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Videogame: Metro: Last Light

This page assumes you have played Metro 2033 and will have unmarked spoilers for that game.

Metro Last Light is a second game in the Metro series.

Roughly a year after the events of the first game, Artyom, now a full-fledged Ranger, is suffering nightmares from his decision to destroy the Dark Ones and is called out to track down and kill a lone survivor. Meanwhile, rumours about the D6 bunker, a treasure trove of weapons, food and medicine, uncovered during the events of the previous game and now being controlled by the Rangers are surfacing in the Metro. Both the Red Line and the Reich are plotting against the Order and plan to take everything for themselves.

Rather than the quite ethereal and spiritual plot of the first one, the story of Last Light is a bit more down-to-earth and political, dealing with espionage and warring factions, although supernatural experiences are still at large.

The game is a First-Person Shooter with Survival Horror elements continuing the canon story of Metro 2033, and was released in May 2013 for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC. The game is also slated to be released on the Playstation 4 and XBOX One, released with 2033 as the "Metro Bundle" (More details will be released at E3 2014). The game also made it to Mac and Linux systems a few months after its initial release. 4A Games have admitted that they'd like to bring their games to other operating systems in the future.

The official website can be found here: Enter The Metro.


The game features the following tropes:

  • Abusive Parents: The brief conversation between Moskvin and his son implies that he isn't the best father.
  • Action Girl: Downplayed with Anna, Colonel Miller's daughter and the Rangers' best sniper.
    • Faux Action Girl: Aside from helping Artyom kill a load of Watchers and Shrimps, she doesn't actually do much besides get captured, get rescued by Artyom, and have sex with Artyom. She doesn't even participate in the battle for D6 despite being the aforementioned Rangers' best sniper.
      • Justified in that Miller does seem to care about his only daughter and will not willingly expose her to unnecessary danger. Inducting Anna into the Rangers provides her an excellent career where she can exercise the skills that her father (presumably) taught her. Her training as a sharpshooter would ensure that she is generally reserved for missions where she is expected to support other Rangers from a position of relative safety. Leaving her out of what is essentially a suicide mission is also a sensible decision, given that someone would still be needed to lead the remaining Rangers, after all.
  • Air-Vent Passageway: Artyom uses these throughout the game, to sneak through enemy bases.
  • All Your Base Are Belong to Us: The goal of the Big Bad is to take over D6, in order to secure the bioweapons stored there to use on his enemies.
  • All Myths Are True: To a fair degree. While the novel of Metro 2033 was pretty steeped in ambiguity, Metro Last Light takes a different route with its storytelling. The nosalis rhino is said to be a legend one level before it's fought (Even though the children at the shadow puppet theater claim their fathers have faced these before) and, of course, who could forget: "You may still harbor dreams of looking for some legendary artifacts, like the proverbial Map of Secret Metro, but... I think I'll have to disappoint you."
    • Since communication between stations in the metro is very limited, it is safe to assume that different groups will have different information on the same topic. One station might deal with something on a regular basis that is told as a ghost story two stops down the line, just like how the Theater station announcer dismisses the Dark Ones in Exhibition as hallucinations induced by a messed up batch of moonshine.
  • Alternate Continuity: Whereas the original video game followed the plot of the novel it was based on, the plot of the sequel is completely unrelated to the Metro 2034 novel. This is probably because Metro 2034 had very little to do with Metro 2033: while it does occur after the events of 2033, Artyom is not relevant and the story is set in a different location with a different main character.
  • Always a Bigger Fish: In the level "Garden" near the end of the game this trope is surprisingly inverted. While fighting a giant mutant Mama Bear, Artyom has no hope of taking her down alive. However, several smaller Watchmen, sensing her distraction as a vulnerability, will attack her as a pack. Artyom can use this opportunity to get behind her and Attack Her Weak Point. After a few rounds of this she barrels away to defend her cubs, and will be killed by the Watchmen pack if Artyom does not help her.
  • Always Chaotic Evil: Averted near the end of the game. The Dark One child and Khan reveal that Pavel is filled with regret and sadness and has no hatred towards Artyom, while most of the monsters are simply defending their homes.
  • Always Close: No matter how fast Artyom and the player rush through the levels, Anna will always be held hostage by Lesnitsky, and Pavel will always be hanging.
  • Affably Evil/My Country, Right or Wrong: Major Pavel has an upbeat, fun-loving attitude and actually seems to be a decent guy (sparing a surrendering enemy soldier, for example), but ultimately has no problems carrying out General Korbut's genocidal master plan in the name of Communist victory.
  • Apocalyptic Log: Several audio recordings can be found lying around The Dead City, left there by stalkers, Rangers, and various Metro-dwellers who tried and failed to set up outposts there. They all start out innocuously, before shifting to frightened tones as they begin hearing strange, unexplained noises and start to worry that they're not alone in the ruins...
  • Armor Is Useless:
    • Averted early in the game, when Artyom and Pavel are escaping from Reich together. Artyom takes a bullet, and Pavel has to pick him up and let Artyom lean on him as he drags both of them into a train car to make their escape. Once they are out of immediate danger, Pavel comments that Artyom would be probably be dead if not for the Ranger armor he was wearing. As it was, the bullet just knocked the wind out of him and stunned him a bit.
    • Also averted with Heavy soldiers: most shots will simply glance off of their armour.
      • Artyom gets to wear a similar set of armour during the final battle. With it, he can simply shrug off some of the hits he takes. Hans (the hero of the Reich mission) is also clad in armor even bigger than Artyom's, meaning only sniper fire and flamethrowers can truly damage him.
  • Artistic License – Geography: While the subway stations are lovingly rendered with minor alterations from the source material (mostly to make them more spacious to accommodate more people and things for Artyom to interact with) and there are recognizable landmarks to remind you that this still is Moscow - just as in the first game - the aboveground sections are more blatant than the first game about inventing locations and places that don't accurately map to any area corresponding to the subway map shown in the loading screens.
    • A not-immediately-obvious case of this being the journey across the swamp to the Church outpost: the locations Artyom traverses to get there are more characteristic of districts outside of the Circle Line, and certainly none of these exist in that specific area, the gas station and parking garages in particular, not to mention that he covers more than twice the distance that actually exists between Tretyakovskaya (where Venice is located) and Polyanka (next to which the Church stands). The fact that in real life that church is surrounded by buildings taller than itself and in the game it stands alone is another issue.
    • A bigger problem is the Bridge level. It's rather faithfully based off the Vorobyovy Gory station (explicitly showing its signage at several points) which is three stations down the Red Line outside of the Circle Line and in the books serves as the border between the Communist and Emerald City factions. The map shows Artyom hovering around Park Kultury and Kropotkinskaya, and while there is a bridge near Park Kultury, it is a suspension bridge like the Golden Gate, and is not used for metro trains at all.
    • No airliner coming from Majorca to land in Domodedovo would fly over Moscow - the airport is over 40 kilometers south of the city.
      • That particular instance might be forgivable, though, on account of the Majorca part simply being Pavel's speculation; the pilots in the hallucination don't mention where they were coming from.
  • Artistic License – Physics:
    • You can breathe while surrounded by fire in an enclosed space, so long as you have working air filters. While the filter would keep smoke out of your lungs, it wouldn't do anything about the lack of oxygen.
    • Pneumatic weapons do more damage the higher the pressure in the gauge is when you fire. However, each shot decreases the pressure by the same amount, regardless of how high the gauge was before, thus every shot should impart roughly the same amount of energy to each projectile. The same goes for electric battery on the Hellbreath railgun as well.
  • As You Know: At the beginning of the game, the supply officer inexplicably feels the need to inform Artyom, by now a well-experienced denizen of the Metro, that he will need gas mask filters to breathe on the surface and that his monthly salary is in military-grade rounds.
  • A Taste of Power: The first chapter gives you a free choice of high-end weapons like the RPK-74 and the "Valve" rifle, along with a limited selection of attachments. Ten minutes later, you fall unconscious and are taken prisoner by the Nazis, causing you to lose all of your weapons and forcing you to find new ones.
    • Unless you play in Ranger mode, in which case the guns that you brought with you from Sparta will be on the weapon stand at the end of the Pavel (The enemy of my enemy) level.
