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Metro: Last Light: Season Pass
Score: 80%
Publisher: Deep Silver
Developer: 4A Games
Media: Download/1
Players: 1
Genre: Action/Stealth/Survival Horror


I love the Metro series, despite both games sharing possibly the worst morality system I've ever seen in a video game. But that aside, these are incredibly atmospheric adventures that successfully blend first person shooting with gripping survival horror. Metro 2033 had its fair share of problems, most of which were ironed out in its superb sequel, Metro: Last Light. If you played that game, you might be craving for more. If so, you'd do well to pick up the Season Pass. It's inexpensive and offers a few solid hours worth of new content.

The meat of this Season Pass comes in the form of the Faction Pack and the Chronicles Pack. These are full-blown story missions, half of which tell compelling side stories, the other half of which fills in the blanks left open over the course of Artyom's grim journey through postapocalyptic Moscow. Not all of it is as good as the full game, but some of it is absolutely excellent.

Faction Pack:

The Faction Pack is made up of three side missions dealing with individuals who don't have anything to do with Artyom's story. That being said, their roles in this world cannot be overstated; at several points over both of the games, Artyom crosses paths with the Nazi Reich, the Communist Red Line, and the Rangers of Polis. The Faction Pack gives you the opportunity to step into the shoes of a soldier from each faction.

Heavy Squad, the Nazi Reich mission, is the weakest of these three. You are cast as Reich shock trooper Hans during the climactic Battle of D6. What's the objective? Well, you can't really go anywhere, so all you do is hold the line while killing as many encroaching Red Line soldiers as humanly possible. Metro: Last Light's straightforward gunplay isn't great, and it's best used in stealth-action hybrid encounters. Heavy Squad is a difficult and short mission that won't stay with anyone who plays through it to the end.

Kshatriya is perhaps the best part of the Faction Pack. In it, you play as a Polis Ranger Trainee, a Stalker charged with the task of venturing to the inhospitable surface and collecting as many preapocalypse artifacts as possible from the incredibly perilous Great Library. You will return to your underground station often to purchase new equipment, and also to save, as there are no autosaves in this mission. As you work your way deeper into the Library, you find special doors that can only be unlocked from the Library; these lead directly back to the station and give you a series of convenient shortcuts that prevent you from having to retread old ground countless times. This sense of forward progress has a distinct RPG feel to it, and I'd like to see more of this in future games.

Sniper Team casts you as a nameless Red Line soldier on a mission to infiltrate Black Station, a heavily-guarded stronghold under the control of the Nazi Reich. Black Station is not only plagued with Nazis, but it's considerably more irradiated than the rest of the surface. Certain areas cause your filter timer to run down at an alarming rate, and you'll need to be extra vigilant in your search for additional filters. Oh, and if you're spotted, the mission is automatically failed. Good luck!

Chronicles Pack:

The Chronicles Pack fleshes out a handful of major characters in Metro: Last Light. Some of these missions take place before they crossed paths with Artyom, while one actually coincides with an event from the game. These are all interesting additions, but they're too short to make much of an impact.

Remember Pavel? Yes, that Commie bastard who betrayed you more times than you could count. Well, he's in the hands of the Reich, and his options are limited. He doesn't have much in the way of ammo or firepower in general, so he has to play it smart. As much as you may be tempted to run willy nilly until dying a fitting and ignominious death, there's story to be digested and an Achievement to be earned.

Khan's story takes place in the past, though you actually control Uhlman. It starts off as they derail the Red Line Hansa train (an event from the full game), but the rest of it deals with the totally legitimate superstitions of the Metro. A series of Anomalies (those strange electric orbs that float around causing incredibly weird sh*t to happen), and the nightmares of the past threaten to consume our heroes; however, with a little ingenuity, they might make it out alive.

Anna's chapter is kind of a waste, though I suppose it's neat to see this pivotal early moment of Last Light through her scope. As Artyom chases down the baby Dark One, it is Anna's job to protect him. Unfortunately, her chapter is neither long nor exciting.

Tower Pack:

I suppose it shouldn't be surprising that a combat arena has made its way into Metro: Last Light, but what is surprising is that they've built a narrative component into it. This expansion takes place far into the fiction's past; the scientists of D6 are working on a combat simulator, and they need someone to go Assassin's Creed on it. Unfortunately, the concept is squandered on an insanely brutal series of challenges that are the polar opposite of empowering.

Developer Pack:

The Developer Pack features one standout mission, a series of new weapons, and a museum along the same lines as the one from Modern Warfare 2. But Spider Lair is Metro: Last Light at its absolute best. You find yourself hanging upside down in a missile silo that has been run down and occupied by a legion of Spiderbugs. Your objective is to get the hell out. It's a terrifying, pulse-pounding adventure that thrills while it lasts.


The Season Pass for Metro: Last Light runs $15. While it may not offer as much content as a standard Xbox Live Arcade release, it's still very much worth a look for those who'll take any excuse to revisit this unforgiving world.

-FenixDown, GameVortex Communications
AKA Jon Carlos

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