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Articles - CfP Topic

Vol. 9 No. 1 (2023): Paradise Lost. Presentation of Nostalgic Longing in Digital Games

Paradise Lost – and Found Again: METRO 2033, the Ghosts of the Past, Moral Choices, and Game Rewards

September 23, 2022


This article focuses on memories of the past and moral values in the video game METRO 2033: REDUX (4A Games / Deep Silver, UA/AT 2014). The game, situated in a postapocalyptic Moscow and based on a book by the Russian author Dmitry Glukhovsky, is focused on the adventures of Artyom, with whom the player identifies, in the metro system. On their journeys, players face different situations and decisions, to which they can choose how to react. Furthermore, in this dystopian world the player not only travels through different tunnels, but also encounters memories of a lost past and different belief systems. Unbeknownst to the gamer, almost every segment of this journey holds an invisible moral evaluation, which will grant the player “moral points” if passed. The balance of moral points then defines the possible endings of the game. Drawing on approaches in the study of historical narratives in video games, this article analyses the romanticisation and criticism of the past shown in the game as well
as the various categories and situations in which moral points are awarded, exploring how they are related to moral values and how they affect the gaming experience. In addition, characters with different belief systems are present both in the book and, to a limited extent, in the game, and this article will reflect on the representations and role of beliefs throughout the Metro series.