  • Ate His Gun: The Metro is full of corpses of lost, starving, or doomed people who have shotguns lodged in their jaws.
    • In the final chapters of the game Artyom might find a skeleton in a bathtub clutching a .50 Cal (12.7x108mm) anti-materiel rifle in its hands with a dried up blood splatter on the wall behind.
  • Atop A Field Of Corpses: The cutscene at the end of the Reich mission shows Hans and Diesel in front of the corpses of the Reds they slew during battle. There are hundreds of them.
  • Attack Its Weak Point:
    • For humans, a head shot will usually kill them in one hit. Heavily armored foes will require precise aiming or it may still take a few head shots to kill them.
    • For the various mutants, typically it's also their head, though the ones that have a thick armored carapace/shell usually need to be hit on their underside to strike their weak point.
  • Attempted Rape: The first 2 bandits you encounter are doing this to a woman they've abducted. If you're quick enough, you can save her. But if you take too long, they'll beat her to death. Forget the violence, language, sex, horror themes, this was the reason for the rating on the box.
  • Apocalypse How: Class 3, to the point where many believe that Human life no longer exists anywhere outside of the Metro.
  • Awesome but Impractical:
    • The Abzats, for one. If you have to pull it out, you're pretty much screwed already. It slows you down, eats through your limited supply of shotgun shells ridiculously fast, and the only thing it's really useful for is fighting bosses. On the other hand, it's a freaking belt-fed heavy machine gun modified to fire shotgun rounds, and literally nothing can survive a full belt, so you make the call.
    • Military Grade Rounds fall into this as well, as in the last game. Sure, you can put in a mag to get you through a tough firefight, but you're literally shooting money.
      • However, there is something of an aversion this time around: unlike other ammunition types, Military Grade Rounds are uncapped. If you are really good at scavenging supplies, effectively use stealth to avoid combat and are careful with what you buy and sell, then you might end up with more MGRs than any of your other ammunition pools combined, which makes it possible to justify using them whenever stealth is not possible.
    • The Preved is essentially an anti-tank rifle. On a per-shot basis, it is the single most powerful firearm in the game, capable of punching straight through any kind of cover or armour to kill enemies in one shot. Problem is, there are very few occasions in the game that would warrant the use of this massive beast, which can only be found late in the game. Ammunition is very rare, and the thing is so heavy that it is very difficult to hip-fire or aim with it.
    • Now that practically every weapon in the game is capable of mounting a silencer, there is very little reason why you would bother with using the Tihar. This is made all the worse by the fact that its cheap ammunition costs are almost completely mitigated by the introduction of ammo caps, which is set at a few dozen ball bearings, depending on the difficulty.
    • Using night vision goggles with scopes that have night vision capabilities. While it's okay with a long distance fight, in close quarters the goggles and scope make things too bright to be used effectively, forcing you to either take the goggles off, or shoot from the hip much less accurately.
  • Bad Future: Par for the course.
  • Back-to-Back Badasses: You and Pavel during the first few levels. He is generally competent enough to fight off opponents and give you a hand in combat. Then he does The Reveal, and turns out to be The Dragon to the Big Bad in the game.
  • Bait-and-Switch Boss: The first few levels make it look like Fuhrer and the Reich are going to be the main antagonists of the game. However, after several levels it turns out that General Korbut and the Communist Red Line are the most dangerous threat to the Rangers and the people of the Metro. The Red soldier who befriends you and helps you escape from the Nazis even turns out to be The Dragon to the real Big Bad.
  • Bears Are Bad News: Giant mutated bears roam the surface, though they are rare. You encounter a single one (a mother with cubs) late in the game and it serves as a boss fight.
  • Before The Dark Times: Pre-War Earth is seen in flashbacks.
  • BFG: The Minigun, the "Preved" anti-materiel rifle and the "Abzats" automatic shotgun.
  • Bilingual Bonus:
    • Just like in the first game, a few of the firearms have meaningful names in Russian slang.
      • "Preved" rifle name is a distorted "Hello" and a russian meme.
      • "Abzats" shotgun name means "Fubar".
      • "Tihar" pneumo rifle means "Silent one".
      • "Shambler" is still named "Uboinik" in a Russian dub which means "Killer".
      • "Lolife" is called "Padonak" in a Russian dub (And has markings on the receiver indicating that regardless of the dub), which can also be translated as a "Chav", "Scumbag" or "White trash"— all words that correspond rather nicely to "low-life".
    • A tongue-in-cheek easter egg can be found in the Nightfall level. Mall ruins in the swamp that Artyom passes through on his way to the Church have a logo above the entrance that says "Roissya Vperde" or "Russia is fubar". It is a distorted and misspelled slogan "Rossiya Vpered" which is translated as "Go Russia" or "Russia forward".
    • A broken truck on the Bridge level has a slogan written on the side that says "Доставка хрени к вам домой", which literaly means "Delivering crap to your home".
    • A leader of a trade caravan on the run that Artyom meets in Depot speaks perfect Ukranian in a Russian dub and his subtitles are not translated.
  • Big Bad: General Korbut of the Red Line, who's planning to trigger a second apocalypse in order to gain control of the Metro.
    • Co-Dragons: Lesnitsky the traitor Ranger, and your "buddy" Major Pavel Morozov
  • Big Creepy-Crawlies: Artyom runs into a lot of exoskeletal invertebrates of unusual size this time around, with hardened carapaces which are only vulnerable in certain places.
    • Giant Spiders: Also come in scorpion varieties, apparently different variants of the same arachnid in the Metro. They form large nests and move quickly, vulnerable only on their undersides which, thanks to their moving low to the ground, are hard to hit. However they are Weakened by the Light, which literally burns and kills them. It makes their carapaces brittle or causes them to flip over. In any case, turning on lights will kill most, scare the rest away and create safe-havens against them, while a flashlight will cause them to back off. The only way for them to successfully take down a well-equipped human is by ambush or attacking in numbers from multiple directions.
    • Giant Enemy Crabs: Or more precisely, shrimp. According to one fisherman, they are normally pretty placid and only attack if startled or threatened, but they make good eating, especially with beer. They can be found in the flooded sections of the Metro, and also on the surface where they live in rivers and marshlands. The ones on the surface seem more aggressive than their sewer kin, and will sometimes pull themselves onto land to attack prey. They do this by swinging their claws in wide arcs, while holding those same claws in front of their vulnerable bellies, which gives them some protection against armed humans who would otherwise shoot the slow-moving shrimp without contest. Taking one down involves careful timing at short range, hitting it when it exposes itself as it attacks.
  • Big Damn Heroes: The Dark Ones in the Redemption ending. The baby Dark One prevents Artyom from blowing up D6 while the adults trounce the Communists without breaking a sweat.
    • During the Reich mission, Hans and Diesel. Before they arrived, the Nazis were barely holding their ground against the Communists. After...
  • Bizarre Sexual Dimorphism:
    • Like in the first game, nosalises have larger stocky males, smaller winged females and an enormous alpha female Big Mama.
    • Newcomers in Last Light are the Shrimps with docile females, agressive armored males and a giant alpha male.
    • Spiderbugs come in two varieties as well, males with pincer tails and plain females.
  • Blown Across the Room: Zig-zagged. Like in the first game bodies generally react to shots like you would expect them, aside from shotguns that send humans and mutants flying (and hilariously backflipping) this time around.
  • Boom, Headshot: Although a number of enemies wear protective headgear, aiming your shots at the head/neck region is still a very effective tactic against humans.
  • Book Ends: The game starts and ends at D6
  • Boss Banter: Most notable when chasing Pavel up the building.
  • Boring but Practical: The throwing knives. Reusable, silent, deadly, and extremely accurate, they make lethal stealth runs a cakewalk, even if they aren't very flashy.
    • Also, the basic revolver. Endlessly modifiable, good damage, and a (very quiet) silenced model is literally the first weapon you get after the game really starts, and some players are likely to carry that the whole game. Equally useful against mutants, humans, and your biggest threat - lightbulbs.
    • Your basic AK will probably be your go-to weapon for much of the game, given its balance of attributes and how easy it is to find after the first few levels.
    • Then there are the non-lethal takedowns. Not very flashy, but effective, hilarious, and one of the only self-defense measures besides fleeing that you have if you're going for a Pacifist Run.
  • Brand X: All the pre-war advertisements that are not shilling the book series the game is based on are this.
