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Developing Metro 2033 had been challenging for 4A Games. After splintering from GSC Game World in 2005, the Ukrainian studio had spent the better half of the decade building everything in their first title from the ground up, from the engine that powered its world, to the design philosophy that informed its gameplay. And while the game had managed to exceed expectations when it finally released, it also carried with it a stigma of being undercooked, on account of its many bugs, and occasionally infuriating enemy AI.
With 2033’s sequel, 4A had an opportunity to enjoy a much smoother development cycle. Most of the fundamentals upon which it would be built were already in place, and THQ, which had served as the first game’s publisher, was eager to provide the studio with much more support than in the past. Unfortunately, like a journey through the tunnels of Moscow’s metro system gone awry, the game’s development would be beset by various struggles; some intrinsic to 4A, others created by events far beyond its control.
Yet 4A would proceed to not only weather these issues, but release a sequel that rivaled and, in some ways, surpassed the quality of its predecessor. To onlookers within the industry, what they managed to accomplish was nothing short of incredible – but to the studio’s employees, it was just part of the job.
This is the history of Metro: Last Light.
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