A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know Metro: Last Light is a violent sci-fi shooter played from a first-person perspective. Gun-based combat is tense, visceral, and scary, with shouts of pain ringing loudly in closed spaces and gushes of blood spraying across the screen, sometimes obscuring the player's vision. Characters are given to frequent and strong profanity, and seem to smoke and drink whenever afforded the opportunity. A couple of scenes show women in various stages of undress, including a graphic lap dance by a topless girl who straddles the player's character.
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- Kids say
What's it about?
The second first-person shooter based on Dmitry Glukhovsky's series of science fiction novels, METRO: LAST LIGHT is set two decades in the future in a Russia devastated by nuclear war. Survivors are forced to live underground in the catacombs of a subway system known as the Metro. Deadly radiation, poison gas, and massive mutated creatures prowl the surface while warring factions of humans fight over diminishing supplies below.
Artyom, an elite Ranger, is sent on a mission to find and kill the last of the "dark ones" -- telepathic humanoid mutants believed by many to be the greatest threat to humanity's continued existence. However, some people think these creatures are actually sentient and benign, and that the pain they cause people with whom they come in contact is due to incompatible neural wiring. Would killing the last of them be morally justified to save humanity, or murder? Artyom has a choice to make.
Is it any good?
It's rare to find a first-person shooter that stands apart from the crowd, but Metro: Last Light manages this tricky feat in a few ways. Developer 4A Games has created a dark, engaging, and unique world out of Moscow's mazelike subway tunnels. The people inhabiting them are gruff and often untrustworthy, but also strangely likeable. More than that, the circumstances of their existence -- the Fourth Reich murder anyone whose skull size doesn't meet their genetic ideals; the families that live in terror when their homes are destroyed leaving them between factions; the crass performances that pass as entertainment in the ruins of the Bolshoi Theater -- are captivating.
Action may not quite have the high-gleam polish of bigger budgeted games, but it's still fun. An undeniable tension is associated with maintaining an operational gas mask while on the surface, and the stealth option -- more frustrating than it's worth in many games -- is surprisingly accessible and satisfying here. Mature gamers aching for a shooter that's a little outside the norm may find what they're looking for in Metro: Last Light.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about violence in media. When is violence justified in a work of art? When is it simply sensational?
Families can also discuss fear associated with nuclear war. Do you think world leaders might one day engage in global thermonuclear war? Or will calmer heads always prevail? Will governments one day agree to get rid of all of their nuclear weapons? What can you do to encourage them?
- Platforms: PlayStation 3, Windows, Xbox 360
- Subjects: Social Studies: cultural understanding, geography
- Skills: Thinking & Reasoning: strategy
- Price: $59.99
- Available online? Not available online
- Developer: Deep Silver
- Release date: May 14, 2013
- Genre: First-Person Shooter
- ESRB rating: M for Blood, Intense Violence, Nudity, Sexual Content, Strong Language, Use of Drugs and Alcohol
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.