  • Bribing Your Way to Victory: As of the 21st of May, 2013, a Season Pass is available for purchase. Buying it gives the player an exclusive "Abzats" weapon, which is a refurbished Heavy Automatic Shotgun from the first game. And just as in the first game, nothing that can be killed survives an entire belt.
  • Brick Joke/Chekhov's Gun: An uncommon instance when it's in use by the villains. Early in the game, you hear the Reds are preparing for war, including building an armored train-which you even find, under construction at one point. Guess what they use at the very end to break through your lines?
  • Broken Faceplate: Your gas mask will start to crack and break as you take damage from the front while wearing it. Quite a few corpses scattered on the surface and in the tunnels sport these as well.
    • In a plot-relevant example, at the end of the level "Contagion", Lesnitsky taking Anna hostage demands that Artyom removes his mask. If Artyom attempts to attack him instead, he will throw the hostage at him, causing Artyom's visor to shatter on impact.
  • Bullfight Boss: The Big Momma.
  • Burlesque: The Theater station stage performance.
  • Cap: This time around the game introduces caps for all ammunition types aside from MGRs that become smaller and smaller as the difficulty goes up.
  • Call Back: Artyom messes up a boost maneuver the exact same way in both 2033 and in Last Light.
  • Camera Abuse: Artyom's gasmask can be cracked like 2033, but now carries the feature of taking splatter from mud/blood/water/etc., and even builds up greater levels of condensation as filters run low. To put it into context, tapping the gas mask button makes it act as a visor wipe button.
  • Cain and Abel: Moskvin and his brother, previous leader of the Red Line. Later on, it's revealed that it was another one of Korbut's schemes.
  • Can't Hold His Liquor: Artyom. It gets him in trouble more than once.
  • The Casanova: Pavel. Cabaret dancers in Bolshoi theater know him by name and complain he wasn't visiting them a lot lately. First thing he does in Venice is pay a visit to a local brothel.
  • Children Are Special: Unlike adults, children are unaffected by the psychic emanations of a Dark One, which is why Artyom was able to successfully establish contact with them, back when he was a child.
    • The Dark One child is yet another example. Although his psychic powers are much weaker than those of a fully-grown Dark One, his powers don't cause nearby humans to go insane, and thanks to his smaller proportions, he can project an illusion that convincingly disguises him as a human child. These factors allow him to follow Artyom and pass through Polis station completely unnoticed.
  • The Chosen One: Artyom, again.
  • Clarke's Third Law: Anna observes that while trains were commonplace before the apocalypse, in a few generations' time people will probably believe they were built by the Gods.
  • Cobweb Jungle: Anywhere the spiders make their nests, you will find the place covered in webs, with pulsating fleshy egg sacs that hatch if you get too close or shine a light on them. The webs can actually slow Artyom down, which is dangerous when he is being chased by Giant Spiders, but they can be cleared out with his lighter. Expect ambushes from freshly hatched spiders and those jumping from bolt-holes, and no sources of light except what you bring with you.
  • Combat Tentacles: Lianas from the previous game seem to be thriving at the Swamp and the Kshatriya mission from the Faction Pack DLC shows that they still cover parts of the State Library.
  • Conditioned to Accept Horror: Pretty much everyone in the tunnels still alive twenty years after the end has adapted to the new world, while those who were born after the apocalypse simply don't know any better.
  • Cool Train: Artyom gets to drive around a sweet single-seater train which looks like a sports car and is covered in lights to scare away mutants.
  • Cold-Blooded Torture: Moskvin's method of interrogating Artyom basically amounts to beating the shit out of him. Averted with Korburt who says he prefers a more scientific method to interrogation and injects Artyom with a "truth serum" which causes him to have a vision of when he first met the Dark Ones as a child before waking up with Korburt giving orders to Major Pavel about the location of the Dark One child before passing out again. It's highly implied but never stated that the serum worked and Korburt was able to get information out of Artyom with it.
  • The Coconut Effect: Since the game is set in Russia, in universe you'd expect all the characters to be speaking Russian to one another. Instead they talk in heavily accented English, for the sake of Western players, even though the Translation Convention should make them unnecessary.
    • Of course playing the game with Russian vocals and english subtitles and text is always an option.
  • Cosmic Horror Story: Artyom points out that there are tunnels that predate Metro by centuries and wonders whether the mutants he encounters are really mutants or monsters that have been dormant and are now reclaiming the world in humanity's absence.
    • There are also phenomenon like the River of Fate and the "Darkness" (which causes some electrical lights to flicker out) which are depicted as amoral despite their profound impacts on the reality around them.
  • Crapsack World: Less so than the first game, on account of the coming spring, but still treacherous and draining.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: A few examples:
    • You can generally do this due to being a One-Man Army, mowing down waves of mutants and enemy soldiers.
    • A Dark One does this to the mutants that attack Artyom in a Flash Back when he was a child, effortlessly killing any of them that attempt to attack him.
  • Damn You, Muscle Memory: The Duplet in 2033 fired a barrel depending on what mouse button you pressed (LMB for the left, RMB for the right, press both for a double discharge). Here in Last Light, LMB fires one barrel, and RMB fires both. If you get the quad-barrel upgrade for it and aren't used to the diferent handling, expect your shell count to go down the drain fast.
  • Darker and Edgier: Zigzagged. The narrative goes for a lot more darker material than Metro 2033, but also has extremely optimistic themes that discuss redemption, coexistence, and hope that the world will one day return to some semblance of normal.
  • Deadly Gas: Revolution station has a gas production facility with complicated machinery that will blow up if the player disrupts the maintenance process flooding the area with green fog.
  • Demoted to Extra: Ulman's role is much smaller than in Metro 2033. However, the Chronicles Pack DLC gives you a mission where you play as him, which mitigates things a bit.
  • Despair Event Horizon: Artyom's genocide of the Dark Ones in the previous game was this.
  • Difficulty Spike: A few times along the plot relatively calm and slow paced sections are replaced with frantic fights to the death against packs of ninja mutant Nosalises. Since Watchers have randomized spawns and can call in more of their own kind if they are allowed to howl after spotting you, any surface level can have this.
  • Devil but No God: Sort-of, there is a hellish purgatory where dead or dying people go, since the atomic bombs literally blew up Heaven and Hell.
  • Diabolus Ex Machina: Type 1 - Despite Metro2033 encouraging the player to earn the good ending, Last Light serves as an aftermath to its bad ending wherein Artyom opted to bomb the Dark Ones.
    • This might have something to do with the "good" ending of the first game being a notorious Guide Dang It that relied on the player doing counterintuitive things like listening to NPC's conversations. Alternatively, it might have used the ending of the novel as canon, which had a Bittersweet Ending that the game spun apart into Multiple Endings to separate the "bitter" from the "sweet".
  • Difficult but Awesome: The Helsing. You have to keep it pumped, which limits its effectiveness against multiple opponents as damage drops dramatically after the first few shots on a full reservoir. The arrows it fires are both hideously rare and expensive, and also have a tendency to drift at longer ranges, limiting it to close quarters only. On the other hand, you just shot a dude in the face with an arrow and the guy behind him didn't notice. Ammo is retrievable, so long as you don't shoot it somewhere you can't get to. At higher pressures, the Helsing can kill virtually any human opponent in one shot, even through their armour. Although not nearly as useful against swarms, it can also kill most mutants in one shot as well.
  • Dirty Communists: They're back! Also, Pavel is a heroic Communist (at least at first...)
    Pavel: Good communist does not believe in souls, but this place's dead make me wonder.
  • Disaster Scavengers: Stalkers.
  • Downer Ending: At the end of the downloadable "Spider's Lair" mission, the unnamed Stalker escapes the spider-infested missile silo...only to be set upon by the hordes of hungry mutants on the surface. Also doubles as an Out of the Frying Pan.
  • Downloadable Content:
    • The first DLC released in mid-June, 2013, is the Faction Pack. It consists of three separate levels that allow players to revisit some major landmarks from the first game.
      • Heavy Squad sends the player to the Frontline bridge as a member of the Fourth Reich assault team to deal with the Red Line attacks. It is essentially a shooting gallery, akin to the final battle at D6 from the single player campaign.
