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Metro Redux (Switch)

Posted by GG Goblin On February - 26 - 2020

Struggle over bullets and fret over the Dark Ones while travelling on the Underground.

 
While mobile gaming has had plenty of different faces over the years, from the various handhelds to smart phones, the Nintendo Switch is perhaps the most important jump forward for gamers, allowing them to enjoy proper console quality gaming while, for example, on the Underground. It really has changed the daily commute. But imagine sitting on the Tube, playing a game which is based around Russia’s own underground train network, the Metro. Then imagine that game is set during a post-nuclear apocalypse which has given rise to demonic creatures stalking the Earth. Yeah, I’m talking about the great Metro 2033 and Metro: Last Light games that have come together in their updated versions for Metro Redux, which just so happens to be out now for Nintendo Switch. No screaming on the Subway please.

 


 
4A Games’ Metro 2033, based on the novel by Dmitry Glukhovsky, was originally launched back in 2010 and flew under the radar for most gamers. It was a tough as nails first-person shooter that threw more than a little horror survival at players as they took on the role of Artyom and guided him through the bleak Moscow Metro system some years after the world had been ravaged by nuclear war. The opening scenes were quite atmospheric and set the player up for their new, grim reality. With some great ideas, such as bullets being used as currency, and having to change filters on gas masks to avoid radiation poisoning, Metro 2033 was let down by its unrelenting difficulty, along with some more mechanical problems.

 
But then we had the sequel, Metro: Last Light. Continuing the story of Artyom, Last Light is set very soon after the conclusion of 2033 and will see the hero in a much more generally palatable adventure for the gaming public. Everything in Last Light feels a little bit less extreme, from the claustrophobic atmosphere in the underground tunnels, to the frequent jaunts to the surface. Even the enemies feel more easy to understand, with separate factions causing the most problems for Artyom. It wasn’t that 2033 was a bad game, it was just aimed at a much more niche market, and Last Light rectifies that by trying to appeal to a much wider range of players.

 


 
Metro: Last Light made the stealth and combat sequences much more enjoyable, but couldn’t quite match up with the quality of the story found in 2033. In a stroke of genius, back in 2014, 4A Games released Metro 2033 Redux and Metro: Last Light Redux, and packaged both games together in the Metro Redux bundle. This would treat players to a reworked version of not only Metro 2033, but also Metro: Last Light. Of course, the largest improvements came to the older, and more flawed, Metro 2033 and included better visuals, better gameplay and more choice for the player in how difficult they want the game to be. But even Last Light had its share of upgrades, and the resulting bundle was brilliant, especially considering how much content the player actually got. Our review of Metro Redux on PS4 is available here.

 
So now we jump forward again, and 4A Games have truly outdone themselves by bringing the Metro Redux bundle to Nintendo Switch. The oppressive atmosphere, the noises in the dark, misting up of the gas mask and worrying over how many bullets are available, all of these things are now available to Switch owners. Playing Metro Redux in docked mode may not bring much of a change for players who have already enjoyed Artyom’s company on one of the other platforms. There may be a slight downgrade from the more dedicated home consoles, but the game plays well and manages to stay quite happily at 30 FPS throughout. The real star here is playing the game in portable mode, which again manages to maintain that 30 FPS frame rate. Sure, the screen is smaller and everything is perhaps a touch darker in handheld mode, but pop in some headphones and the dread atmosphere can be taken anywhere.

 
The difficulty is still a factor in both of the games, but Redux added a selection of new choices for players to make the game slightly easier or, for the true crazies, even more difficult. Whatever changes the player makes, players will find themselves stealthily creeping along dark tunnels or enjoying beautiful views of the post apocalyptic world, which happens to be just as dangerous, all with only a handful of bullets and weapons that are unreliable at the best of times. The gameplay may be tough, but the world that 4A Games has created in the Metro titles feels so alive and interesting that the downtime between linear sections of stealth and fighting will provide ample respite and intrigue to keep the player from becoming fatigued.

 


 
While the Metro games are not going to appeal to everyone, there are very few games available on Switch that provide first-person survival horror of this quality. 4A Games have managed to port these games over to the Switch in such a way that they simply feel like they belong here, and that players were always meant to be walking the tunnels of the Metro while in the back of a car. It is a top quality port of two very good games, and anyone who enjoys first-person shooters, or survival horror should add this collection to their Switch library as soon as possible.

 

 ★★★★★★★★★☆ 



 

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