Metro 2033 EP10: The Adventures of Arty and Sasha

By Josh
on Nov 1, 2013
Filed under:
Spoiler Warning


Link (YouTube)

I could use this space to talk about how haunting the ruined station is, how it shows that the last of humanity is really losing the war against the elements and the mutants. Or how it could be an allegory for what Artyom fears his own station might turn out like if he fails. Or I could compliment the game for successfully creating a child companion who isn’t a complete chore to have around (although he would still have benefited from a better voice actor).

But no. You don’t want me to talk about that.

I know what you really want:

americancheese.jpg
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2020201070 comments? This post wasn't even all that interesting.

From the Archives:

  1. Rutskarn says:

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    Hey guys, I’m trying to put my finger on it. What does this comment box look like?

  2. Penn says:

    So, fake cheese?

  3. Ciennas says:

    Can Shamus help it if he hit on the grossly underserved cheese eating nerd demographic?

    Honestly, a subset of the site that swapped nerdly recipes or dining tips seems like it’d be a winner.

  4. Ben Hilton says:

    I really liked the attention to detail in the ruined town. You can see the flow of the battle and how individual fights played out. It creates a vision of what happened 10 times better than any in game animation or cinematic could have.

    And again on the detail, I like how the child says his uncle killed the last nosalis with his knife, and in fact there is one laying next to him with a knife in it. It sounds simple but so many artists just wouldn’t have bothered.

  5. Ben Hilton says:

    Was that always the opening image for this episode, or was it put in due to lasts episodes cheese love in the comments section?

  6. krellen says:

    Guys, I think Josh was really offended by the last comment thread. Maybe we should talk about something other than cheese this time.

    I propose we talk about cheese’s natural enemy, crackers.

  7. Spammy V says:

    I like this town. Everything’s been dropped and abandoned, there’s blood and bodies everywhere. Apparently unlike the hosts, I did get the sense that everyone was living here, but the mutants came and now everyone who was left died. You find people caught down in the open or backed into a corner and surrounded by Nosalises or with blood on the wall behind them and a gun in their hands.

    And personally if for nothing else I liked Sasha just for the lines where he talks about the sky with no understanding of just what the sky actually is. He thinks it’s just a big room with a high ceiling and a really bright light.

    Also, to criticize Josh’s playing: The town is a great place for the Volt Driver because you can back up into a room and kill all the wandering Lurkers with the shock-prod. And don’t try to shoot the Lurkers when you’ve got Sasha, just run, they don’t follow you for very long.

    • Ben Hilton says:

      Thinking about it now I actually wish there were less enemies here…maybe a few token scavengers, but it makes it harder to appreciate all of the visual story telling while getting your ankles bitten by an endless stream of baddies.

      Here less would have been more.

  8. Nytzschy says:

    Never let it be said that Twenty Sided does not give the people what they demonstrably want.

  9. Corpital says:

    I quite liked the section with Sasha, except for the fact the best way to get through it is to know the way and just run like a madman. A viable strategy for way too many sections.

    But this part with the “weak ceiling” killed me three times. Cautious approach: overwhelmed by monsters and murdered. Then tried normally walking and shooting everything without stopping: a monster jumped on Artyom and HE FELL OUT OF THE WORLD.
    Ok, kid. We do it your way , take a few steps back and don’t throw a grenade. Killed by collapsing ceiling. Sasha should rather say “People should run through the turn and THEN not throw a grenade.”

  10. ehlijen says:

    On the older tech lasting longer:

    Didn’t transistors replace vacuum tubes because they were less prone to breaking (in addition to being smaller and faster)?

    I was told the data backup industry still swears on magnetic tape because it lasts longer then CDs before decaying (and speed isn’t an issue for data you rarely access). Is that not true anymore?

    I think they used mostly older tech to create a feeling of technological regression. But really, we’d have to set up an industry to make the older tech again before we can have an ample supply to survive the apocalypse, no?

    • Rutskarn says:

      I should think solid state drives would preferred to either.

      • Athatar says:

        The only problem with solid state is the price per gig. Magnetic recording (i.e. hard drives, magnetic tape ect) is extreamly cheap. The previous comment is correct though. Hard drives, due to the vertical write heads have a relatively short life. They are in general rated to 10 years of life before random thermal fluctuations will corrupt your data. Magetic tape recording is horizontally alined which can stablise the recording and allow it to be stored for longer. The majortiy of the Libary of Congrass is backed up on magentic tape as it will last for ages.

      • Athatar says:

        The only problem with solid state is the price per gig. Magnetic recording (i.e. hard drives, magnetic tape ect) is extreamly cheap. The previous comment is correct though. Hard drives, due to the vertical write heads have a relatively short life. They are in general rated to 10 years of life before random thermal fluctuations will corrupt your data. Magetic tape recording is horizontally alined which can stablise the recording and allow it to be stored for longer. The majortiy of the Libary of Congrass is backed up on magentic tape as it will last for ages.