      • Sniper Team sends the player to the Outpost level, still held by the Reich, as one of the best Red Line sniper with orders to reach Black station. It resembles stealth missions from the first game, with a lot of dialogue to eavesdrop.
      • Kshatriya puts the player in a role of a young member of the Kshatriya faction in Polis, tasked with scavenging pre-war artifacts and relics from the State Library. It is a giant non-linear level with explorable areas both on the surface and below ground.
    • The second DLC released is the Tower Pack. It features a virtual combat simulator developed by the rangers seven years after the battle for D6. The player plays a role of a nameless high-ranked Ranger injured in a recent fight. He is picked to test the combat simulator, battling humans and mutants with all of Metro's weaponry.
    • The third DLC released is the Developer Pack, it features an AI Arena, a Metro Museum and a Shooting Gallery as well as a separate level called Spider Lair. If you have arachnophobia, it will either cure you, or kill you.
  • Driven to Suicide: An inconspicuous civil defence bunker is full of the ghosts of people who killed themselves when the world ended.
    • It's only a few meters away from the surface and some of them look like they died writhing on their beds. It is safe to assume that they were suffering from a severe radiation poisoning and some chose an easy way out.
  • Dude, Where's My Respect?: The first couple of levels show that Artyom is acknowledged as the savior of the Metro and has been a Ranger for several months, but it seems he's still considered to not have "made his bones" among the Rangers. He's also given the rather embarrassing callsign of "Rabbit" and is mocked by Anna. Overheard dialogue from other Rangers suggest that most of them spend at least a couple years as "cadets" before being made full members of The Order, so their derision might be because Artyom did not have to go through that trial phase like the rest of them.
    • Subverted later in the game at one point when you are being hunted by an enemy patrol sent out after you take out the train at Circus. They mention how you're not "just any Ranger", having recently took out an entire squad, with terrified survivors claiming you were an "animal".
  • Eleventh Hour Super Power: There are two of them. One in the last few levels that allows Artyom to see enemies and monsters through walls and another at the final level in the form of a heavy body armour and a Gatling Good minigun.
  • Enemy Mine: Invoked by the Communist trooper that helps Artyom escape Reich ("Our superiors, they are not on the best of terms, yeah? But I say fuck that.") This lasts longer than you might think, but he eventually turns out to be The Dragon to the real Big Bad.
    • During the fight with the mutated Mama Bear near the Red Square, a pack of Watchmen will take advantage of the distraction you provide to attack the bea, ignoring you entirely.
  • Equipment-Based Progression: Mostly averted. Like in the first game, all weapons using the same ammunition deal roughly the same amount of damage, with the main differences being their rate of fire, range, accuracy and magazine size. On Ranger Hardcore difficulty each firearm is capable of killing most mutants and mooks in a single hit, so the player can base the choice on aesthetics alone.
  • Everything Is Trying to Kill You: From your fellow humans, wildlife and plants to the very earth you walk on and air you breathe. Which is roughly on par for the series and genre.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: The live action trailer, which has a soldier invoke this; while following the Civil Defence protocol to the letter and locking numerous civilians outside the safety of the Metro, a soldier spots a woman holding an infant, only for him to take the child and leave the mother to die in the incoming blast.
    • One could even call the protocol an I Did What I Had to Do moment in that letting too many civilians into the Metro would overcrowd it to the point of it being unsustainable, especially when you consider that those civilians could and would procreate, adding even more mouths to feed.
    • Another live-action trailer focuses on said soldier and the events from his perspective.
  • Evil Phone: During River of fate level.
    Khan: You can pick it up, I think it's for you.
  • Exact Time to Failure: Your watch will show the exact amount of time left on the filter in your gas mask. It'll warn you when there's only a minute left, and once there's only ten seconds left your breathing will become strained.
    • That said, you don't suffocate as soon as the watch reaches zero but can go around for a few more seconds.
  • Exact Words Korbut assures Moskvin he has a way to unite the Metro without spilling any blood. Technically he's right.
  • Eyeless Face: Several of the mutants sport these, making them even more unsettling to look at. It could be argued that the eyes are just very small or hard to see on Lurkers or common Nosalises, but Shrimp/Amphibians seem to lack them entirely.
  • Face-Heel Turn: Pavel, the Communist soldier who acts as your partner for the first several levels, ends up becoming your primary enemy for most of the rest of the game.
  • Failed a Spot Check: Some hostile humans are usually standing near a light source. If you're quick enough you can rush up to the light source, turn it off, then knock out the unsuspecting human before they know what hit them. Also, if you find a breaker and shut the lights off for much of the area, they usually don't seem to think much of why the lights suddenly went out and don't bother to check the breaker and continue patrolling or standing around. Some roamers will have a flashlight on them however.
  • Fire-Breathing Weapon: Heavily armored soldiers with flamethrowers at the Theater station. The game's "final boss" is a flamethrower trooper protected by a shield wall of several riot shield wielding soldiers.
    • The Faction Pack DLC introduces incendiary rounds for both shotguns and pistols in the Library mission— the latter are also armour-piercing.
  • Flashback Echo: These happen much more often than in the first game, often to explain Artyom's origins and how he became the Chosen One. Another flashback throws Artyom and Pavel into a joint hallucination inside a crashing airplane.
  • Foreign Queasine: A fried rat dish has become a delicacy.
    • Venice station shooting gallery turns out to be the main provider for a local rat barbecue.
  • Foreshadowing: A very small one. After rescuing Pavel, he thanks Artyom and starts talking about honor and being heroes. He suggest Artyom and him becoming a heroic team against the world - not following anything groups. He uses The Three Musketeers as an example. When he says the motto, "All for one", he doesn't finish saying, "and one for all". This give a small reveal that Pavel is out for himself.
    • During the chapter "Reich", despite having a clear shot on the Führer during his rally, Pavel instead opts to fire in the air to cause panic; since any grunt would jump at the chance for killing the enemy leader and gaining recognition, his actions allude to the fact that he has reason to avoid conflict (i.e. the Soviet plan to cause faction unity as a distraction for their D6 raid).
    • Another small one from Pavel— remember his line about how "good Communist does not believe in souls"? If you decide not to save him after your final battle, he gets dragged into oblivion by the angry souls of the dead.
  • Funny Background Event: An unfortunate fisherman in Venice gets more than he bargained for.
  • Future Imperfect: Anna invokes this early on, wondering whether her descendants might think of the Metro's trains as being built by gods.
  • Gainaxing: Pretty much any female character wearing just lingerie whenever they move around, such as the dancers at the beginning of the theater show.
  • Garden of Evil: The Alexander Gardens, one of the oldest public parks in Moscow, has become an overgrown and twisted place. Leafless and gnarled trees grow together so tightly in places as to be impassable by something the size of a human, several areas are flooded, many predators hunt there, and watch out for the giant mutant bears.
  • Gas Mask Mooks: Every human being in the transition zones or on the surface. Dying horribly of radioactive air is something to be avoided, after all.
  • Gatling Good: One is available at the last section of the game, the Heavy Squad DLC, and the end of the Tower Pack DLC. Interestingly, the shooting gallery in the Developer Pack shows that by default the rotation is powered by a hand-cranked spring, and it's only a motorized attachment that allows it to spin indefinitely.
  • Genre Savvy: Pavel expresses concern after escaping with Artyom from a Nazi station regarding how quickly they gave up the chase. There was a reason for this.
  • Glamour: The young Dark One has the ability to conceal its nature by projecting a different appearance with roughly the same proportions, a human child in a parka, for example.
  • Gratuitous Russian: Even if you play the game with English audio, the characters still pepper their speech with numerous Russian phrases and exclamations.
    • Pavel in particular takes this Up to Eleven— virtually every other line out of him is some kind of Russian exclamation, term of endearment, or obscenity.
  • Grey and Grey Morality: Everyone - the guards, the bandits, most of the Nazis and Reds, even Artyom himself - is, for the most part, doing what they have to do to survive.
  • Guide Dang It:
    • Like the first game, this one has a morality system as well. You'll have to use a lot of trial and error to figure out how to gain/lose morality. Sometimes it's easy, such as a soldier surrendering, which would give you bad morality if you shoot them. For others, it's not as obvious, such as listening to people's conversations and talking to them. Fortunately the internet has plenty of guides on it in case you want to figure out what gives you good/bad morality points, which also determines the ending you see.
