Before diving in to my review of the Metro: Last Light DLC Faction Pack, I should point out a fairly significant problem that I ran in to on the Xbox 360. Consider it a warning or consider it context to my review, but either way I won’t hold it against the score of the DLC, since I haven’t heard of it happening to anyone else. Guess I’m just lucky <sigh>.
I really enjoyed the vanilla offering of Metro: Last Light, so much so that after beating it for the review I went back and was in the midst of attempting a no-kill playthrough of the Ranger Hardcore mode (the pre-order bonus difficulty DLC). Ranger Hardcore mode removes your HUD, takes away your ammo counter, doesn’t show you any inventory, and enemies are tougher. It’s not the natural way to play the game, but it is a fun challenge if you are looking for more from Last Light. It is not, however, the best way to play a combat-oriented DLC.
After installing and firing up the DLC, I discovered that it was stuck in hardcore mode. This was a problem during the first mission, which puts you in the shoes of a Nazi soldier fighting off waves of Red Army enemies. You are given a trio of new weapons, each of which is good for something specific: the new Gatling gun is made for multiple enemies, the sniper rifle-like rail gun is good for enemy snipers, and the grenade launcher is for the tank. On normal, this is a fun and fast diversion you can complete in around 10 minutes. On hardcore, you may break a controller.
To change the difficulties I was eventually forced to start a new campaign game on normal in the hopes of resetting the difficulty. That had the added bonus/heartbreak of deleting my campaign data (I was about 80-percent complete). Worse still, all games modes now seem to be permanently locked on hardcore. I reached out to 4A Games, but haven’t heard back yet.
I beat all three missions on the extra difficulty though, then jumped over to Steam, where I played them on normal. I had no technical issues there, and haven’t heard of anyone else with these problems.
DLC is supposed to draw you back in to the world, and the Faction Pack doesn’t really do that. It is over quickly and then forgotten…
Along with the first mission you play as a Nazi, the two other missions cast you as members of two other – wait for it – factions. In one you play a member of the Polis guard, while in the other you are a Red Army sniper. All three of the missions have a different slant, and each offers a different style.
The Red Army sniper mission is perhaps the easiest regardless of difficulty. You are given a silenced sniper rifle, and your job is to take out the enemy Nazis one by one without triggering an alarm. This becomes almost like puzzle solving, as you have to take out enemies in an order that doesn’t let anyone else see the kills. There is also a stealth section, but it fairly easy. All told, the mission can be completed in 30 minutes or so, tops.
The Polis mission is the biggest and best of the three, by far. You are a newly minted Polis Ranger tasked with retrieving artifacts from the surface and returning them for bullets you then use to buy things. The mission takes place near the Moscow Central Library, which returns from the original game. The mission also introduces the “Librarian,” a new enemy that you will need a special suit to face. To get that far though, you’ll need to first earn the heavy radiation suit, which in turn allows you to stay out in the open longer. It basically boils down to a series of hunt and fetch quests, but it also gives you a chance to really get into the mission and see more of Moscow. Of the three, this is really the only mission that feels like an actual expansion, and not just a quick demo. The multiple trips you’ll take will make the length of this mission variable, but it also makes it well worth the price of the DLC.
The biggest issue with the DLC is simply that it feels like a taste of the game rather than an addition. Thankfully the price (400 MS Points or $4.99, or as part of the season pass) is properly adjusted to match.
Putting aside the glitches – including a few in-game like some visual bugs – the DLC is decent, but small. It also ignores what made the game so memorable to begin with: the compelling story. You only see glimpses of life in the other factions, which is a bit disappointing.
DLC is supposed to draw you back in to the world, and the Faction Pack doesn’t really do that. The Polis mission is a highlight, but even it feels unnecessary. All three missions are over quickly and then forgotten, like a side demo rather than a side quest. If you enjoyed Metro: Last Light, then go ahead and don’t worry about dropping the $5. A dollar more though, and it would feel too expensive.
- A variety of gameplay
- New weapons and enemies
- Very short
- Doesn’t add much to the world
(This game was reviewed on the Xbox 360 as well as PC via Steam, thanks to codes provided by the publisher)