially knowledge from the Exodus title), Artyom agrees that humans, after the Great War they tried to build together the Metro. They tried to create a hospitable environment in order to survive. But soon after, the greed of power brought them to the brink of a world war once again. And this time, it could be deadly.
Noone can win this war, no man actually. Humanity is unable to stop fighting. So this is where Khan comes up. According to his theory, only a higher force can prevail against humans. And the answer lies to the mysterious Dark Ones. But how is it possible to reach out to a dead tribe? Khan takes Artyom to a mystical place, that can redeem himself. According to the knowledge that Khan posseses, he can understand the “language” of the Metro. He knows who is one the phone, when they arrive at the river. And it’s peculiar, because noone else seem to have the same knowledge on the Metro as Khan. This strengthens the thought that Khan is a supernatural being, ascended somehow.
The Seed of Doubt
The Rangers of Sparta, although neutral on matters of politics or war, they were pretty narrowheaded and stubborn on the matter of the Dark One. Miller thought that the threat for the Metro was external and had the face of the Dark Ones, but this was far from the truth. Dark One were trully the Homo Novus, a new human species, ascended from humans. It’s of course a theory, because the Metro games do not actually reveal this. But during the scene at the Botanical Garden with Artyom as a child, we can think that the Dark One who saved Artyom was actually his mother, who connected with his mind, making him the only one who could understand the Dark Ones.
Artyom was initially hooked up on the idea “If it’s hostile, shoot it”. But after the nightmares that followed the genocide of the Dark Ones, or the voice of reason of Khan, the mind of Artyom starts to doubt the values of Miller and his squad. And why they were evil? Who determined that? The attacks on the Dark Ones, were initiated from the humans and also the game reveals that many of the shortcomings for the people of the Metro, was actually a well-developed plan of the Communists in order to take control.
After the revelations at the River of Truth, where Khan takes Artyom in order to redeem himself, he understands the importance of finding the last Dark One. He is one special creature, that needs to be protected. Because in its hands, lie the future of the whole Metro.
Little Dark One: The 2034 concept
The Dark One that Artyom saves from the blazing train and brings it on the surface in order to get it back to health. After all, the Dark Ones, feed off the radiation of the surface. It is this moment, that he chooses to protect the creature, no matter what.
Artyom must show restrain around the dark one and make him understand that he has changed. He is not the boy that wiped out an entire civilization, but a man, trying to make things right. Artyom will have the chance to prove himself to the Dark One, when he faces Lesnisky and Pavel. Should Artyom kill the man that threatened Anna and almost defeated the Ranger? Should he kill the man that trpped him and almost made him the reason of the D6 downfall? Or maybe he shouldn’t be the judge of their actions?
It is interesting, that, through the Dark One, Artyom can actually look inside the mind of his enemies. Also, it plays an important role to the story of the game, because when you return to Miller from the surface, the Dark One sense some of its people hibernating in a facility of D6. According to the actions of Artyom and the message he passed to the Dark One, the creature will call its species for the halp of the humans against the communist war machine. So every player who wants to play the game as it was supposed to be played, should tread carefully around the Dark One.
One small note for the gameplay. The surface section of the game, it’s actually quite challenging, with bandits, nazis and beasts on Artyom’s way that he must fight.
Anna, the daughter of miller
A beautiful side story that occurs during the game, is Artyom’s relationship with Anna, daughter of Miller and the best sniper rifle at all the Metro. Their story starts with the wrong foot, although Anna has a good reason for it. Artyom was rookie that became a Ranger in a year, due to his success on destroying the Dark Ones. This is the reason she calls him “rabbit”. From her mission (which is on the extras on the main manu) we understand her worry when the Nazis capture him. But later this worry, turns out it was due to the feelings she had for him, as she explains when they are quarantined together. She is a tough woman, that’s for sure. But her father and the story of her mother, explains her story and situation with her feeling towards Artyom.
According to the words of Artyom, maybe in another time, this romance could blossom. But these were times of war. And although it may seem disappointing to the player, we believe that the dosage of romance was enough. The story, gradually evolves around them, as they will be the main protagonists during the Exodus game. And not only that, but Anna and Artyom, do not only connect on the basis of romance, but on the metrics of ideals. Of course, the game shows to us that they become intimate, but their relationship really comes to a fullfillment during the events of the next game, when they start to share the same dream. A life outside of the Metro. A life on the surface.
Clash of the Metro Factions
And here we are, at the end of the line. The Dark One, Khan and Artyom, break in the conference and make the communist leader Chairman Moskvin, admit that Korbut is behind everything. Korbut made Moskvin murder his own brother, after spreading rumors that Andrey Moskvin, the previous leader of the communists, wanted his brother Maxim dead. Maxim then poisoned his brother and took power, with Korbut by his side, dictating his actions. After this unexpecting confession, Moskvin reveals Korbut’s plan to take D6, seize power and resources, in order to take over the whole metro.
Hearing this, Miller runs to the frontline and prepares his troops (100 men strong), in defense again the thousands of the Communists. Miller already knew that this was a suicidal attempt. There was no way to hold this many forces, no matter how well-trained his soldiers were. That’s why he already has the D6 gate wired with explosives. The battle starts and the Rangers manage to hold back 3 waves of the communist army. But at the end, communists send a whole train on the last line of Rangers. They kill most of them, thus ending the battle.
Metro 2034: Good and Bad Endings
The Bad Ending of the 2034 game, is triggered if you fail to convince the little Dark One that Artyom is a changed man. There is a chain of events that if you fail them, in the Last Battle against the Communist Forces, Artyom is forced to trigger the bombs and every single Spartan dies, along with the Communists. The Epilogue is being narrated by Anna. She is telling Artyom’s story to their child and the possibility of going out of the Metro with the help of the Dark Ones, if they, one day, return. This is non – Canon, not only because Artyom survived the fight, but also because in Exodus, he and Anna do not have a child.
In the Canon/Good Ending of the game, the Dark One returns, alongside with his friends and family. He reaches for the hand of Artyom, telling him, that there is no need to trigger the bombs. The united force of the Spartans and the Dark Ones, exterminate the Communist Army. During the end narration, by Artyom, he expresses his sadness for his fallen comrades. But all turned out for the best. Miller, although in a wheelchair, he is the chief commander of Polis. Khan “just dissapeared”, as Artyom says, a fact strengthening the opinion of him being a spiritual being, like a guardian angel. The Dark Ones left, with the promise of return. Artyom stands there and watches them go away, with a new hope in him. The hope of a new beginning and a new home.
Overall Rating of Metro 2034: 9/10
If you want to read our last analysis about the Metro 2033 game, click here.