    • You can first obtain night vision goggles on the Nightfall level. However, unless you really like exploring, it can be incredibly easy to miss, as it's located at the beginning of the stage, and if you pass a certain point (the area before the mall/church), you won't be able to go back and will have to restart the level to obtain them.
  • Gun Porn: Even more than in the first game.
  • Harder Than Hard:
    • Ranger mode makes a return. The ammunition is extremely scarce and every living thing is a Glass Cannon. On top of that this time around Ranger mode removes user interface entirely, you have to count your ammunition manually and select throwable items by sound cues.
    • Shadow Ranger achievement. Its description says "Complete the game without killing any Humans unless forced to", which is pretty vague. As it turns out, the player is only allowed to kill during Chase, Red Square and D6 levels (However it's still possible, albeit very hard, to knock enemies out in hand-to-hand), where the stealth option simply doesn't exist, while killing any human anywhere else fails an achievement and reloading a save does not fix that. The player has to start over with New Game.
    • Shadow Ranger on Ranger Hardcore.
  • Hard Mode Perks: Ranger Hardcore allows the player to carry twice as many throwing knives. There is also an AKS-74U assault rifle which is only available to Artyom in this mode. It is identical in stats to the Bastard, can accept most of the same attachments, but it doesn't overheat and can potentially hold 15 more bullets if the player chooses to use larger RPK-74 magazines.
  • Heaven and Hell: There was both before the nuclear apocalypse, and it's stated that the great evil of wiping out most of humanity basically overloaded them both to the point that they simply disappeared, forcing the dead to either wander the earth reliving their final moments, or sent to a hellish Purgatory to be tortured. It's implied that they both will return if humanity rises out of the ashes and rebuilds itself both physically and morally.
  • Heavily Armored Mook: One of the new enemies introduced are human soldiers wearing heavy metal armor. They can take a lot of hits (Depending on the difficulty setting), and while the armor does slow them down a bit they're still fairly manueverable.
    • And just like in the first game, they are still only human, so a single bullet to the neck kills them off for good.
    • In the final battle, Artyom gets a heavy armor suit of his own.
  • Helmets Are Hardly Heroic: Completely averted. Artyom wears a helmet for the entire game, except for a brief period in which your gear is lost - and when you get it back, the game makes a point of showing you putting the helmet back on. You even get to upgrade to a fancy full-face helmet when you get a suit of heavy armor for the final battle.
  • Hero of Another Story: All the extra missions are these. Following unkown protagonists such as a Nazi shock trooper during a battle against the Reds, a Red Line sniper infiltrating a Reich base or a stalker lost in an abandoned silo chock-full of Big Creepy-Crawlies, but also known characters such as Pavel (sneaking his way out of Venice after being captured by the local mob) or Anna (escaping the Nazis after they capture Artyom in the prologue).
  • Heroic Mime: Zig-zagged with Artyom, just as before. He does narrate in the level loading screens and the pre-rendered cutscenes, but never speaks in the game proper. He also speaks to characters in the game, but it's always offscreen, and whenever the player actually gains control the conversation has always just ended and Artyom is silent again.
  • "Hey, You!" Haymaker: Artyom can silently knock out enemies by approaching them from behind unnoticed, then grabbing them by the shoulder and turning them around to meet the spiked finger-guard of his knife (which doubles as a knuckle-duster) flying halfway toward their face by the time their chin is in position.
  • Hold the Line: The final mission plays out this way, with the Spartans attempting to thwart the Red's assault on D6.
  • Hollywood Silencer: Spectacularly averted. Save for the VSK-94, which is pretty close to this trope in real life, silenced weapons are still fairly noisy (the revolver sounds like a firecracker going off), and enemies aren't oblivious to this sound. Using a silenced weapon versus an unsilenced weapon is the difference between enemies going "Something's up. Stay alert and check it out," versus "Someone's firing a weapon right over there. Get to cover!" rather than keeping you from being noticed at all.
  • Hotter and Sexier: Compared to the first game, which only had one "sexy lady" in it, who was actually Schmuck Bait for a mugging. Here there are strippers, a semi-nude lap dance, and part of a first-person sex scene (similar to Far Cry 3).
  • Hope Spot: After the pitched battle in the D6 bunker, it seems the attack finally tapers off, giving everyone pause while Miller starts somberly talking about demolishing D6. Cue the armored train.
  • Hyperspace Arsenal: Zig Zagged. You can only carry three weapons (Two on any Ranger difficulty) and your ammunition has a cap, however nothing prevents you from hauling several sawn-off heavy machine guns and a couple thousand military grade rounds around.
  • Idle Animation: As in the first game, stand still for a while and Artyom will fiddle with whatever he has in his hands.
  • Improvised Weapon: Last Light sees the return of the metro-made weapons, and introduces many new ones, including a hand-held flamethrower, a bolt-action frankenrifle, a minigun as well as a flare gun modified to accept shotgun shells.
    • The most extreme example is probably the "Bigun" from the Developer Pack DLC, a shotgun that is literally just a bunch of bicycle parts attached to some pipes that function as barrels. It even has a bicycle bell!
  • Inconsistent Dub: The weapon which was called the Tihar in the English version of 2033 is now spelt Tikhar (because the Cyrillic character "х" can be Romanized as "kh" or just "h").
  • Infant Immortality: Zig Zagged. Not a single child is seen being injured or killed during gameplay, but the surface is littered with child sized skeletons and there are dozens of tiny ghosts in the ruins. They don't understand they have been dead for years.
  • Insurmountable Waist High Fence: Some areas look like you could simply climb or jump up to reach it, but the game won't allow you to actually get up there.
  • Interface Screw: Presumably, one of the primary effects of ghosts.
    • Certain areas will screw with your ability to use the flashlight or night vision, forcing you to pull out your lighter to illuminate the way forward.
    • When using a gas mask, anything can get on the glass and obscure your vision, such as blowing dirt, water, blood, acid spit, all which need to be manually wiped off.
    • Using the gas mask for any amount of time will result in condensation from Artyom's breath, which can't be wiped off. The condensation gets worse as the gas filter you are using ages.
  • Invulnerable Civilians: Partially averted this time around. Artyom comes across a few civilians outside of peaceful stations, where he is forced to holster his weapons, and can choose to execute them.
  • Ironic Nickname: Artyom's callsign is "Rabbit", which provides an interesting contrast with his name (a masculine Russian cognate for the Greek goddess of the hunt, Artemis) and the fact that however you look at it, he is definitely not at the bottom of the food chain.
    • Lampshaded in an achievement you get for flawlessly beating the intro level: "Not a Rabbit".
  • Killed Off for Real: No matter which ending you get, Ulman always dies during the final stand at D6. Almost everyone gets this if you get the bad ending.
  • Kill It with Fire: New incendiary grenades can be used by the player, and many NPC characters use flame throwers. Military rounds seem to be incendiary - firing them at enemies causes them to briefly catch on fire.
  • King Mook: A few unique, humongous "big mamma" versions of regular mutants are fought as boss battles throughout the game.
  • Kleptomaniac Hero: The player can nab almost anything useful that is not nailed down. This is justified when stripping dead bodies of their weapons, ammo, and supplies between stations as this is a Scavenger World and nothing should go to waste, but the player can also find a few rounds of ammunition or a spare filter lying about in inhabited stations and take them without anyone there noticing or objecting.
    • Nobody may notice, but taking objects in inhabited stations that clearly belong to an NPC will net you a morality point loss, which is indicated by a brief reddish flash and a sharp sound.
  • Land Mine Goes Click: A hollowed out case from a soviet MON-90 anti-personnel mine filled with plastic explosives mixed with nuts and bolts. Unsurprisingly goes by the name "Claymore" in the english version. It emits a short beep before filling anyone unfortunate enough to be in front of it with shrapnel.
  • Laser Sight: Artyom can equip a laser sights on all weapons in his arsenal. On most difficulty levels they are unnecessary as the crosshairs are more reliable indicators of where your shots will go. However, on Ranger Mode, the Heads-Up Display is disabled, and they become essential for lining a shot up from the hip.
    • The AI is oblivious to the ray and will not notice the player even if a laser pointer is being shined right at their eyes.
  • Last Fertile Region: Played with, in Metro's typical brutality. D6 represents a treasure trove of resources that are both unplundered and shielded from atomic fallout, even 20 years after the war.
