Urban ninja and freerunner Vasiliy Patrakov joins a mate as they run and jump across the playground that is Moscow. Take a sightseeing tour of the Russian capital city from Patrakov’s perspective, it’s equal parts exhilarating and dizzying.
Kiev, Ukraine. A crew works towards their goal. They don’t have the best resources, but they make do. It’s cold. their workspace is cramped. And the heating hasn’t been on for a while. But their creative fire won’t be snuffed out. If that sounds like an underdog story from a video game, you might be surprised to find it’s closer to fact than fiction.
Ukrainian developer 4A games toiled through delays, the bankruptcy of their publisher THQ, and some rather unfavourable development conditions to bring their creation into the light, so to speak. Their triumph, Metro: Last Light, is the sequel to their previous effort, Metro 2033, an FPS set in the claustrophobic metro systems of a future, post-apocalyptic Moscow. PS3 gamers were kept in the dark, as Metro 2033 was released only on the Xbox 360 and PC, but get to enter the metro for the very first time. Is the trip worth it, or should Metro: Last Light be shunned to a dark corner? My review continues after the jump.
The subways of Moscow are not only used by people. Some of the stray dogs who live on the outskirts of the city have learned how to use the transport system to ride into the centre of town, scavenge food, and then to return to the suburbs.
The dogs choose the less-crowded cars, and can be seen napping on the floors and on empty seats, or wandering amongst the commuters. Muscovites seem to tolerate the dogs, and in one station, there is a bronze statue dedicated to a stray who was stabbed to death by a heartless person. They rub its shiny nose for good luck.
Of the some 30,000 strays in Moscow, scientists seem to think that only a few have managed to master the subway routes by using the sights, smells, and announcements to figure out where they are and where they need to be. Some of the dogs have figured out where to sit to increase their chances of being fed. Others it seems are more cunning, and resort to sneaking up behind unsuspecting Muscovites and barking loudly so that they drop whatever food they may be eating. Some residents are incensed about the presense of the street-smart strays and want them deported, while others are pragmatic, asking people to learn to live with them.
Have a look at an ABC News report on the subway-riding dogs of Moscow.
As much as it irritates motorists here, stripe-riding is not illegal in South Africa. I believe the same goes in Russia as seen in this POV clip of a Yahama R1 rider on a reckless trip on a streets of Moscow. Naturally we don’t condone this nutter’s dangerous behaviour but it looks bloody exhilarating.