Metro: Last Light – avoid getting too hung-up on realism

Wednesday, 20th June 2012 15:57 GMT By Stace Harman

THQ communications head, Huw Beynon has discussed the problem of trying to make a game too realistic and talked about how the “magic bullet pocket” in FPS titles drives him crazy.

Speaking to RPS about post-apocalyptic survival FPS Metro: Last Light, THQ’s head of communications, Huw Beynon, had a bone to pick with the notion of realism in games:

“I mean, realism in games is such an interesting topic, because there is no such thing. The whole thing is inherently unrealistic. Not just the world and the setting, just the fact that you’re going to lug three weapons around with you, or that when you pick up the ammunition, it goes into your magic pocket of bullets. And you can reload with half a clip and somehow all of it [transfers over].

“Everyone knows all of this stuff. You ignore some of these things because it’s better for gameplay. You can get too hung up on, you have to make all of this stuff super-realistic. Because if you did that you’d probably end up with a thoroughly unenjoyable game.

“The interesting thing for us is to see how close we can get. But I’d love to see a game that changed the whole [dynamic]. That, for me, is one of the things that really bugs me about that, the magic bullet pocket. It’s crazy.”

Much has been made of the bullet trading mechanic in Last Light’s predecessor, Metro 2033, and while it will feature in some form in THQ and 4A’s 2013 shooter sequel, the finishing touches are yet to be put on exactly how it will function.

For now, it seems that magic bullet pockets will remain but it seems that while some game conventions drive Beynon to distraction, others, such a silent protagonists, can only help immerse the player deeper in the experience.

“You as the player, you’ve been asked to assume the role of this character. And you can tell a lot more in the way that others react to you than you can by hearing your character respond,” said Beynon.

“Obviously, in Metro we give you the choice to make very real, impactful decisions that will fundamentally change the path of the game and the end of the game throughout. So having him come out and say something that maybe doesn’t sit quite right, it doesn’t really add anything to his character development.

“You look back to something like a Half-Life 2. You understand, the minute when Gordon steps into a room and someone [simply reacts]. The reaction of the other people around him, the character is built up that way as they respond to him. You begin to piece it all together. I find that’s a far more interesting way of telling a character’s story than having him [talk a bunch].”

Metro: Last Light will follow the continuing story story of Artyom, as he explores Russia’s underground subway system after an apocalyptic event drove humankind underground. VG247′s most recent preview of the title is here, while the live-action trailer giving clues as to how the cataclysm came about can be spied through here.

Part one and part two of the full RPS interview are can be found through the links.



  1. Edo

    Good stuff,can’t wait for this game!

    #1 3 years ago
  2. Gigabomber

    I don’t mind the silent protagonist in Metro, but I felt like – after all of HL 1 – to have Gordon not say a single word in 2 was really a boring decision. Look at Dead Space 2, giving Issac a voice didn’t ruin it in any way, some of their other decisions were the problem.

    #2 3 years ago
  3. Edo

    ” Issac’s voice didn’t ruin it in any way”…yeah maybe to you it didn’t.

    #3 3 years ago
  4. YoungZer0

    @2: Agreed. Don’t want to him go into Monolog when he’s alone, but he should at least answer if people ask him something.

    #4 3 years ago
  5. DSB

    I don’t think it has to be a question of either/or. From a first person perspective, it can be a bit weird to have words coming out of your mouth that aren’t yours. Especially if it’s a linear game, like Metro.

    Other times I think it’s a lot more engaging to be part of a character that’s already defined, but I definitely think that works better from a third person perspective, or with some RPG elements, so you have a say.

    I like Huw Beynon, he seems pretty smart.

    #5 3 years ago
  6. Maximum Payne

    Well in Metro he speaks only in loading right ?
    They could just expand that on some more area.

    #6 3 years ago
  7. YoungZer0

    @5: Especially in a linear game? Where else would you use voiceacting if not in a linear game?

    I don’t think they are going to give Artjom a voice now, but i’d like to seem try something different here.

    That’s another reason why i can’t wait to play Far Cry 3. After watching that interview with the main writer yesterday, i can’t help but be a little bit hyped.

    #7 3 years ago
  8. absolutezero

    Artyom does have a voice, he narrates most of the story through the loading screens. It made sense within the context of the game.

    I also agree that Issac talking in Dead Space 2 was great. Not so much in three with the fuckity fuck fuck dude bro Army of Two banter.

    (which can be done entirely alone, yes I know thanks theres no need to spell it out all over again.)

    THEN theres Other M.

    #8 3 years ago
  9. YoungZer0

    @8: We don’t talk about Other M.

    #9 3 years ago

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