    • Averted: Rangers have been searching the place for a year and all they found were stockpiles of deadly weapons behind every door and nothing else.
  • Last of His Kind: The Dark One child, who is the last surviving Dark One, plays a major role in the game.
  • Limited Loadout: Much like the first game, in Last Light Artyom can only carry three weapons (Two in Ranger mode), five explosives of each kind and ten throwing knives. However, this time, ammunition has a cap as well, and the guns can be any three firearms instead of a sidearm, an assault rifle and a shotgun/pneumatic.
  • Living Shadow: The returning ghosts. They are no longer visible if Artyom shines his flashlight directly at them, only appearing at the very edge of the screen or when the player is very close. They appear much more frequently this time around and Dead City level is dedicated entirely to them.
  • Lost Technology: The D6 bunker, uncovered during the course of the previous game, becomes the driving force of the new plot. It has what would have been modern military technology at about the time that the world got nuked.
  • Made of Explodium: The flamethrower mini-boss at the end of the game explodes when you damage him enough. His explosion conveniently takes out the soldiers who had shields up in front to protect him until he got close enough to use said weapon on your forces.
  • Majorly Awesome: Pavel, as it turns out
  • Mama Bear: The massive mutant in the Gardens is actually a mutated bear, protecting her cubs from the packs of Watchmen that would otherwise prey on them.
  • Matryoshka Object: Early on you can find a box that contains a smaller box, which contains a smaller box, which contains an even smaller box, which contains some MGR.
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: Discussed with Khan, Artyom isn't sure whether Khan is a crazy old man, an enlightened supporter of the Dark Ones, or an otherworldly being. The good ending suggests the last answer is true, with Khan just disappearing after the Ranger's last stand.
  • Meaningful Name: It's revealed after the fact it would have spoiled, but Pavel's full name is Pavel Morozov . Doubles as a Shout-Out.
  • Morality Pet: Depending on your behavior, the surviving Dark One can be this.
  • More Criminals Than Targets: Averted. Throughout the entire game, you only meet one group of bandits and the gangsters at Venice. All of the other hostile Human enemies are soldiers.
  • More Dakka:
    • Several guns utilize this function. That said, it's not always a good idea to just "spray and pray", as you can burn through a lot of ammo quickly if you don't take careful, aimed shots at your targets. Especially on harder difficulties where ammo is scarce and you can't carry as much either.
    • That said, the D6 level at the end of the game has a gatling gun, which is the only place it's available. You'll need its firepower too, because almost every enemy you face from that point on are heavily armored.
  • Multiple Endings: Like the first game, the ending depends on the player's choice between understanding/aggression and forgiveness/retribution:
    • Bittersweet Ending: In the "sacrifice" ending, Artyom detonates D6, sacrificing the remaining Spartans and D6 to wipe out the Soviets and prevent the supervirus landing in the wrong hands. The ending shows Anna telling Artyom's story to their child.
    • Earn Your Happy Ending: The Dark One child thwarts the Soviet assault on D6, saving Artyom and the Spartans. Artyom then considers the Dark One child the "Last Light" of hope for humanity.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: If the dream at the beginning of the game is anything to go by, Artyom has come to regret killing the Dark Ones.
    • If the visions the Dark One child show you are to be trusted, Moskvin regrets poisoning his brother.
  • Mythology Gag: A couple.
    • References are made to the shroom tea line of Exhibition from the 2033 novel in one of the Nazi stations.
    • Theater station announcer claims that the Dark Ones' invasion of Exhibition was caused by a new untested mushroom moonshine recipe.
    • Soldiers at the Revolution station talk about somebody wiping out both armies at the Frontline level in Metro 2033.
    • In the good ending, Miller losses a leg and is confined to a wheelchair, much like in the 2034 novel
  • NGO Super Power: The Ranger Order, although they do have tight ties with Polis.
  • No Canon for the Wicked: Averted. Last Light uses the Downer Ending of the previous game as canon, although it's left ambiguous if Artyom was the selfish bastard the player needed to be to get the bad ending, or just ignored all the signs that the Dark Ones were friendly and made a choice to kill them.
    • As noted under Diabolus Ex Machina, this may also have had something to do with the Guide Dang It requirements of the "good" ending of the first game. It was entirely possible for Artyom to make all of the "good" choices presented in the narrative (not stiffing an unarmed little boy who helped him, turning down a reward for finding a missing child, etc.) and still not accrue enough "morality points" to get the good ending.
    • Alternatively, it might use the ending from the novel, which contained elements of both the "good" and "bad" endings: Artyom in the end did realize that the Dark Ones did not mean any harm and the deaths that they caused were accidental, but by then he was too late to stop the missile launch from happening and watches in horror as they fall.
  • Never Found the Body: Khan disappears after the good ending, and the game suggests that he was a emissary of the supernatural who ascended to a higher plane.
  • Nightmare Sequence: Plenty, ranging from Artyom's own nightmares to being inside the dreams of the dead who are stuck reliving their last moments forever.
  • Nothing Is Scarier:
    • Ghosts. Shadows burned into existance by the nuclear explosions. They are everywhere. While Artom is on the surface, an occasional lightning strike shows that they are all around you, alive and dead at the same time. Others appear as silhouette's but disappear if you look directly at them (i.e. center the screen on them).
    • Hearing creature growls when you can't see where they are can invoke this as well, especially inside a cave or building.
  • No OSHA Compliance: Mostly averted.
    • Gas production facility on Revolution level has spare gasmasks and filters in boxes around the room and every soldier in the area carries one which they will not hesitate to use when player's actions cause a leak.
    • Civilian workers building an armored train on the same level all wear hardhats.
    • In fact most people in the game use appropriate protective equipment for their jobs.
  • No Swastikas: Neo-Nazi symbols are the same as before, a large C in a white circle on a red background.
    • Coincidentally, the game's publisher, Deep Silver, has a logo that matches the description of the three pronged swastika from the book
  • One-Man Army: Artyom. Someone even drops the trope title.
  • Only Mostly Dead: A background conversation in Pavel's section of the Chronicles DLC reveals that Bourbon survived his apparent death in Metro 2033, having been only seriously injured by the bullets that seemingly killed him.
  • Optional Stealth: The game is essentially this trope. You have a trench knife and a set of throwing knives while almost every weapon, including shotguns, has an optional silencer. On the other hand, you have an arsenal of grenades and mines, and can purchase such weapons as a heavy automatic shotgun if crawling around isn't your thing.
    • As the difficulty level goes up however, the game presses the player into stealth: on top of the fact that gunfire can kill you in less than two seconds, firefights eat up a lot of ammunition, as enemies aware of your presence will start taking cover and make one-hit kills much more difficult. This can put you in a very bad position going into mutant-infested territory, where you will almost certainly have to shoot your way through and have very few opportunities for replenishing supplies and ammunition
  • Our Ghosts Are Different: See Living Shadow above.
  • OOC Is Serious Business: During his brief appearance in the introduction, Ulman appears to be a lot less jovial, although he does manage to sneak in a bit of snark here and there. The threat of all-out war in the Metro and the revelation that D6 turned out to be nothing more than a biological weapons facility would be enough to sober up anyone.
  • Technical Pacifist: Artyom may well be able to neutralize many of his human opponents without killing them, through the application of a righteous fist to the face. But on the surface, incapacitation in such a manner would leave them at the mercy of a hostile environment where the air is unbreathable and saturated with radiation. If a punch to the face doesn't end up shattering their gas mask, then they may well end up suffocating when their air filter runs out or because Artyom has taken the filter right off of their mask.
  • The Paragon: Khan is constantly urging others to take the moral high road.
    • Artyom can become this to the Dark One child
  • The Plague: A Communist spy stole samples of weaponised Ebola from D6. You see it in action in a neutral station.
  • Puppet Secretary General Moskvin is the Secretary General and official leader of the Red Line, but Artyom remarks that it is very clear that General Korbut is the one who is running the show.
  • Punch Clock Villain: Like in the first game most of the Red and Nazi soldiers are forcefully conscripted or chose to join to provide protection and sustenance for their families, or to avoid execution for noncompliance with constantly shifting skull measurements. One of the Reich soldiers is being abused by this comrades, and some of the Red soldiers' banter indicates that they are clearly not in on General Korburt's plan, as when they show up to a Hansa controlled station that Korburt unleashed a virus on to give the Red Line a reason to invade it on the cover of quarantining it. A few of them are discuss how strange it is that they were able to respond to the epidemic so quickly.
