Metro: Last Light

What Reviewers Aren't Talking About in Metro: Last Light

Metro: Last Light hits shelves tomorrow, May 14th, 2013 and the floodgates on reviews of the game have opened up this morning. As we all get inundated with hands-on pieces for the game, we wanted to take a minute to point out an oddity that we couldn't help but notice.

Before you read this, go ahead and browse a few reviews of Metro: Last Light. Just pick two or three arbitrarily and come back when you're all done.


Now, odds are that you just read about Metro's dark undertones. It's unashamed take on violence and maturity in gaming. The technical prowess that 4A Games has demonstrated in Metro: Last Light. Without question, you read about the fantastic environment of the underground. All of these things are true, but there's one thing that reviewers are shying away from discussing.

Metro: Last Light features a graphic and shocking attempted rape scene.

We're not here to make a statement on game development or whether or not 4A handled it respectfully. We're simply here to let you know that this scene exists, because you're not going to get this information freely from other resources.

We browsed nearly a dozen different reviews or hands-on pieces that surfaced this morning and only one of those resources mentioned the rape scene.

So, kudos to VG247 for having the guts to mention one of the games most upsetting and memorable sequences. Because whether you like it or not, this scene is going to be one of the most vivid memories you will take away with you after playing Metro: Last Light.

The scene occurs when the player strays off the suggested route, so you are never forced to encounter it but if you like to explore the game world you will come across it eventually. The heartbreaking cries of the NPC draw you to her position and the scene when you get there is nothing short of horrifying. A group of men have surrounded the NPC, threatening to force themselves on her as she cowers away from them. Should you choose to light these guys up - as we did, happily - the NPC collapses to the dirty mattress beneath her, curling up into a ball and sobbing helplessly.

For better or worse, this is one of the most memorable moments in Metro: Last Light for us and we're not sure if that's a good thing. The scene, quite frankly, is upsetting and kind of comes out of nowhere.

At the end of the day, it's not up to us to determine whether 4A did the right thing here. That's up to you guys, the gaming community at large, but a discussion should be had and this is a scene that should not be going unnoticed in mainstream media.

Let us know your thoughts in the comments below, is this a topic that developers should shy away from?


  • #4 Brosencrantzisdead

    The central contention of this article is a lie. The attempted rape scene is not "graphic" (nor, to me, "shocking", which is an entirely subjective term and doesn't belong in anything pretending to be journalism). It features a clothed man shouting at a clothed woman in a dark tunnel and kicking her. This is not by any possible stretch of the imagination "graphic".

    The scene is almost immediately followed by you voluntarily murdering a dozen people (as you cheerfully alluded to), then stumbling across a great iron cage covered in mutilated, decaying human bodies impaled on metal bars or dangling from chains, which is actually "graphic" and, for my money, pretty shocking. I doubt other reviewers specifically mentioned that, either, because the point of reviewing is not providing a blow-by-blow recap. Words like "grim" and "dark" usually connote that bad things happen.

    Last Light is a blood-and-vodka-drenched wander through a labyrinth of violence, misery and horror. It has an adult content warning for a reason. I get that you guys are trying to follow the rest of gaming journalism's trendy "look at us! look at our social conscience! let's discuss Serious Issues by tiptoeing passive-aggressively - sorry, respectfully - around them, and bringing problematic elements to people's attention without actually saying anything" zeitgeist, but this is an absurd non-issue. Unless you're limply implying that developers should be adding trigger warnings to their splash screens?

  • #5 Brosencrantzisdead

    Oh, and the copy-editing of this article is shamefully poor. Possessive apostrophes all over the place. I came here googling for a frames per second fix and I won't be coming back.

  • #3 Unpopularopinion

    So you guys are talking about how the game features a grotesque rape scene and then I read this:

    "Should you choose to light these guys up - as we did, happily -"

    Doesn't this seems a bit like a discrepancy? And don't come with the "they were rapists" or "it's a game about killing" bullshit because that justifies nothing unless your moral compass is not working properly. So

    I keep reading and and I reach this text here:

    "For better or worse, this is one of the most memorable moments in Metro: Last Light for us and we're not sure if that's a good thing. The scene, quite frankly, is upsetting and kind of comes out of nowhere." Again, you are killing people for what, like 10 hours in the game and what upsets you more is a 15-20 seconds part of the game? You are not upset at how the game portraits how the humanity goes to shit and we still fight/kill each other for political reasons (at least in Metro 2033), survival, etc?

    Keep in mind what I said about humanity going to shit now and think. Is it really so "out-of-place" a rape scene in a world that has gone to shit where most people is dead and the survival of the fittest has checked-in at full force? Skip the 'it was not a necessary thing to show' because if we had to remove everything from videogames that is "not necessary" the games would be bland as shit. The rape scene is there to make a point, to show you how heartless some people has turned in the universe of Metro.

    Then this:

    "That's up to you guys, the gaming community at large, but a discussion should be had and this is a scene that should not be going unnoticed in mainstream media."

    The gaming community should not and probably is not going to give (save for the so-called drama queens/kings) a fuck about a harmless portrait of rape (Not even actual rape if I'm correct) because that's exactly what it is, a harmless thing. As a gamer you'll find the place, see the situation and think to yourself "Those motherfuckers" right before and after killing them. Then you'll move on.

    This scene should be going unnoticed in the mainstream media, actually. I'm not going to write a wall of text about this exact topic because it would probably lead to a more convoluted discussion but I think that everyone knows what happens when the media starts sticking their noses around.

    And to end this:

    I've been reading books all my life. In quite a lot of them rape is shown and in more detailed/graphic/grotesque ways than it is in Metro Last Light. That never started a "shitstorm" because when reading there's no social stigmas, there's no political beliefs, there's no personal wars to fight, there's no bullshit, basically. It's just you and the thing you are using to keep you busy. Don't turn the ways you have to entertain yourself into media/political/whatever playgrounds.

    Before I get pointed out and accused of something:

    I'm in no way defending rape or rapists. I'm not a "macho" or an "anti-feminist".

    I'm just a "gamer" trying to prevent his forms of entertaining turn into shit. One post at a time.

  • #1 MonkeyInferno

    To be honest if you have to stray of the main path most reviewers probably never saw it.
    Seems that recently most reviewers rush through the games just to get the review out ASAP. That unfortunately means lots of details of games get missed.

    Well done for VG247 and yourselves for actually playing the game rather than reviewing a speed run.

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