At the 14:40 mark, the loading screen says, “Ammo is precious in the Metro. Be sure to conserve your ammo and scavenge your surroundings for extra rounds.” I think this should be replaced with, “Ammo is precious in the Metro. Be sure to not waste it in a pointless war against other humans.”
At the ten minute mark, we hear some commies talking about Nazis using “a pack of suicide bombers”. That’s just… stupid. It’s just Lazy Writing to pound us over the head with the notion that Nazis are bad, in case we’re still conscious from the last 50 blows to the head with the same rhetorical blunt object. Humans are about the most non-renewable resource you have in the tunnels. With populations this low, suicide attacks are comically derpy.
Yes, Nazis exist in real life. Soviet Russia existed in real life. Pointless meatgrinder warfare exists in real life. Suicide bombers exist in real life. But the reality of these horrors doesn’t give a writer a free pass to stick them in a story without explanation. The fact that these things COULD happen doesn’t relieve the writer from their burden to explain why it happened here. When two entire societies act in ways that are impossible and insane, you can’t handwave it with “LOL NAZIS!” and call it a day.
There are simply not enough people and resources in the Metro society (as it’s been portrayed in the game) to make this war possible, and even if there was we’re never given a good enough reason. It doesn’t work. Instead of thinking, “Man people are tragically flawed and prone to self-destruction” I think, “Man, this writer is grasping at every trope in the book.”
You can get away with this in a comedy or action schlock, but in a game like Metro it just cheapens the world for me.
I think a great solution would be to portray the war as a symptom of the ghost-driven insanity. Have the Reds and Nazis be people who have lost their connection to reality and are living in one of the ghost-driven nightmares we see in the tunnels. They’re confused about the time and place they’re in, stuck reliving memories or acting out atrocities of the past. Khan could warn you ahead of time that the tunnels have driven them mad, and it’s making people destroy each other. Then the player wouldn’t walk in with the expectation that these people should make sense. It could also make them creepy as hell, if handled correctly.
This change would tie the war back into the main conflict (the insanity and darkness in the tunnels) instead of creating this idiot sideshow just so we can get our First-Person Shooting on.
Also, I have to commend Josh for his playing here. Yes, he died a couple of times, but he’s in a situation where he’s trying to SNEAK QUICKLY for the purposes of making interesting footage.