  • Punch-Packing Pistol: Both the "Revolver" and the "Lolife" are this, capable of taking out mutants and humans alike with a single shot. Justified in that they use (homemade, though still potent) .44 Magnum ammunition. The "Ashot" is a borderline example; it's a pistol for sure, but it fires shotgun shells rather than bullets. Adding a stock and barrel effectively converts them into a carbine and a single-barreled shotgun, respectively.
  • Puzzle Boss: Two big mutants and a Red "tank" (a heavily fortified rail car) all function this way; Artyom can unload his entire arsenal on them to little effect, but they're quickly killed by following their patterns.
  • Quick Melee: Artyom's knife no longer occupies a separate weapon slot.
  • Ragnarok-Proofing: Averted, as with the previous games, a mere 20 years After the End, everything outside of D6 is falling apart. D6 itself isn't exactly much to look at, although it's holding up well even after decades of neglect.
  • Rape Is a Special Kind of Evil: Quite a few players that had been going for a Pacifist Run opted to abandon it upon hitting "The Bandits" level.
  • Reckless Gun Usage: Artyom's idle animations show absolutely appalling gun safety, revolver flipping, cleaning a loaded shotgun with a ramrod, tossing a loaded sub-machine gun noted in-universe for how unreliable it is into the air, and more. He even manages to hurt himself a few times by clamping his fingers in the moving parts. A few of the NPCs do the same as well, even Spartans.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Colonel Miller and Khan, expanding on their conflict philosophies briefly seen in the first game. Miller eventually lightens up.
  • Red Right Hand: Korbut's right eye is blind and red.
  • Rodents of Unusual Size: With the graphic overhaul, Watchers look even nastier.
  • Rogue Agent: Lesnitsky, a Ranger, steals a bioweapon from D6 and disappears shortly before the events of the game. Turns out he's a mole for General Korbut, the Big Bad, and acts as The Dragon for a while.
  • Sawed-Off Shotgun: "Duplet" makes a return. It is one of the strongest weapons in the game and is available from the start. One of the modifications allows you to add two more barrels to it, making it a "Quadruplet", while extended barrels change it into a "normal" side-by-side shotgun.
  • Scare Chord: Carrying on from its predecessor in the series, Last Light adds a few more of its own:
    • The squelching noise of Spiderbugs emerging from their nests, followed by their clicking mandibles when they move in to attack.
    • Amphibian Shrimps only let out their sharp, hissing roar just before they swing their claws to attack. Since they generally just wander around, and don't always notice Artyom, it's particularly disconcerting. They are perfectly capable of walking past you without attacking, only to strike when you least expect it.
      • Also, did you hear some water splashing? That may or may not have been caused by an Amphibian Shrimp emerging onto land.
    • When traveling through underground caverns, the usual shrieks of the Nosalises are occasionally punctuated by an earth-shaking roar. That's your first tip-off to the Rhino Nosalis you'll have to fight at the end of the level.
    • Now, in the less inhabited areas on the surface or in the metro, you'll start hearing whispers...
      • When walking into an abandoned room, the light bulb above the door shatters on its own.
      • You hear the sonorous, clanging sounds of a church bell.
      • Then there is a sharp sound, like a sudden intake of breath.
      • The whispers abruptly grow louder...
      • ...and then they stop.
    • Upon entering the Botanical Gardens, Artyom will hear thundering footsteps and roars in the distance. Then Artyom is pursued by a giant, mutated Mama Bear.
  • Scavenger World: The survivors of the nuclear war that reduced Moscow to rubble are forced to live in the subway tunnels beneath the city, venturing above for only a few minutes at a time to scavenge for what few materials can be found.
  • Schmuck Bait: Suspiciously empty room with a few goodies in it during the E3 2012 Demo. Guess what happens.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: It is revealed in the end of the game (the last diary note that Artyom picks up) that D6 does not contain any food or supplies to ensure the survival of humanity, only stockpiles of biological weapons.
  • Sequel Difficulty Drop: Zig-zagged. While Last Light is much more forgiving than the first game in relation to stealth (there is now a clear indication of whether you are visible or not and a brief moment before you are actually spotted by the human enemies paired with a sound cue), which is what most of the game consists of, fighting mutants - nosalises in particular - has become a much harder ordeal.
  • Short Range Shotgun: Played straight for the most part. If you attempt to hit something that's far away from you with a shotgun, you won't do much damage to it versus a point blank hit. There is a mod you can purchase which extends the barrel and gives you more accuracy at medium ranges. But generally speaking if you're going to engage in long range combat, you're better off using an assault rifle.
  • Shoot Everything That Moves: Every area you can control Arytom in. Subverted if the player chooses to be a pacifist.
    • The Spartan Ranger's Codex is a good example of this. It states: "If it's hostile, you kill it"
  • Shotguns Are Just Better: If forced to fight in close quarters, nothing matches the stopping power of a shotgun, especially the duplet upgraded to four barrels. You can usually hold a decent amount of shells as well, so you can fire off quite a few shots before running out of ammo.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Every single performer name in the stage performance is either a Shout-Out or a Take That to an actual person.
    • Pavel's full name sort of gives away his role in the plot. It's Pavel Morozov, which is an automatic facepalm for any Russian as it's revealed almost immediately after he betrays you.
    • Continuing the trend from the previous game, there's copies of the books Metro 2033 (which the original game was based on), Metro 2034 (which has little to do with Artyom's story) and Metro 2035 (which is based on this game) all over the place, although their presence not as ubiquitous as last time (at least there almost aren't any more posters advertising them).
    • The background dialogues, at least in the Russian version, sometimes reference or outright quote classic Soviet movies. For example, one of the many doors you can knock on in Venice will kick off an overheard word-for-word recreation of the Establishing Character Moment for Vereschagin and his wife from White Sun of the Desert ("Caviar? AGAIN? Woman, can't you feed me some bread at least?")
    • After facing an outnumbered force of Spartans at a narrow gap, the Big Bad mentions that he feels like Xerxes.
    • Artyom is referred to as the "Dark Rail Tracer" by clueless Red soldiers who've heard about his exploits.
    • The protagonist of the Reich mission in the Faction Pack DLC is a heavily-armoured Nazi named "Hans" who uses a minigun. Hm...
  • Schrödinger's Gun: Whichever stash in the swamps you decide to visit first for fuel will always have none.
  • Shut Up, Hannibal!: In the "sacrifice" ending, Artyom blows General Korbut up mid-speech.
    • It is also possible to blast Lesnitzky's gas mask off mid-speech while he is holding Anna at gun point
  • Single-Stroke Battle: The fight with the Big Momma in the catacombs can be settled with some dodging and a single gunshot.
  • Sinister Subway: In a series that has yet to have an entry not about a dangerous subway system.
  • Sound-Coded for Your Convenience: The game has numerous sound-cues, which are useful on regular difficulty but direly important for Ranger mode and especially Ranger Hardcore: with your HUD completely removed, you'll rely on a clicking sound when you've picked up items, the sound of a knife drawing when you're in range for a takedown, and specific sound effects when selecting which throwable weapon you'll use.
  • Sour Supporter: Eventually Miller agrees to work with the Dark One child, although he makes it clear that he still considers killing it the preferable option.
  • Spider Swarm: Artyom encounters nests of Spiderbugs, Giant Spider-scorpion hybrids who are Weakened by the Light. A few rounds of flashlight tag and they're Flipping Helpless.
  • Spiritual Successor: To the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. franchise, like Metro 2033.
  • Stay in the Kitchen: Partially averted this time around with Anna. Most women still prefer to perform chores, raise children or sell their bodies.
  • Stealth-Based Mission: Developers initially claimed that it is possible to go through the whole game without killing anyone by using stealth, like in Metro 2033, however the final version of the game forces you to kill during the final level, as it is impossible to progress further without dealing with the tank crew and the flamethrower squad the hard way.
