Tips For Surviving Metro: Last Light’s Mutants And Men

1) Don't spend military-grade ammunition, ever.

This should be a no-brainer, but I'm going to spell it out for anyone headed underground anyway (or those who haven't read my review). Powerful incendiary-laced military rounds might put a stop to any spiders or Nazis you find in the Metro, but you should never, ever use the rounds to wipe away the opposition. The fact is that there is always an alternative to spending Metro: Last Light's currency. You're not "making it rain" by shooting someone in the face with those rounds. You're wasting cold, hard cash. Literally.

Instead, spend those military rounds by stocking up on regular ammunition or a different kind of gun. In the field, it's a common mistake to think you're out of ammo. Maybe the assault rifle you've been relying on for the past few missions is spent, but as tempting as military rounds are, it's better to switch to a shotgun or pistol to utilize other ammo types you're carrying around. Sure, assault rifles can fire off your pocket change, but it's vital that you spend that dough instead. Read on to find out where to find ammo in the field and how to best use each weapon.

2) Know your weapon

Metro: Last Light's customization options allow for wildly different modifications to each weapon. A pistol can turn into a sniper rifle with the right stock and attachments. A shotgun can switch from exclusively short-range fire to medium- and long-range fire if you've got the right barrel. Saving military-grade rounds is so imperative because these modifications are going to cost you (if you don't find weapons on the ground).

Know your weapon and use it in the appropriate situations. Sure, your shotgun might be the only weapon in your arsenal with a silencer, but it still won't do you any good in stealth. Understanding the strengths and weaknesses of each firearm can make the difference between surviving the next encounter and backtracking for additional ammo.

3) Scavenge to save your life

Of course, if you're using this tips guide, you won't have to backtrack for ammo because you've already scavenged every nook and cranny leading up to this point. The Metro is a dangerous place and you'll need every round, every throwing knife, and every gas mask filter. Heading down an alternative path might seem unnecessary and distracting from your true purpose, but even a mangled corpse stuck in radioactive mush might have something of value for Artyom.

I'll be the first to admit that when you get off your rail-car and head into a spider-infested maintenance tunnel, you're probably going to spend some ammunition, but it's still worth looking for loot. Maybe you've nearly emptied your shotgun, but you'll find a cache of military rounds and tactical-use secondary weaponry which could turn the tide in an upcoming battle.

4) Use your secondary weaponry

There are four items players can find and use in their secondary slot throughout the Metro. Throwing knives silently eliminate enemies and allow you to dispose of mutant and man alike. Grenades reveal your presence, but they're great for taking out groups of unsuspecting baddies. Incendiary grenades do not damage foes as effectively, but they work great on aggressive mutant bosses and directing enemy foot traffic so you can shoot fish in a barrel; or in this case, commies in a train car. The final secondary weapon is also the most powerful for stealthy and patient players. I've tested this method in lots of different encounters and it never failed to deal with enemies efficiently and spectacularly.

As you enter a new area, hide in the shadows and try to assess the number of enemies you're up against. Knowing how many Nazis are hanging around the Metro tunnel will allow you to identify the best course of action. For medium to large groups of enemies, I liked to use throwing knives to eliminate anyone directly in my way. This allowed me to line the right side of a room with motion-detecting claymores. Once I felt I had properly set up for underground-guerilla warfare, I'd fire off a few rounds and get the remaining enemy force to run over. Many of them found claymores waiting, but any survivors met the business end of my shotgun in the confusion and chaos.

5) Take your time

Scavenging, using secondary weapons, and planning combat engagements all involve methodical, patient, and measured play. It's easy to get caught up in Last Light's story and rush forward in the hopes of catching your objective, but the grand overarching conflict will wait for you. Instead, walk slowly, move silently, and count every shot fired. You start to appreciate the AI and combat systems in the underground when you take your time. What's more, the city-hubs and narrative notes will extend your playtime and give you the most bang for your buck. Metro is a single-player-only shooter, so take a second to stop and smell theā€¦ radioactive mushrooms.

6) At least try to play stealthy

Even if you're a complete and total failure at stealth, entering a room and cautiously eliminating enemies will ensure that you keep your head when the shit inevitably hits the fan. Metro: Last Light doesn't throw an endless force of baddies at the player, so wiping out the first three or four guards will still make a big difference when an alarm is sounded and every Nazi in the station is looking for you. What's more, managing as stealthy an attack as possible will allow you to notice ammunition caches, collectibles, and powerful weapons.

In fact, less-accomplished stealth players will probably benefit from the best of both worlds: stealth and action. Graphically speaking, Metro is impressive in both all-out firefights and from the shadows. Enjoying both avenues of gameplay and soaking in as much of the world will keep you entertained through the slightly more sluggish final third of the game.

7) Always watch your watch

Metro: Last Light's stealth play is so satisfying because your place in the world is clearly communicated to you at all times. Listen to the music perk up as you wander into the light, and run the risk of being spotted by an enemy. The watch flares blue when you're visible to the enemy too, so make sure to keep an eye on the bottom of your screen as you lurk from shadow to shadow.

And while it might be obvious to some, the watch displays how much clean air your gas mask can provide on the surface. It'll beep at you when you've got less than a minute left, but don't think you'll remember to replace the filter with 30 or 15 seconds left on the clock. More often than not, I was attacked on the surface just after my watch reminded me to replace the filter. This made avoiding and attacking the enemy, using a health pack, and swapping my filter incredibly difficult. It's better to throw away one minute on a filter than cling to it and suffocate for your thriftiness later.