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Surviving the Metro
There can be no doubt that Metro 2033 is one of the best horror games to be released in recent years. The engaging narrative, amazing level of detail and entertaining gameplay combine to make this a bit special. It can also be pretty unforgiving and the learning curve may be frustrating for some. We’ve taken a look at the weapons at your disposal and we’ve examined the various enemies you’ll be expected to face. In this article we’re going to take a look at general strategy and explain some bits and pieces that should help you to complete the game.
One of the reasons that Metro 2033 is so immersive is the lack of a HUD. There is no health bar and your weapon slots and ammunition count only pop up when needed. This can take a bit of getting used to but it really is a good thing. Let’s start off by taking a look at some of the basics.
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You’ll be able to tell from the blood splatter visual effect and the desperate sound effects when you are near death. If you stop taking damage then your health will naturally recover but it takes quite a while. If there is more danger nearby then make sure that you use a Med Kit to restore your health in a hurry. You can buy Med Kits at metro stations and you’ll occasionally find them, try to ensure you always have a couple.
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Navigation and Objectives
If you hit M and press Right Mouse then you’ll hold up your notebook which has your compass attached to the top. All of your active objectives will be listed here and the compass will point in the direction you want to go. You’ll need to refer to this often but try to make sure there are no enemies around when you do because you’ll be open to attack. The compass is pretty accurate and sometimes the best way to get through a section is to hold it up and sprint through.
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If you go to the surface or enter an area which is thick with radioactivity then you must put on your gasmask. Your breathing will become laboured as a cue. You hit G to put it on and take it off. The amount of time your filter will last can be checked by glancing at your watch. You need to press M and then Left Mouse to take a look. Always try to pick up any gasmask filters you see and if you get short then buy extras from a metro station trader. If you get struck when wearing your gasmask then it will become cracked so discard it whenever you find a new one (there are a few dotted around on corpses).
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Weapons and Ammunition
You can quick swap weapons using the number keys from one to five. Many of your weapons have long reload times during which you are completely vulnerable. If you run out of ammo in the middle of a fight then switch weapon rather than reloading. Always try to fire in short sharp bursts for maximum accuracy.
The ammunition in the game is in short supply and you generally want to save pre-apocalypse high grade stuff to barter. There are military rounds and dirty rounds, military rounds are basically currency but they’re also more effective at killing than dirty rounds.
Make sure you search thoroughly as you progress, always check corpses and guns for spare rounds. In order to conserve your precious ammunition you should use the knife for close up combat. All your enemies will die faster from head wounds so always aim for the head. It is also a great idea to use the throwing knives and the Helsing (crossbow gun) because the ammo can be retrieved and used again.
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Wading into a noisy fire fight is often a quick route to death in Metro 2033. It is worth avoiding certain enemies but you must be stealthy. In order to sneak around:
- Keep to the shadows.
- Avoid standing on broken glass.
- Turn off lights.
- Use silent weapons.
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You’ll often find caches of equipment with guns and ammunition hidden around so it really does pay to search every area before you move on. Always check corpses. You’ll even find the odd round sitting on a bar table or shelf and you can snatch them up as you pass.
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Fighting human enemies you can use standard FPS tactics. Use cover, try to flank the enemy and keep moving so they can’t pinpoint your position. The majority of the mutants will attack you fairly directly and generally they operate in packs so it is vital that you keep moving and don’t get cornered. As soon as they back you into a tight spot they’ve got you. If you can stay in the open and just keep dodging around you should be able to take out large numbers without suffering too much damage. They also die faster if you can shoot them in the head.
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The various characters you meet and the encounters you have with the ragged inhabitants of the Moscow metro are meaningful. The choices you make as you play through do have consequences so think about them carefully.
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The game does rely on scripted sequences which are triggered by your movement. This means the action won’t move until you do. Sometimes the situation is hopeless and you actually have to escape so avoid holing up in any one area for too long.