To celebrate the 10th anniversary of Metro: Last Light (opens in new tab), the intensely atmospheric shooter about life above and below ground in badly-nuked Moscow, developer 4A Games is making it free for the week on Steam (opens in new tab).
Metro: Last Light is incredibly grim. One of the most interesting (and honestly surprising) things about the game is that it establishes the “bad ending” of its predecessor, Metro 2033, as canon—because that’s how it goes in a Russian post-apocalypse. (And believe me, it was a bad ending.) But all that relentless darkness works remarkably well: The game world lacks the jokiness and knowing irony of Bethesda’s Fallout games, but feels much more human and filled with characters rather than caricatures.
Fair enough to say that it’s not for everyone, but at this price, it’s a perfect time to find out if it’s for you. Note that this is the Complete Edition, which includes various bonus content packs, but not the newer Last Light Redux (opens in new tab)—although that’s on sale for $4/£3/€4 until May 25, so if you like the freebie and want to enjoy some upgraded eye candy, it’s not a bad time to pick it up.
If you’ve never played any of the Metro games, Last Light’s intro will explain what’s happened previously, but I would be remiss if I did not recommend (or at least point out the existence of) the first game in the series, Metro 2033 (opens in new tab). It’s not as accessible and forgiving as Last Light (which, to be clear, is not an especially accessible or forgiving game) but I love it and it’s on sale too, in both the original and Redux (opens in new tab) versions.
And after that, you can wrap things up with the much more ambitious (and equally excellent) Metro Exodus (opens in new tab), the tough-guy shooter with a sensitive side.
Metro: Last Light is free on Steam until May 25. Don’t miss it.