My updated take:

I don’t know how or why, but something prompted me to verify Metro 2033’s game files and get the stupid thing working again. I really thought I was binning this thing forever after my poor experience yesterday (when I wrote the original), but I want to play this thing so much that I’ve decided to press on – and I knew I made the right call after getting a bit further into it and being sucked back in again.

The two things that almost caused me to quit immediately were:

  1. My bastard gun disappearing, which seemed like a bug at the time, but I now know is because ranger mode apparently only allows you to carry two guns at a time, something that I don’t recall seeing explained anywhere.
  2. The game crashing and refusing to open again until I verified the integrity of the game files through Steam.

That said, I’ve been having quite a bit of fun with the game, when it actually works smoothly, so I’d love to get to the later bits that I haven’t experienced before and eventually beat the game so I have some context when I go into Metro: Last Light at some point later down the line.

My original journal entry:

Today marks my third attempt at trying to play through Metro 2033. I picked it up years ago and always really liked the atmosphere and gunplay, but used to be kind of a wimp when it came to anything scary. I wouldn’t say I’ve become “hardened”, per se, but after playing things like Resident Evil 2 Remake, I’ve come to enjoy and appreciate being spooked once in a while. The thing that I always run into with 2033 is that it’s pretty rough around the edges in a lot of ways. I don’t recall all of the problems I ran into last time I tried to play it, but this time I’ve already had my bastard gun disappear from my inventory (seemingly due to a bug with the 1.2 chase level in ranger mode), which is a really frustrating thing that already makes me want to quit.

The reason why I really want to get through 2033 is because I want to go on to play Last Light and Exodus after that, and the best way to experience that is probably by not skipping 2033. I already know the story of Metro 2033 from having read the book, but I’d really like to see how it’s presented in the game series to compare and to get a refresher of things.

Funnily enough, just a few minutes after writing those previous two paragraphs, I had the game crash and now it crashes instantly every time I try to reopen it, even on safe mode.

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