Monday, February 13, 2012

Metro 2033

The year is 2033, the setting is the metro system of Moscow, Russia, and you are the 20 year old soldier, Artyom. You live underground with your station now, because this is not the civilised world anymore: this is a world filled with Soviets, Nazis, and aliens.

File:Metro2033 wiki.jpg

2033 is a newly released first-person shooter/survival horror game based on the book of the same title. My boyfriend got it a couple months ago and I've been translating the Cyrillic signs over his shoulder and watching the progress of the game. It has great historical context, and the setting is extremely interesting; as a player, you navigate through the tunnel systems and fight aliens known as the Dark Ones, all while attempting to avoid aforementioned Nazis and Soviets, who are warring above ground. It's an EXTREMELY unsettling game, for when you're in the tunnels, it is literally pitch black, and you have to depend on nothing but a flashlight, while above ground, the air is entirely toxic, and you have to cycle through gas masks to make it out alive.

The game's purpose is to set off a missile silo that will destroy the Dark Ones, basically, but by the end, it can take two routes: the Dark Ones will send you a "hallucination". You may now either choose to detonate the missile silo, and kill them all, or abort the mission (this is technically the good ending, because it turns out that the aliens were only trying to peacefully communicate).

What I found really interesting about it, apart from the whole Nazi/Soviet dynamic and plethora of Russian weaponry, was the fact that it took place in the Metro system. Alina mentioned in class how Russia's subway system is absolutely beautiful and pristine, while above ground it was pretty trashy and had a bunch of homeless people -- so it was really bizarre and unreal seeing how decrepit it was underground, and how there was suddenly a society of Russians living there.
For comparison:

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