Fans of 4A Games' shooter Metro: 2033 are going to have to wait even longer to visit the dreary subways of Russia, as THQ announced today that Metro: Last Light has been delayed into the first quarter of 2013.
THQ announced at an investors meeting that they were aiming for an early 2013 release, which means the title is seeing a delay of more than six months. Metro: Last Light was first shown off at E3 2011 via a Portishead-filled trailer with an estimated Summer 2012 release date. Considering how early the game was shown, one must wonder exactly what the delay can be seen to indicate.
In their third quarter results announcement, THQ did not give a reason for the delay, though with the title aiming for a release across multiple platforms it's possible that 4A Games needed more time to polish the survival-themed sequel.
This announcement comes in the wake of recent financial troubles at THQ; the publisher has seen their shares drop to worrying levels, leading to over 200 employees being laid off. With the company in such financial turmoil, we hope Metro: Last Light and many other externally-developed titles are not put in jeopardy, especially if the reason for Last Light's delay is THQ's inability to allocate funds towards development. Obviously delays happen for a multitude of reasons, but the publisher's current situation will certainly get some tongues wagging.
Metro: Last Light already looks to improve greatly on its predecessor. Metro 2033 succeeded in creating a compelling atmosphere, however the gameplay wasn't nearly as refined as it could have been. Previous screenshots and trailers have shown that 4A Games has acknowledged these issues and is working to fix them in the sequel, so hopefully the extra few months of development time allow them to polish the title thoroughly.
With Nintendo hoping to launch the Wii U before the end of 2012, this may mean that the Wii U version of Last Light will launch alongside the other platforms. Hopefully that's the case, as it will be interesting to see if 4A Games decides to implement the system's touch screen in anyway - perhaps by having a needle appear on screen to show how much charge is left in Artyom's flashlight?
Metro: Last Light will release in early 2013 on the PS3, Xbox 360 and PC.
Follow me on Twitter @AnthonyMole