Metro 2033 was a new take on the FPS/Horror genre adding a level of chaos by giving you the task of also maintaining your gas mask, ammunition, and health without the assistance of a HUD. Metro: Last Light adds to this design and builds upon it by making a more accessible, albeit, simpler approach to their post-apocalyptic Russia.
Metro: Last Light picks up a year after its predecessor with Artyom, 2033’s protagonist, being tasked with locating and capturing one of the Dark Ones, the alien life forms who once occupied the wasteland above ground. As one might imagine, this mission is not nearly as easy as he'd hoped leading to the proceeding 10 hour campaign. What starts off ripe with potential, dwindles and fizzles out very quickly when the story attempts to develop. The "friendships" that develop with Paval and Anna are immaterial at best as conversations are one way. Strangely enough, Artyom doesn't speak during the game to these characters although he does provide narrative during load screens. I found this to be disjointing and rather annoying. Some games can slide through the plot having a silent protagonist (Half-Life, Portal) and keep it entertaining, but Metro: Last Light is not to that standard. If your looking for a story set in the world of Metro, I highly recommend reading the books.
Where substance is lacking in the form of story, gameplay is king. The stealth system incorporated in the game is easy to use as a blue light will illuminate if you’re visible, and other visual cues make it easy to recognize when your ammo is low or your gas mask needs to be replaced. The world of post-nuclear Moscow is a very dangerous place with mutated monsters that live in the radioactive world on the surface, and the sewer systems are littered with deadly spider/scorpion hybrids or enemy factions.
Management of your supplies is especially important as you’ll need to be aware of your filtration system and most importantly, your bullet supply. Metro’s brilliant currency model are in the form of military rounds which can either be spent on supplies, or used as rounds to deal extra damage. This system is so unique and intuitive, I'm actually surprised it hasn't been used before.
On normal difficulty, changing bullets to military rounds is rather unimportant as most enemies can be defeated with standard ammunition and the necessity to purchase newer weapons and ammo runs its course relatively early into the campaign. Where this game really shines is on its Ranger Mode which was advertised on Metro's site as "the way it was meant to be played". Ranger mode, strangely enough, was only available as DLC pre-order or for an additional $4.99. If you have an opportunity to play in this mode, I would highly recommend it as it eliminates any HUD information, increases difficulty, and reduces the amount of available ammunition.
Although the gameplay is great and visually Metro: Last Light is a beauty to look at, the story never quite reaches that climax where it can be considered interesting. The enjoyment really comes from the stealth and if you're not one for sitting back and waiting, I would suggest that you rent it and move on.