It is time to revisit the Metro and once again make friends with bullet currency, gas mask filters and our hero Artyom.
4A Games released the original Metro 2033 back in 2010, and for many it remained under the radar. Although the FPS game based on the novel by Dmitry Glukhovsky managed to gather a small, dedicated following, awkward gameplay mechanics and a punishing difficulty turned many players away from the game. These issues left many gamers unable to appreciate the depressingly atmospheric world in which the game was created, and the interesting story that Metro 2033 weaved.
Jumping forward to 2013 and the release of the second game in the series, Metro: Last Light, things were very much different. Using a new engine, a better AI and a slightly less hardcore difficulty, Metro: Last Light was a game that could appeal to more of the gaming public. The story was good, the atmosphere was still brilliantly bleak, and the gameplay was a much more approachable. This was a post-apocalyptic world in which gamers could have fun, of sorts.
But all of this was in the past. Artyom’s bleak adventure was a feature of the last gen consoles, never to be experienced by the Xbox One and PS4 gamers. Until now, that is…
4A Games have, in a stroke of genius, released Metro Redux, a compilation of both the reworked Metro 2033 and Metro: Last Light, for Xbox One, PS4 and PC. Both games, Metro 2033 Redux and Metro: Last Light Redux, are available individually as digital downloads, but grabbing the boxed Metro Redux will treat players to the best available versions of both games, all on one disc. Whilst the majority of the improvements will lie with Metro 2033 Redux, Metro: Last Light Redux also has its tweaks, and also a whole bundle of DLC that was originally released for the game. It sounds like a bargain to me.
So, once again we get to head into the post apocalyptic Russian Metro system and step into the fated boots of Artyom to deal with mutants, Dark Ones, radiation, opposing factions and a shortage of bullets.
Metro 2033 is where players will notice the most difference. The game has been rebuilt using the far more impressive engine from Last Light, along with the easier to handle Last Light UI. Other tweaks to the gameplay are to be found, making ammunition more readily available and stealth, which plays a major role in surviving Metro 2033, much more forgiving.
That is not to say that Metro 2033 Redux is a perfect game. Things still lean towards a more difficult experience in the first game, and it still doesn’t flow as easily as Last Light did. But Metro 2033 is a vast improvement over the original version of the game, and one which will appeal to many more gamers.
Metro: Last Light Redux brings fewer changes overall. An extra 10 hours or so of additional content in the form of the previously released DLC certainly extends the game, but otherwise it is mostly about the game modes and graphics.
The visual improvements to both Metro 2033 and Metro Last Light bring them both into line with what you would expect from the current generation of consoles. This is much more obvious in Metro 2033, but Metro: Last Light’s looks have been bolstered too for Metro Redux. 60 frames per second and 1080p resolution may be the key words for both titles, but updated models and a vastly improved lighting system will be where most players will notice the shift in atmosphere from utterly depressing to merely bleak. The games have never looked better and playing from the first to the second, there is very little difference to be found in the visuals.
Metro Redux offers players the chance to adjust the game to how they want to play, with the more stealth based gameplay of Survival mode, or the run and gun Spartan mode. Each of these modes, which are available in both games, tweak the gameplay by adjusting the availability of resources and the capabilities of the enemy AI, giving the player the best of both worlds when they come to play the games. For the totally masochistic, Ranger mode returns to both games, stripping away the HUD, applying hardcore rules and challenging the most accomplished gamers.
Even with the jump to current gen consoles and the improvements that have been applied to Metro 2033 and Metro: Last Light, Metro Redux will still not appeal to everyone. However, as both games along with loads of DLC are bundles together into this one package, anyone picking up Metro Redux will certainly get their moneys worth. This is a big bundle of stealth, survival, fps action in one of the bleakest, yet most beautiful, post apocalyptic settings around, and well worth checking out, even if you have had the pleasure of Artyom’s company before.