Story: The story is pretty good. This story takes place in a world ruined by nuclear war, where some 30000 unlucky bastards are holed up in moscow's underground, hoping to survive. You are Artyom, a young adult who lived all his life in an underground bunker located in Moscow's metro system. One day, a friend of your uncle tasks you to deliver a message to another station.
What I like about this game's story is that it doesn't try to impress you with "saving the world" or "being the chosen hero"... You are just some ordinary russian guy, trying to make your way through a dangerous area. I think the last 1/6 of the game doesn't fit as well with the rest of the game, but it brings a refreshing change because instead of travelling to a faraway city, you are actually trying to do something about the game's antagonists.
Gameplay: This is where some people give up on the game. Metro 2033 is not a hard game; it's a game where the player is left to fend for himself. I had to start over 3 hour in on my first playtrough because I hadn't been careful about wasting ammo. You are in a scavenger's world: every bullet you pick up is needed in the long run, rewarding exploration immensely.
You can also use stealth in this game, rather than shooting your way through, which is a good thing because gunfights can get frustating at times... It seems like your ennemies are immune to the bullets at times...
Immersion, graphics, sound: This is where the game truly shine. The small touches are what kept me playing: seeing that your flashlight needs to be recharged; listening to the mooks talk to themselves while sneaking in; being alone and scared in a tunnel with only a handful of bullets left; seeing the dark beauty of ravaged moscow. This game is extremely good at making you feel like you are inside it.
Bad things about the game: There are some problems though... The difficulty is at times schizophrenic. Some weapons are truly game-breaking while others are nigh useless (grab the pneumatic crossbow and the throwing knives)... The voice acting is weird at times.
Verdict:Try it out because it's just damn unique! It's very fun once you get the hang of it!