I mentioned in my initial thoughts post that I was enjoying Metro 2033. I wrote that post when I was still working through chapter 2. I have almost finished chapter 4 and I have to say I am not having fun anymore. I hate having to say that because I really want to love this game. It’s just become way too frustrating.
Shoot Me In The Gas Mask
I have to say this first. I HATE the gas mask. And that is a problem because it is central to the story and the gameplay. I understand why 4A Games included it. They were trying to make you feel like you really were in a post-apocalyptic world where the air had been fouled. But I just cannot stand the levels where I have to wear that thing.
I have come to realize, though, that my hatred for it comes from who I am rather than it being bad in and of itself. There are two things about it that turn me off.
First, the world as seen through the gas mask is blurry and distorted. And, it seems to me that it gets worse the longer you wear it. This makes sense. You are seeing the world through a clear, plastic lens that can get dirty. However, blurriness bugs the crap out of me! It bugs me because I have been seeing the real world through a lens for years. My eyes are terrible. I have worn glasses since the third grade. And when I say terrible, I mean REALLY terrible. I have to get books inches from my face to be able to make out words. So I appreciate having a pair of glasses that allow me to see things clearly.
The gas mask in Metro 2033, however, messes my vision up all over again. I have a hard time seeing things in the level when I have it on. And I hate not being able to see clearly.
The other thing that bugs me is the breathing. Again, this is more about who I am. I am an audial person. I never had to take notes in school because I was able to remember what I needed just by listening. There is nothing that will turn my skin faster than a sound.
For example, there is a radio personality in town who just can’t keep from taking a sip of his drink on the air. He’s even had people complain but doesn’t think it’s a big deal. I like him and what he has to say but I cannot listen to him because hearing that makes my skin crawl. The last time he did it, I immediately turned the station and haven’t listened to him again.
That’s how I feel about the sound of the breathing with the gas mask. And, as with the vision, it gets worse the longer you wear the mask.
I have really tried to overlook these issues. Like I said, I understand why the developers add the gas mask to the game. It definitely fits with the story. If these were my only issues, I would probably like this game a lot more.
However, these are just the beginning.
Smooth As Molasses
I have been playing first-person shooters for almost as long as I have been playing PC games. Some of my favorite gaming memories are from playing Heretic in the computer lab at my high school. And one of the main reasons I play all my games on PC instead of consoles is the precise control you get in shooters using a keyboard and mouse (hence the K & M in the name of this site). Metro 2033, however, decided to take that precision away in two distinct places.
The first section was riding in the turret on the rail car. In it, you use the right and left movement keys to turn it, while using the mouse to aim. And that thing turns SLOWLY. It will take you several seconds to aim at something in the back if you are facing the front. I understand they were going for realism here but the control in this section really frustrated me.
And then there is this little guy:
His uncle is dead and he needs to get back to his mother. A noble quest for sure. He climbs on your back and you head off, in a stumbling, why am I drunk when I haven’t had a drink, kind of way. SON-OF-YOUR-MOTHER! I really wanted to punch something trying to get through this section! I was already frustrated. This made me flat out angry! Why do this to me?!?
So Metro 2033 is turning into a disappointment after a promising beginning. However, I am not going to quit. I made a goal to finish a game a month this year and this is my game for June. Even though it’s frustrating, I want to see it through to the end.