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Metro: Last Light – Details about saving, jamming, side-missions, and factions



Our 4A games source “THQvagrantscout” has returned on the official forums for Metro: Last Light, equipped with some more info on the upcoming game. Grab a gas mask as we dive right in.

Firstly, when asked about secondary objectives, he stated “there will be about the same amount of secondary objectives in Metro: Last Light as were available in Metro 2033.” However, he didn’t specify any examples.

Regarding the oh-so pleasant graphics, “vagrantscout” had this to say; “We’ve improved virtually every aspect of the visuals. Some of these changes are subtle, some will be very apparent when you play the game. We’re particularly proud of the advances we’ve made to our outdoor environments, something we hope to show off in the not too distant future…” No doubt we’ll see some trailers soon that showcase these fabled graphics.

The save system is being changed, it seems. When asked if Last Light will keep the quick-save feature, he responded; “Our current plan is to use a check-point save system only. We’re aware of the pros of a quick-save system, but this can be open to abuse and potentially break immersion. With the additional polish time afforded to us, we’re confident we can implement a fair and robust checkpoint system that does not trap or penalize the player, which are the main concerns directed at this type of save mechanic.” Speaking as a guy who definitely does ‘abuse’ that type of system, it’s nice to see that I’ll be bit more restrained here. Hopefully checkpoints will be spaced properly.

The representative didn’t have much to say about the factions in the game, but we do have this; “You’ll meet the same factions as last time, but the factions play a much bigger role in the storyline and you’ll learn a lot more about them.” Basically, expect the same factions, but bigger and better this time around.

Many were a bit baffled at the inclusion of a minigun in the E3 demo, as it’s realistic accuracy is a bit questionable. “Vagrantscout” has attempted to justify this, however. “Almost all our new weapons are ‘Metro-made’ and regarding the mini-gun, we use this sparingly in the full game,” he said. “We wanted to showcase it in our E3 demo last year, but it’s understandably a very rare piece of hardware.”

Finally, when one user asked about guns potentially jamming, the following was the rep’s response. “Some weapons overheat. For example, the “Bastard” is prone to overheating during sustained fire and you’ll be able to see a plume of steam venting to warn you that this is about to happen. Keep firing and the gun will jam prompting an emergency field repair and volley of swearing from Artyom … Guns do not permanently break though.” Sounds like it will add to the immersive nature of he game, for sure.

Metro: Last Light is set for an early 2013 release, on the PC, PS3, Xbox 360, and Wii U. Make sure to follow OnlySP for further details regarding the game.

[Metro: Last Light Forums]

Now an occasional contributer, Michael Urban is the former Editor-in-Chief at OnlySP and has the nickname "Breadcrab" for reasons his therapist still doesn't understand. From the moment he first got hacked in Runescape, he's been uninterested in multiplayer games and has pursued the beauty of the single-player experience, especially in terms of story and creative design. His hobbies include reading, writing, singing in the shower, pretending to be productive, and providing info and feedback regarding the games industry. It is an industry, right? You can ask him a question or send him spam at Also, follow him on Twitter or the terrorists win. (@MichaelUrban1)


The Long Return Creates a Beautiful Aesthetic in Each Level — An Interview With Max Nielsen



Long Return header

The Long Return is a beautiful third-person puzzle adventure game, following the story of an orphaned cub. The player explores hand crafted levels as the cub retraces the steps it once took with his mother. The Long Return’s level design is familiar yet still distinct and refreshing, taking inspiration from both new and old games to create this muted low poly feel.

This gorgeous, debut project is the work of solo developer Max Nielsen. Although he is currently finalising the game ahead of its release later this year, he took the time to talk to OnlySP to reflect and tell us more.

OnlySP: What inspired you to bring The Long Return to life? Was it an idea you were sitting on for a while or did it come on quite suddenly?

Nielsen: Actually, I never planned on releasing this game, or even finishing it. I had just quit my job at Microsoft and wanted to create a quick demo for my portfolio, so that I could apply for jobs in the industry. At the time I was working on a 2D RPG mostly for fun, and I knew I would need to make something in 3D for the bigger studios to give me a chance. So I decided to make a fairly simple demo with around 10 minutes of gameplay. However, while working on it, I got offered a job as an application consultant at a great company, and they said they would let me work on my own games and run my own company on the side, so I accepted the job and since then I have been working on this game as a hobby on my free time.

OnlySP: Each zone in The Long Return has such a pleasing aesthetic, how did you go about level design in a mostly natural world?

Nielsen: I am a huge Nintendo fan, Zelda OoT is still my favorite single player game ever, and I had just played through Zelda BotW, and wanted to create a world with a similar color palette and feel. After trying out a few different things I decided to use the low poly style because that would mean I could actually model some stuff by myself. I think I’ve gone through the level design of each zone in my game at least 10 times since I started, it’s crazy how much you learn just by trial and error (although time-consuming).

OnlySP: Will the game have a stronger focus on gameplay and location or story. Is The Long Return is a mix of the two?

Nielsen: Since the start I really wanted to tell a story without any words or text, and I have kept true to that. Instead I tell the story using memories and visuals. This does set certain limits to how gripping and detailed the story can be, especially when working with animals, but I think the message comes across quite well. The game is, at its core, a puzzle/adventure game, and you spend most of your time solving different puzzles and finding your way past obstacles, accompanied by an amazing original soundtrack that I still cannot believe is for my game.

OnlySP: Being your first big project game, what have you learned during development?

Nielsen: That list is incredibly long, and hopefully I can create a post-mortem detailing most of it. But I would say the main things I will take away from this project is:

– Plan, research and test; When starting out I kind of just created features for the game by trial and error, this leads to some really messy code. Nowadays I always make sure to properly plan, take notes, research best practices and test everything in a dev-environment before putting it in my game.
– Marketing is a necessary evil, even as a hobby developer with very limited time, I still don’t do enough of it, shame!
– It’s okay to take a day off, don’t burn out, it’s supposed to be fun!

OnlySP: Overall, how long has it taken for you to develop The Long Return?

Nielsen: Roughly a year. But I’ve been working on games for 4-5 years before that as a hobby.

OnlySP: Do you have any plans after The Long Return is released?

Nielsen: Big, BIG plans, haha. While I love this game and all I’ve learned, I am so excited to start my next project. It is much more “my type of game” and I have very high hopes for it. I won’t say too much yet, but it will combine my two favorite genres of single player games; RPG and city management.

The Long Return is set to release in August 2019.

For more interviews in the world of single-player gaming, be sure to follow OnlySP on FacebookTwitter, and YouTube. Also, be sure to join the discussion in the community Discord server.

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