        Note, citations available on request, I don’t have them on hand at the moment.

      • ehlijen says:

        That’s possible. When I was told this, solid state drives had not been proliferated to the point they were even an option yet.

      • Lalaland says:

        No SSDs are not your friend for long term archival storage, flash NAND does not last forever and requires a periodic refresh by the drive logic. For long term storage tape is still king as the magnetic bits don’t decay at anything like the same rate the electrical charge in NAND does, allowing tapes to be stored for literally dozens of years. In fact there are tapes out there that are still readable but we don’t have the systems to interpret what stored on them anymore.

    • Daemian Lucifer says:

      I read the progression of storage media,and it goes:
      Rock,paper,magnetic tape,cd,flash drive.

      Though,granted,that was years ago.Maybe the technology for making cds has been improved since then.

      • MrGuy says:

        When considering CD’s, there are two very different types with different shelf lives. Factory produced CD’s (packaged software, music CD’s) are produced from a master (usually glass), and so can use reasonably long-lived materials to hold the information. Laser-written CD’s (like what you’d produce in a CD or DVD writer) have a flat layer of a burnable dye that can be burned by a laser. For the dye to be weak enough to be burned away, it needs to be a lot less robust.

        Basically, factory CD’s are expected to have 5-10 times the lifespan (I’ve read) that home-burned ones.

        • Peter H. Coffin says:

          By experience, burned CDs and DVDs are reliable for about four years stored in good conditions (65F, dark, vertical), after which they’ll start failing about 20% per year. Usually the whole disc fails at once, too, not just a “can’t read this one file reliably” sort of thing. Mastered CDs and DVD last a LONG TIME. I’ve got CDs I bought almost 30 years ago, and none of them have failed due to mere age, only … misadventure.

          • Richard says:

            Pressed CDs and DVDs are extremely long-lived because the data is stored as physical holes in aluminium foil, underneath the lacquer and label.

            They really only fail due to degradation of the supporting polycarbonate or physical damage.

            Basically, if it can still be spun, it’s probably still readable.

            However, making them is really difficult (a physical ‘master’ is used to punch the holes) so they’re basically useless as a backup medium, only becoming economically feasible for thousands of copies or more.

            For actual backup (three/four copies) and long-term storage, tape remains king.

    • KremlinLaptop says:

      Re: Vacuum tubes

      Vacuum tubes are interesting for example most of the avionics of the MIG-25 were vacuum tube based even when at the time solid-state electronics were common. Why? Rugged! Easier to replace too. Also the best part? EMP resistant and that last point is why a posy-apocalypse with vacuum tube tech? Yeah, it makes sense.

      • Lalaland says:

        Yeah but also soviet transistor tech was way behind where the west was and continued to be until the the late 70s, early 80s. The Foxbat got a lot of hype for it’s ability to ‘burn through’ western jamming but AFAIK the radar set didn’t last long when you pushed it to those power levels. Soviet doctrine was based around ground based intercept with radar operators on the ground vectoring pilots to intercept targets relegating airborne radars to target acquisition and lockon. This was factor in the Korea Air tragedy in ’83 along with the US practice of flying spy planes in commercial air corridors and ‘accidentally’ straying off course. It wasn’t until the MiG-31 that the Soviets got a truly advanced multi-mode air radar

  11. Mersadeon says:

    I have to say that this game performs really weirdly. On my older computer? Totally fine, 30-60 fps with the highest options. On my new one? Only playable in 800×600 mode on the lowest options. It’s odd.

    Also, when that boy appeared at first I didn’t quite pay attention and didn’t quite catch he had climbed on my back. The first few minutes I was super confused, I thought the game was having serious problems – not rendering a character AND screwing with my mouse!

  12. hborrgg says:

    Ok, so how many times does this game have you come across an isolated corpse sitting against a wall with pistol in his hand and a blood splatter behind his head? I swear I noticed at least 3 or 4 in that section alone.

  13. Thomas says:

    Okay is Arty’s survivability going to be a plot point? Because its getting a bit silly now. The combat god thing isn’t a problem, but there have been a lot of scripted events now where everyone but the protagonist has died, and that’s getting towards lazy writing if it doesn’t have a meaning, or is building up to a reveal

    • Ryan says:

      It sort of already is; in Riga, your comrades are surprised that you’re “Immune to that shit,” and the whole reason Bourbon wants you to come along with him is because he heard “the shit in the tunnels doesn’t work on you”.

      I think this is supposed to be related to why the Dark Ones turn to you for forgiveness, or maybe it’s that the Dark Ones are protecting you? Not really sure.

      • Thomas says:

        But there have been plenty of places where he hasn’t died when everybody else did but not because of that ability. Like here the monsters kill everyone but him?

        I guess that maybe because of the thing you talked about in the spoiler tags though

  14. Phantos says:

    Regarding the health-packs, I’m surprised the people living underground in the Metro haven’t succumbed to blindness.

