Metro: Redux

Going down to the underground… again…
Bridging the gap from one console generation to the next can often have strange results. One of the things we have seen this time around is the massive amount of “remakes” and “revamps” on titles that came out late in the seventh generation’s life-cycle. The Metro franchise’s second game: Metro: Last Light came out fairly late for the Xbox 360 and PS4, and so it is no surprise that a reworked version has hit the shelves. But it brings with it the previous game Metro: 2033 bundled together and branded as Metro: Redux. And 2033 is a considerably older game. That, though, is not necessarily a bad thing.

Metro: Redux reintroduces us to the Moscow Metro, where the remnants of humanity have taken refuge after a nuclear holocaust turned the world’s surface into a wasteland populated by mutated creatures and numerous other hazards. We were first treated to this dark, depressing future view by Metro: 2033, and it is this title that has benefitted most from this Redux edition.

That’s because the title has benefitted from a massive number of tweaks, thanks to systems that were improved for the second title. 2033 now features things like Last Light’s menu wheel, and other enhancements that come from the renewed development cycle that spawned the latter game.

Overall, both titles look much better than they did on previous generation consoles. The graphical differences are very marked, particularly in 2033. But there are other tweaks that also have made the experience better. The AI is smarter and more sensible this time out, for example, and the game (both games) feel a bit less clunky.Metro: Redux like the previous releases of the two games that make it up won’t be everyone’s cup of tea.

Sometimes it feels extremely linear, with the only freedom afforded the player being areas that open up slightly and allow different paths towards the same goal. But that’s part of the game’s charm. It has a story to tell, and too much freedom (as we all know too well) can hamper the progression of any tight narrative. The weird accents and claustrophobic, almost survival horror moments are still there, and for those that don’t mind sacrificing freedom for plot, Metro: Redux offers a lot of charm. From the scratch-built guns through to using military grade ammo as currency, Metro: Redux revives the unique flavours of the original titles.

That flavour, though, might not sit well with some. It could be argued that Metro: Redux doesn’t fully satisfy either an FPS or survival horror classification. That said, it does make the title unique, and although the story in Last Light is a little weaker than in 2033, it still provides the player with a different take on the apocalypse. Last Light gives the player a bit more freedom, too. But, ultimately, it’s worth playing both… it feels like a much longer, more cohesive experience overall.

And, let’s be honest, it’s great value for money. There are two full games here, as well as all the DLC, and two modes to experience the games in. Whether it is the more fast-paced, action packed Spartan mode or the more measured, thoughtful Survivor mode, the experience can be tweaked a little, giving the player more of what they enjoy. It makes sense to replay both games in the different modes as well, for added challenge and longevity (something that the game needs, thanks to its almost conspicuous lack of multiplayer.

So if you want to spend some time either reliving the dangers of the post-apocalyptic Moscow Metro, either as a revisit or as a new experience, Metro: Redux is a great way to do it.

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