After a few rough years, first-person games have become a lot better at supporting different field of view settings in their PC editions, though some still use the same settings as their console counterparts. Metro: Last Light was one such offender but fear not, a new patch will expose config settings so you can poke about if you want. It may make things a bit wonky, though.
Field of view, if you're not down with the lingo, is how wide a range we can see of the world before us. Human vision is around 180 degrees, and games simulate a far lower number to compensate from how far we sit from the screen--otherwise you get a nasty 'fisheye' effect. As PC gamers tend to sit far closer to their monitor than consoleers do to their TVs, we need a wider view and ideally can set it ourselves. Unfortunately, this means extra work and trouble for developers.
"The main reason for maintaining a fixed FOV is because we have 3D elements like the watch and weapon ammo that need to remain visible," developer 4A Games explained in a statement relayed by publisher Deep Silver's brand manager Huw Beynon (via PC Gamer).
"In addition, all the game's first-person cut scenes and cinematics and each and every animation involving Artyom's hands - idle weapon animations, reloads, ladder climbing, melee attacks etc, - were created assuming the same, fixed field of view. Changing the FOV would break all the cut-scenes and animations - you would be able to see inside Artyom's arms, or they would appear to float in the air in front of you. Or worse."
Performance, naturally, is also affected by showing more of the world.
4A says it had "considered" offering three FoV values to choose from, but decided against it as "this would still require significant work to re-do every animation, adjust the HUD and UI and other seemingly small but incredibly time consuming tasks."
Still, the developer understands that people still want the choice and will expose FoV settings for you to tinker with. "In the immediate term--the next title update, due in the next few days will allow you to directly change the FOV in the .cfg files," 4A said. Don't be surprised if you see any of the problems it warns about, though.
It's a nice video game, our John found in his review, and this'll make it a little nicer.