As you might know, 4A's post-apocalyptic shooter sequel Metro: Last Light, has been released today. You can find it on Steam, GamersGate, GreenManGaming or retail for $49.99/€49.99 tho' it should be noted that the game is still a Steamworks title so, no matter where you get it, you'll have to use Steam to play it.
Reviews, for what it's worth, are generally good if not enthusiastic or on par with the biggest, most critically acclaimed titles, with an 82 metascore on PC, an 80 on Xbox 360 and an 82 on PS3.
According to ex-THQ president Jason Rubin (who joined the company as a last ditch attempt to save it but didn't manage to turn the tide fast enough), 4A had to work in pretty terrible conditions:
When 4A needed another dev kit, or high-end PC, or whatever, someone from 4A had to fly to the States and sneak it back to the Ukraine in a backpack lest it be "seized" at the border by thieving customs officials. After visiting the team I wanted to buy them Aeron office chairs, considered a fundamental human right in the west. There were no outlets in the Ukraine, and our only option was to pack a truck in Poland and try to find an "expediter" to help bribe its way down to Kiev. We gave up not because this tripled the cost, but because we realized that the wider Aeron chairs would require spreading out people and computers, which would lead to extra desks, and that ultimately would have required bigger offices. Yes, really.There's also a comment from the game's creative director in the article's comments section, which I'm going to quote:
I truly enjoyed Far Cry 3, which deserved its great reviews. But how many times did Ubisoft Montreal lose power for hours or days during development? Power outages are the norm for 4A. All developers have deadlines, but I know of few that had to bring in construction generators to be able to work the weekend before final submission because an extra day meant missing shelf dates by weeks. Montreal is cold, but when it gets cold in Kiev it's different. That's because the government provides all of the heating through a central coal burning facility that pipes hot water to homes and offices. Unfortunately, it breaks down reliably a few times a year for a week at a time. Then 4A works in their parkas and struggles to keep their fingers warm in temperatures well below freezing. That is unless it snows and they get stuck home for a few days at a time because snow clearing isn't up to Western standards.
The only thing for which 4A is getting more credit than I think they deserve is the creativity behind the ever frightening, dark, post apocalyptic environment of the game. I've been in Kiev to visit the team, so I know they just stepped outside for reference.
Hello everyone,Finally, for those of you who have a beefy PC or have to choose between the 2 console versions, Eurogamer has one of their Digital Foundry face-offs. I'm not going to take a quote as the newspost is already long as it is, but in layman's terms the game looks stunning on PC and not half-bad on consoles (who both run 30 fps with dips during chaotic scenes, with a small lead on PS3).
We've worked with THQ for 10 years (as we are the guys who made Stalker, too), and Jason is the only THQ President who visited us in Ukraine. And he did this on his second week in THQ. Keep in mind that he only had few months to somehow fix the situation. Alas, that didn't work out.
It is a fact that our work conditions are worse than those of other developers outside Ukraine. I don't think anyone can doubt that - yes, it's true that American and most of European developers operate in a country far more comfortable than Ukraine. And yes, the publishers pay them more. This is clear: the more "reasonable" the country the less the rrisks. And we don't want to be all dramatic about that - after all, better conditions are earned, and we strive to do this as soon as possible ...
And we are thankful to Jason for his article.
Jason, please don't blame Deep Silver for not having our logo on the game site... just like us, they ended up in a harsh situation and had to do a lot of things in two months, which was definitely a very hard task. I don't blame them for letting the logo thing slip. They are trying hard.
After all, it's our game that matters and not our logo.
Also. We did want to make a multiplayer. Though if it was excluded from the start, a lot of precious time wouldn't be wasted and we'd make an even better single.
What else& We deserve the ratings we get. After all, the final consumer doesn't care about our conditions. And this is RIGHT. We need no indulgence.
PROF and all Ukrainian bobsled team:)
Edit: As dONALD42 reminds us, it should be noted that Ranger Mode isn't available in the game vanilla, but only as DLC (which was included with some pre-orders). Some people consider it the right way to play the game so, yeah, it's very unfortunate that Deep Silver decided to go this way.