  15. SlothfulCobra says:

    You know, the way Sasha freaks out about the sky reminds me of Wormtooth Nation.

    Of course, Artyom has been up there, and there’s nothing worth speaking about. There are plenty of ways out of the tunnels, but life outside the subway just isn’t feasible.

  16. Kreek says:

    oh mine little packet of processed yellow cheese like product

    but how i love thy not so delicious taste and the health that thee bestow

    would that i could carry more then six packs and that they were not full of old and probably used needles

    but hear, for now you doth save my life, truly i shall surely die later, of blood born disease laced upon thy poorly sterilized pointy bits or possibly of heart palpitations caused by high cholesterol

  17. AJax says:

    Are you telling me that SOME KID LIVED!?

    • MrGuy says:

      The station that kid lives in is now the most important station in the metro. And we need to convince the militias of other, more advanced, better defended, and more powerful stations to abandon defending their stations because clearly the station that kid lives in is the most important station in the entire metro. Because that’s where the Dark Ones will focus their attack. Reasons!

      • Gruhunchously says:

        And meanwhile, the Nazis are suddenly going to build a massive,trained, and well equipped army from their legions of captured slaves and use it to simultaneously attack every other Metro station for reasons nebulously related to controlling the Dark Ones for their own purposes.

  18. RTBones says:

    The thing that strikes me about this sequence is that I think it could have been much more meaningful and powerful had there simply been fewer monsters – giving you that “OMG, what the hell happened here…?” sense of creepiness. Going back to what Chris said – the game leans on its shooter mechanics, sometimes too much. To me, the area had the feeling of being lived in but overrun…until the monsters showed up. Once you start shooting regularly, you lose that sense of anything having happened and it just becomes one more area where you are Artyom McShooty…one all beef surrogate daddy, with his special ketchup sauce and first aid cheese, picking up munitions in his Metro-y laced run….

    • Ryan says:

      I think it would have been interesting if the monsters weren’t so dead-set on killing you. These aren’t the nosalises you were defending the station from; I got the sense that these are scavengers come to pick at the corpses left, which is sort of reinforced by the way they’ve tunneled through the metro station itself; we talk about how alive the stations feel, this one is a maggot-ridden corpse. Had the monsters maybe been scared away by gunfire, this would be less of an action level and would have given you more time to observe the wreckage laid before you.

      It’d also help the level with Sasha by making it clear that he was safe on your back; and definitely NOT safe by himself.

  19. MrGuy says:

    So, I understand why they don’t give Sasha a gun – would have really changed the dynamic of this section.

    That said, I can’t help mentally comparing the “too young to use a gun” line in this game, and the scene in The Walking Dead when you teach Clem how to shoot.

    The loss of innocence in realizing “of course we need to arm 9 year olds now” was incredibly powerful in establishing the degree to which the world had changed. It just feels weird to me that a world that’s so much further past the “day the world ended” in Metro hasn’t learned that lesson yet.

    • Mersadeon says:

      That’s mostly because almost everyone in Walking Dead had been alone or in very small groups, travelling around. They saw the worst things out there. In the Metro, however, you can live a lot better if you call one of the safer stations home. These people weren’t in the same, desperate learn-to-kill-or-die situation the people of Walking Deads zombie apocalypse are in – the ones in that station probably lived an almost normal life. (Well, normal for third-world country standards and underground, but you get my point).

  20. Neko says:

    OMG Chris, There’s no Cyrodiil in Morrowind! … although perhaps one day the Tamriel Rebuilt project will get there. They’re just focusing on the rest of Morrowind outside of Vvardenfel so far.

    Also, OMG, it can’t be like playing Oblivion without visiting the Imperial City either, because you start there! Unless, again, mods. Mods are awesome.

    • Corpital says:

      Weeeeell, strictly speaking, this is true.
      But waking up in the Imperial Prison, that is separated from the “main” city , and fleeing through the sewers sounds like the second worst visit ever. Like changing planes in Tokyo without leaving the airport and saying you visited Japan. Or counting waiting in a tiny room, then standing in a courtroom for four hours and leaving immediately afterwards as visiting Polis. :)

  21. Completely off the topic of cheese, but when listening to old SW shows, I think I’ve hit on something Shamus & Co. need to do for an upcoming episode: One of the Batman games.

    Seriously, Arkham Asylum came up loads of times in almost every SW series. If they could do one of the games, even as a kind of Half-Life Special or maybe a retrospective of the series when the next one comes out, I think it’d make for a good season.

    It would require Mumbles, so do whatever it takes to lure her back.

  22. Dave B. says:

    So I’m late to the party because I just got the game and I’m trying to catch up, so probably no one will see this but Shamus. (Hi, Shamus!)

    That wire trap that can’t be disarmed triggers (heh) an interesting scripted event. I just ran through it, and it exploded a couple seconds later and collapsed the tunnel behind me. I forget what Sasha said to that, but he seemed to think it was awesome.

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