I’m guessing we are really talking about two different things. I’ve put quite a bit of time into Starcraft 2 and Dota, but to me they are completely different from other games I play. Sure, it’s always satisfying to get better at something, but that’s usually only one more or less important aspect with most games.
Also, I’ve finished The Stalin Subway and, oh, how I laughed.
“She abandoned me, but now she’s back and has shot the evil guy in the had and saved my father. But she’s still a traitor?!? Also, we had sex?!? When? Never mind. Other pretty KGB girl shoots her in the head right after that, probably so that we don’t have to think about any of that. Yes, I remember you from the start of the game. Will you marry me? What?!? Who are you? Never mind.” The End.
The story really was something to behold. There was a bomb threatening “comrade Stalin” and since our character is an idealist KGB agent (lol?) he obviously tries to prevent it. This then leads to a very stretched out game that constantly drags its feet kicking and screaming, trying to extend playtime in the most obvious and uninspired way I have ever seen. The mission objective usually reads exactly like that. It’s usually about continuing on with some train, getting out of some place or something else. Usually there is some kind ambush or obstacle or detour due to “story” reasons.
And in many of the maps themselves there is also almost always something in the way like a locked door for which one needs a key or needs to make a detour because of it. It’s almost never a straight line and the map design is remarkably bad at pointing the player to the right place to go. Which isn’t surprising when the game is sending the player back and forth through bland, easy to get lost in environments - often without any specific instructions. The Kremlin square is a good example: A huge place where no doors can be opened with invisible walls everywhere. Minutes of running around simply to find the story trigger.
Thankfully the FPS gameplay was mostly solid. As long as it was shortrange and midrange combat, it was quite fun. The guns did sound and feel good, though I’m not sure why there were so many. Three guns would have been enough. One starter weapon, one rifle for long range and one full auto. But for some reason there are two rifles which seem to perform exactly the same and even though the three fully automatic guns were differentiated far better, more than one certainly wasn’t needed. The two heavy weapons were clunky and more dangerous to the player than the enemy and grenades were unnecessary. Partially because the game constantly throws ammo and health at the player and because of the level design.
I have also mentioned the crashing. Well, it’s a bit more complicated than that. It did crash frequently, but for the most part the strange loading was more problematic. In many cases I did get a frozen screen for a while, or a black screen with only the HUD and it always seemed like the game might have crashed. There was one especially frustrating/funny case with a short level where your own small locomotive is being followed by a similar vehicle with some KGB agents. A lot of the time I got immediately killed when the game finally decided to finish loading and in the other cases I was one hit-killed. In some cases their locomotive was empty after loading the save, which meant no trigger for finishing that sequence. And in the last case there was only the defenseless driver
Most of the game was very repetitive and the environments quite bland. Concrete buildings, office buildings, Bunkers, Sewers, Underground. There was some variety though. Some sequences were much shorther than others, there was some (woeful, but still) long range-combat and there even was one sequence with some platforming and almost no combat. I wish there had been more of that.
All in all, I don’t feel that I wasted my time with it. The shooting was fun enough and other than that it was just too broken and silly to not be interested in it on some level.