Leigh Sherval writes: "For an unlucky few, end of the world scenarios serve only as the genesis for an even worse future. Post apocalyptic settings are ten a penny but few games capitalize on real world locations outside of the US. The "Stalker" series on PC drops players into a deserted Chernobyl. Russia's latest foray into FPS territory drops players in the Metro system beneath Moscow. Apparently the only "safe" haven remaining after nuclear war has ravaged the world on the surface.
Based on the novel of the same name, Metro 2033 is a linear shooter in the same vein as Bioshock. Your crawl through the Metro tunnels is occasionally broken up by brief visits to traders in stations full of NPCs. The games biggest strength is the desperate atmosphere it manages to evoke. As a game world, the Metro system feels believable.
It's helped in no small part by the proprietary graphics engine which throws some really nice effects around whilst maintaining decent frame rate. It's a shame that most the detail is reserved for the environment and monsters though, as the human characters, especially facial animation, looks a bit rough by any standard. Neat features, like the main characters watch utilizing the time setting on your Xbox 360, shouldn't go unmentioned."