By Marc Saltzman,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Gritty, mature sci-fi shooter with blood, not gore.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
This game paints a grim future for humanity. While they're fighting to protect the remaining survivors of a nuclear holocaust, the game focuses heavily on violence, therefore doesn't give a great message to players.
Positive Role Models
The main character is fighting for survival and protection of the human race, which only numbers 40,000 under the Moscow area. But because he uses violence throughout the subway tunnels, as well as on the surface, it can be argued the protagonist isn't the best role model.
Ease of Play
Despite some minor control issues with the Xbox 360 version, which is being fixed with a downloadable update, says THQ, the game is fairly easy to pick up and play -- especially for those who've played 3D shooters before.
Violence & Scariness
Metro 2033 is a first-person shooter, with much of the gameplay focusing on aiming and shooting at mutants, humans, and creatures. Weapons include a wide assortment of guns. bombs, knives, and so on. Blood spurts out of enemies, and onto the player's visor, plus corpses and body parts can be seen scattered on the ground. There is violence and blood but no gore.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
There are some vague references to sex, such as when the player runs into a prostitute who propositions you. She'll make comments about joining her to have fun, get it on, and so on. If you decide, the player can enter a room with her but nothing is seen onscreen.
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The game does contain inappropriate language, such as "s--t "and "f--k," but it's all in context with this gritty, post-apocalyptic world. The profanity isn't heard very often, but can be clearly heard by characters you're fighting with -- usually in reaction to a creature jumping out at you.
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
The player can purchase drugs from a dealer and ingest the smoke, which makes him appear under the influence (the screen becomes temporarily blurry and slow-moving). He could also vomit from the "trip."
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Metro 2033 is rated "M" ("Mature") primarily because of the violence and blood, not to mention the many scary moments in the game. This survival horror game that has first person shooter mechanics has many creepy environments and the creatures who jump out at you can be very frightening. Players will also see red blood spurts and shooting-based violence. But the violence and blood (but no gore) fits the story and premise.
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Based on 4 parent reviews
Good for tweens and teens
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What’s It About?
The only thing worse than a nuclear war that decimates most of the Earth's human population is mutant creatures attacking whoever is left standing. This is the premise behind THQ's METRO 2033, an atmospheric first-person shooter with elements borrowed from the \"survival horror\" genre. Based on a novel by Russian author Dmitry Glukhovsky, the story-heavy game is set in a post-apocalyptic Moscow, 20 years after a deadly world war in the year 2013. Much of the action takes place in dark subway tunnels, which have served as a home for thousands of survivors. As Artyom, who was raised underground, you'll also venture to the toxic surface by donning a gasmask and welding weapons to ward off mutant assaults. As we learn fairly early on in the game, the biggest threat to the Metro survivors are called \"Dark Ones,\" a new breed of mutants with psychic powers, capable of killing humans even from a distance.
Is It Any Good?
Yes. As with most first-person shooters, you'll cautiously move about 3D environments, shoot enemies who jump out at you (mutants and humans), pick up heath packs and ammunition, and talk with various characters who give you story elements or mission instructions. But Metro 2033 also delivers a dark and dangerous world, so don't play this game if you're not a fan of surprises lurking in the shadows.
The game isn't a flawless adventure, however. While the visuals look good for the most part, there are a number of odd graphical glitches, including "popping" textures on the wall that move when you walk past and some choppy character animation. Thankfully, these issues don't mar the experience much. Another problem is the difficulty of switching between weapons in the Xbox 360 version, as you must cycle through them in a linear fashion at the top of the screen. Shortcomings notwithstanding, Metro 2033 is a gritty shooter with a strong narrative and atmosphere. Fans of sci-fi fiction or first-person action might just consider this title the sleeper hit of the season.
Platform Note: The Xbox 360 and PC versions of the game are the same.
Online interaction: There is no online play but there is DLC (downloadable content) planned for this game.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about how Metro 2033 fuses first-person action with "survival horror" elements and if the combination of game genres works. Is it good for game developers to experiment with these hybrids or will games be more enjoyable when you know what to expect from that type of game.
How faithful is the game to the best-selling book of the same name? Does it enhance the game when it's based on fiction from another medium?
- Platforms: Windows, Xbox 360
- Available online?: Available online
- Publisher: THQ
- Release date: March 13, 2010
- Genre: First-Person Shooter
- ESRB rating: M for Blood, Sexual Themes, Strong Language, Use of Drugs, Violence
- Last updated: June 29, 2020
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