Finally finished this thicc beast of a book.
It was great, but not really any better than the video game. The tunnels were much spookier, there were cannibals who worshiped a worm, and there were some really cool occult things that weren’t in the game. But the game still does it justice. There’s just one yuge difference between them.
The Dark Ones. Mysterious mutants that drive people insane, and in the book, apparently tear people to shreds.
In the game, you’re never directly attacked by the Dark Ones. It’s specifically stated that they don’t physically harm anyone. Even though you do see people turned into babbling morons by them, you also often come into contact with them yourself without coming to harm. This makes your final decision of “nuke ’em or don’t” a little less obvious.
In the book, the Dark Ones do attempt to reach out to Artyom in his dreams, but they also scare the living shit out of him. In order to contact them, he must overcome his fear of a certain tunnel in a recurring nightmare, and maybe the Dark Ones really are trying to do something to ease him into it, but it’s not obvious. Walking toward them in the game rewards you with a pleasant white light–encouraging you to make contact with them. In the book, there is only the horrible blackness of the unknown, until suddenly there isn’t.
They’re spooky boys, plain and simple. And even though they do apparently help Artyom in several moments– such as advising him to wait so he doesn’t walk into a firefight– with so much spooky shit going on in the metro, there was no way for Artyom to know it was them helping him or a ghost or a magician or a philosopher-stoner or just Fate itself. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, though. Miscommunication is just a reality of life.
Maybe the game would have been even better if they’d made the Dark Ones less approachable. I dunno. I wonder if there’s a darkness mod… shoulda been darker. what good is the flashlight if there’s fucking translucent mushrooms everywhere? I’m gonna go play Stalker now.
uh, book gets a 8/10. I wish I’d read it before playing the game. Actually no I don’t because then I would have enjoyed the game less. Who cares? 8/10