    • It is, and a good number of the morality points necessary to get the good ending are earned through stealthing or using non-lethal takedowns to get through certain levels. The non-lethal melee takedown is not only viciously efficient (knocking out any human enemy in one hit), but hilarious and silent. Honestly one of the best ways to get through the game on Ranger difficulty, as it lets you save what little ammo you're allowed to carry for fighting mutants. It's even possible (although difficult and requiring good timing) to go through a couple of levels on the surface without killing any mutants.
  • Super Drowning Skills: Artyom is not a good swimmer. This makes sense, given that he was raised in the subway tunnels.
    • Even then Artyom's death in the water chalked up not to his inability to swim but to something in the water eating him. Though on some levels he will just drown.
  • Super Speed: The Dark Ones are shown to possess this, like in the first game, although the Dark One child only seems to use it occasionally.
  • Survival Horror: As the first game was.
    • Arguably still so to an extent as ammunition still doubles as currency, requiring the choice between an overpowered weapon or actually being able to buy supplies.
    • It's even worse to a degree now, as you have a maximum ammo capacity for different types of ammunition. You might have been able to pick up and sell certain types of ammo that you weren't going to use to trade for more shotgun shells or dirty 5.45 ammo, but now there's a limit on how much you can carry of anything but the military grade rounds. On higher difficulties, this pushes certain modified weapons like the Saiga-12 with the drum magazine into Awesome, yet Impractical, when you'll only be able to carry enough shells for a couple of drums at most. Still incredibly useful when mutants show up, though.
  • Survivalist Stash: The D6 bunker in spades, as it contains the sort of Lost Technology and (preserved) military hardware needed to reclaim the surface world.
  • Suspicious Videogame Generosity: Some areas will suddenly have a lot of ammo and health kits lying around. Generally speaking, if you see this, prepare for either a mini-boss fight, or a whole stream of enemies attacking you while you wait for something, typically a raft or elevator.
  • Swamps Are Evil: Or at least dangerous. When not winter (as in the first game) much of the open areas in the city have turned to marshland, where snowmelt pools into water that ranges from ankle-depth to enough to drown yourself in. Sparse but hardy plants now make this home, covered in Ominous Fog where mutant species prey on each other, some amphibious who ambush prey from the water. They are traversed frequently enough by Stalkers to justify leave red flag pennants marking safe paths, but even then they usually move through the swamps only in groups.
  • Taking You with Me: Artyom does this in the C'est la Vie ending, blowing up D6 along with the Reds and the Spartans unlucky enough to be in the base at the time.
  • Tempting Fate: The fisherman in the Dark Water level says that the shrimp mutants you see aren't generally hostile and will probably leave you alone. Shortly after you pass by some however, they start attacking you rather aggressively. Justified in that the fisherman wonders why they seem more agitated than usual, and then you later hear that some Red soldiers passed through and arrived in Venice right before you did, and likely riled the creatures up on the way there.
  • There Is No Kill Like Overkill: The fisherman who rescues you and takes you to Venice during the Dark Water level. Near the end, he tells you to bring him the box in front of the boat. As you grab it, you see that it's filled to the top with pipe bombs, which the fisherman then lights up with his cigarette before tossing the entire box into the canal to kill the pursuing shrimp.
  • The Tetris Effect: If you live in a major metropolis, you may start sizing up locations, both above and below ground, for their usefulness as cover and survival stashes. If you live in Moscow itself, this may make your daily commute on the metro rather uncomfortable.
  • Touched by Vorlons: The reason Artyom can understand the Dark Ones is because of a "gift" they gave him when he was a child.
  • Too Dumb to Live: You, if you fall into the swamp, after being explicitly told not to go into the water if you want to survive. The game will generally allow you to fall in and survive at least one time, but if you fall in again shortly afterwards, a shrimp will swim towards you and kill you.
  • Took a Level in Badass: By the time the game starts, Artyom has been a Ranger for several months.
  • These Hands Have Killed: The game opens with Artyom dreaming of stabbing a mutant in the throat, only for it to instantly turn into a Human, resulting in this trope.
  • Trailers Always Spoil: Actually averted. The pre-release gameplay trailers show a completely different character working alongside you in the early parts of the game, to avoid spoiling the identity of who you're actually working with for that section.
  • Universal Ammunition: Averted this time. There are more calibers than 2033's ubiquitous 5.45mm and the guns to use them available.
    • This time around they seem to be named "weapon_name ammo" to avoid confusion with new players. They are still given brief but detailed descriptions during trading, both in text and by the trader himself.
  • Unspecified Apocalypse: What caused the war of 2013? All we know is that it was probably between Russia and NATO. To the residents of the Metro though, figuring out the facts hardly matter.
  • Moscow Metro: As the series mostly takes place in Moscow's underground.
    • The live-action trailers show both what it looked like before (which is to say, clean and well-maintained) and 20 years later (which looks a hell of a lot worse for wear).
  • Vader Breath: Artyom with a gas mask.
  • Verbal Tic: Pavel's "S-s-suka!" may or may not be this.
    • Also, Pavel's "Tak-tak-tak-tak-tak!" and "Op-pa!"
  • Videogame Caring Potential: You can spare the lives of all hostile humans you meet aside from the tank crew and flamethrower squad in D6 and most mutants will not attack you unless you invade their territory, threaten their young, hurt them first or they consider you to be their food. Some will even stop chasing Artyom if he backs away peacefully. On the other hand...
  • Videogame Cruelty Potential:
    • You can murder every living thing you meet, leaving a trail of death behind your back. Artyom can choose to execute the soldiers that surrendered and threw their weapons on the ground and clear out mutant nests even when explicitly told that they are not hostile and are simply protecting their homes.
    • The Pavel mission in the DLC has two Scripted Events where you can trick someone into shooting their ally and a guard who, if knocked out with proper timing, will fall into the waste pit under an outhouse.
  • Villainous Rescue: During the Sundown level, while waiting for the raft at the end of the level, a demon will come swooping down on the bog shrimp attacking you at some point, possibly due to a territorial dispute. The two then try to exchange blows with each other before fleeing moments later.
  • Viral Marketing: Three internet episodes follow The Preacher, The Model, and The Commander. All three are major characters from the trailer, most notably The Commander being the soldier who condemns the civilians to the bomb blast.
    • The Preacher is the same one cackling maniacally as the bombs were launched in the trailer. He's also the only one with some semblance of a happy ending, given that he seems to have become a respected clergyman to the Metro's denizens.
      • Knowing the source material and that in general Metro is a Crapsack World , it's more likely he's leading a cult
  • Weakened by the Light: The arachnids/spider bugs certainly are. Light causes them obvious physical discomfort, shying away from it, and getting angry red sunburns on their carapace if exposed to any significant light source for more than a second or so. Trapping them between a flashlight beam and a corner will result in them becoming so agonized that they flail their legs spastically and involuntarily flip over onto their backs, exposing their relatively unarmored underside. You can then either shoot, melee, or simply focus the light on them, and they'll die at some point, though the latter two options aren't recommended if there are more than one of them around.
  • Wham Line: From 'The Commander' trailer. 'Yes, I closed the doors. I closed the doors.'
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: While we do find out what happened to Anna in the bad ending, in the good ending she's the only one of the Rangers that is left out of Artyom's final speech.
  • "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue: The good ending has Artyom discussing the fate of the major characters after the last stand at D6.
  • You ALL Look Familiar: Averted. According to the published material so far, enemies should have a rather big gamut of faces to pick from.
  • You Have to Burn the Web: The Metro is full in places of huge spiders. A few of them are dense nests with giant ones, but most of them are "merely" the size of a large fist. They spin webs that, while not enough to catch a human, are big enough to slow a person down as they try to push through them. However, Artyom can use his lighter to set fire to them, causing them to quickly shrivel away.
  • Zerg Rush: Humans may be limited, but mutant monsters seem to attack you in such vast numbers you need to be ready to spray and pray and use lots of grenades to thin them out.
  • Zombie Advocate: Khan is pretty much the only one who vouches for Sparing the Dark One child at first. Although eventually Artyom comes to agree with him, and even Miller reluctantly goes along with it
Metro 2033Licensed GameMichael Jackson's Moonwalker
Metro 2033Russian Video GamesTetris
Metro 2033UsefulNotes/Xbox 360 Monster Hunter
Metro 2033First-Person ShooterMetroid Prime Trilogy
Metro 2033Survival HorrorMiasmata
Metro 2033UsefulNotes/SteamMiasmata

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