Metro: Last Light Chronicles Pack Impressions

By Adam Ma on October 28, 2013, 1:28AM EDT

Metro is a series built on a mixture of stealth, action and horror gameplay blended together in the bleak post apocalyptic world of a nuclear radiated Russia. Over the past year the series' latest instalment, Metro: Last Light, has seen players not only fight to save what remnant of humanity remain underground but also tackle a wide variety of challenges amid a wave of DLC all designed to continue fleshing out the bleak world of Metro. The Chronicles Pack is the last bit of DLC that Last Light will receive and as such is fairly ambitious in its attempt to bring a little extra detail to the world.

The DLC is broken into three missions, each designed to focus on an individual character from the story; throwing in new locations and weapons for players to experience along the way. Pavel's mission takes place just after the antagonist's escape from Artyom in Venice and lets players navigate a bandit hideout as he tries to escape back to his Red Line superiors. Oriented around sneaking in the dark rather than open gunfights it's entirely possible to play most of the mission without firing a shot, although it requires patience and a bit of good timing.

Anna's mission takes place toward the start of the game, providing ranged support for Artyom as they search for a Dark One. With limited ammo players must hold off a few waves of enemies, similar to the single player portion except this time from Anna's perch. From there Anna moves on, encountering the Reich that prompts a gunfight in the wastelands of the open world.

Both missions are very scripted, very tight, provide little room to explore and are more meant to experience an extremely limited portion of the story from a different perspective; but by far the best bit of content in the DLC is Khan's level which takes players deep into Metro's supernatural environments which includes a dive into the past. It's also the portion of the DLC where the player-created bicycle shotgun comes available, which is every bit as satisfying to use as it sounds. Saying much more will prompt spoilers, but needless to say that the environment and detail to the more frightening parts of Metro's gameplay should leave fans of the series thoroughly gripped and begging for more.

Which is part of the problem because Chronicles Pack doesn't really provide that sort of thrill anywhere else. Some of this is due to the bugs, which range from unusual to outright disappointing. Collision in Pavel's mission isn't the best, and the lighting in game isn't always thematically as dark as it really should be; often giving players the impression of "˜sneaking' through fairly well lit areas while NPCs are left blind. Typos are apparent all through the DLC's captioning, most of which are minor but distracting nonetheless.

Another disappointing feature lay in the AI itself, more specifically with humans NPC's who rarely respond to situations as they should. Guards will frequently ignore their murdered comrades, or fail to notice the player approaching too closely, somewhat dispelling the illusion of strategy. Mutants and monsters are far more satisfying to fight as a result, and given that players only really encounter them in Khan's story it's not hard to find yourself a little let down when stealth does turn to gunplay.

By itself Chronicles Pack is a tough sell as the superb storytelling in Khan's mission is heavily weighed down by the lackluster level design for Pavel and Anna. Those who purchased the Season Pass should be more than satisfied however, as the overall bundle gives players plenty to do in addition to the other packs (Faction, Tower and Developer respectively). Not a bad deal for $15, although if you're feeling really picky Chronicles Pack is available by itself for 4.99 on PC, 360 and PS3.

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