For this blog I am going to be looking into how the Metro games use interaction in order to improve the experience, either by making it fun or adding to the immersion.
One particular thing the Metro games do very well is immersive interaction in both Metro 2033 and last light. Both these games implement clever mechanics involving the gear you have, in order to stay alive. Whilst initially sounding annoying, it adds substantially to the immersion and would be missed if not in the game. One of the most important of them is your trusty gas mask. All of the outside and some of the tunnels within have poisonous air which doesn’t bode to well for you, which means that when you get into these areas you will have to equip the gas mask manually. When equipped you only have a certain amount of time until the filter runs out, meaning that you have to carefully manage your time outside which adds to the pace and dread. It also encourages the player to explore the areas throughout the game in order to find more filters and supplies.
You can also see how it effects your vision with cracks appearing with damage, water and mud smudging and it steaming up as your filter runs out. You can also wipe the visor to keep it clear. All which greatly add to the immersion, desperation and atmosphere of the game. Your watch also comes into play here, with it being a handy tool to check how much breathable air you have left.
You also have a flashlight which is essential to navigating the various darkly lit environment throughout the game, however as you use the flashlight the battery starts to deplete which means that you have to charger using the universal charger. Whilst equipped you are vulnerable as you charge the battery, which means that you often have to consider preparation in your downtime before you get to the next scenario.
You do have a trusty lighter however if unprepared.
Another interesting element is how they manage the objective screen, which instead of putting it on the HUD they put it onto this board.
Like the previous things I have listed, it is clearly here to add immersion into the game by adding a sense of realism but also allows the HUD to be cleaner and less cluttered as objectives are typically placed on screen or on a user interface.
Here you can see the HUD with just the bare essentials.
Metro gas mask –