Metro: Last Light preview

4A Games' upcoming FPS shooter is one of our most anticipated games for a reason. It looks absolutely stunning. While last year's E3 demo focused on the action-oriented gameplay of Metro: Last Light, this year's demo focuses on the survival horror half--with an emphasis on survival. Every resource is scarce, whether it be ammo, health, and even the air you breathe. You'll be looting dead bodies and foraging through the environment not just for fun--but because it's a necessity. As you see the timer on your air filter quickly tick away, a sensation of dread quickly takes over.

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What struck me the most about the hands-off demo was how immersed I was. It may be a world filled with literal monsters, but there are so many subtle animations that trick you into thinking "this is happening." When an enemy jumps on you and claws at your helmet, you can see cracks starting to form. When you shotgun a monster and its guts splatter on your face, it doesn't simply fade away as in most games. No, you must actually wipe the chunky matter off your visor. It's little moments like those that make the experience all the more engrossing. "We want people to remember their time here," a 4A Games producer said as he took the stage. Certainly, what I've seen of Last Light so far has been memorable. The team is aiming to make the environment a character of its own. The haunting post-apocalyptic world crafted for Metro looks beautiful. The visuals are stunning, and each environment has a disquieting atmosphere. Moving from a dark, dusty underground tunnel to an overrun Russian metropolis caught in a ferocious storm did a good job of showing exactly what 4A's engine is capable of. The goal for Metro: Last Light is to create a single player campaign that isn't simply a "shooting gallery training mode for multiplayer." It's a refreshing sentiment in an industry that's become so heavily invested in online modes. But, while we're certainly drawn in by the focused storytelling 4A is trying to achieve in Last Light, one can't help but wonder if it may be too scripted. With oxygen always in short supply, you'll be forced to be on your feet--but will you be able to stop and smell the nuclear roses? BOOM video 12846
Watch the Shacknews E3 2012 page to follow all our coverage of this year's show. This preview is based on a hands-off demo shown at a pre-E3 event.