Metro Redux – Review
Follow Genre: Survival-horror, Shooter
Developer: 4A Games
Publisher: Deep SIlver
Platform: Pc, Xbox One Playstation 4

Metro Redux – Review

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Good: Immersive storytelling
Bad: Artyom's lack of ingame voice
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Metro Redux is several hours worth of survival horror, a remake in glorious HD. If that wasn’t enough add a complete engine overhaul and updated game mechanics, which surely does not disappoint. For good measure they even added improved AI for your enemies. You know, it’s only a true apocalypse if almost anything out there wants your head on a platter and they have the brain capacity to use lethal force. The disc includes Metro 2033 and Metro Last Light, and the downloadable content is also present.

You are Artyom, a young man who finds himself in the confines of the metro station in Moscow. The bowels of the earth are the only place where mankind is safe. The stations are bunkers and provide shelter. A nuclear war has made the surface uninhabitable. Radiation pockets and mutants are a lethal combination. Artyom is torn from his easy life in the metro station by a visitation of his stepdad’s friend. He doesn’t stay and gifts a dog tag to Artyom whilst saying that if he doesn’t return before the next morning, Artyom has to go to Polis for help. This is the premise of Metro 2033.

Last Light follows up on those events. Artyom has been heralded a hero and is now a Ranger. There is news that you hadn’t quite gotten your last mission right, so you are sent back to the surface to finish what you started in Metro 2033. The mission isn’t quite a success and you are captured by the Nazis. You escape and you have to find your way back to Polis. During your way back you’ll learn about conspiracies up close and you’ll have to make sure the enemy doesn’t succeed.

The first game was really straight forward story wise. Last Light however throws you a curve ball about halfway through. A plot twist I didn’t see coming. What bothered me slightly about Last Light was the mandatory included love subplot. Metro 2033 hadn’t had a love plot and the game was solid story wise, why they wanted to introduce it into Last Light is beyond me. It makes the plot veer slightly off course as it no longer focuses on the efforts of one man to overcome the odds. The metro tunnels are barren and depressing, the stations are cramped. Adding a gooey love story somehow mocks the setting. It doesn’t quite fit. Other than that the writing is solid and the pacing gives just enough lee way for you to enjoy the tidbits of information you gather through notebooks and the environment; while it also makes you focus on the task at hand.



Graphically the game is top notch, both games have been rendered through the 4A engine and they couldn’t look more beautiful. The engine made new animations possible and gives new visuals to Metro 2033. There’s a cognitive dissonance when you wander the empty subways and traverse the post-apocalyptic warzone littered with car wrecks and rubble. On one hand you want to get out of there as fast as possible, on the other hand the graphics engine makes it all so stunning, and the details the engine produces are frightening. You don’t want an up close visual of a snapping snout trapped between a door, ready to gouge your throat out and end your life. You don’t want to know about the dangers floating mere feet above you, ready to pick you up and make you its dinner. The shadows are no longer blots of blackness stealing the horrors from sight. They hide them, yes, but this time it’s the horrors who manipulate the shadows to their advantage. In doing so they make it known that they are playing you. Adding the spine-tingling sensation that there is no escape.The graphics update makes it so that the sky and ground no longer fuse into a bland grey, it makes the world around you more vivid. The game plays at a solid 60 fps on 1080p. For those who play on pc there is the 4k option in which the gore will splatter across your screen in even more detail.

One thing that was unclear was just how much damage was done to either the enemy or yourself. When the bullet hit and it was a lethal shot, then the crosshair would show a star with five points. However sometimes I’d hit a helm and the star would show a yellow outlining. This means the bullet has met resistance and now the enemy knows you are there. But sometimes when hitting an equally armored man on the helmet would be an instant kill. This was confusing and foiled many of my stealth attempts. The fact enemies can see the bodies lying there and alert the crew is a nice touch. When confronted with the more beast like enemies the same problem occurs. More than once I gave a watchmen a full head on spray of shotgun hail from a foot away and the beast would ragdoll several feet away. When another one came up, the trigger was pulled again, the beast being closer, got an even greater kick from the bullets and yet shrugged it off. Several claw swipes the screen would be tinted red, with the color becoming more influential as you crept closer and closer to death’s door. However close you are to your doom is a complete mystery. Can you tank another swipe and kill the enemy or will it do you in? This is especially frustrating when you use a medkit and your screen stays red, making it even more unclear whether the medkit had effect or not.



The first thing I noticed was that Artyom is mute. Strangely only during gameplay. Like a man with stage fright, he regains his voice when the loading screen prompts us with text on what is about to happen next. Other than that he just remains silent, even when addressed. The lack of voicing creates an atmosphere in which it’s really difficult to relate to the main character. It gets even more awkward when the love plot is introduced and she does all the talking. You don’t even know why she is attracted to him or how he feels about her. With all the dialogue written there should have been at least a voice for the main protagonist. They could have still made him into the strong silent type and given the player a reason to relate.

There’s something about the atmosphere in the metro stations. The sounds in the metro lines are a cacophony of different households meshing. A living place with a wailing baby, with an arguing couple in the house adjoining it. Only separated by some plywood or cardboard. Two doors down, a man telling a child a story. So many differences in such a small cramped place show exactly what mankind will do to survive. They prosper, well as far as anyone can prosper in the underbelly of the beast called Moscow.

The bustling stations are a distinct opposite from the rest of the metro and the surface. In the tunnels you’ll hear your own footsteps or the occasional small talk from an npc further away. The surface is equally devoid of sound. The only things you’ll hear is the rustling of the grass, making you feel like an intruder. I found myself startled every time I heard the watchmen (doglike creatures with rows of razor sharp teeth and patches of fur) growl, or look up when the beating of wings were near. When trotting through the marshes, knowing there were creatures in the water lurking to pull me under, I found myself cringing every time I heard the water splash, or when I trotted through the mud. The treks on the surface make you long for the safety of the underground.



When you start the game there are two “modes”. Spartan or Survival. The former focuses on the fast paced action of shooter games with a more forgiving amount of ammunition and medkits. Survival is all in the name. Limited supplies and ammunition, slower reload speed and enemies that won’t go down as easy and have a stronger AI. This makes for a true survival horror experience.

What comes next is choosing your preferred difficulty. Normal is recommended for regular fps players, pay close watch to your bullet count and how much time you have left on your next air filter. Hardcore is for the more experienced fps player. Not just a run and gun play, your skills and tactics will be tested. Ammunition and supplies are sparse and more expensive. Ranger mode limits the HUD and UI and hints are disabled for extra immersion. Go into this fully prepared, because you might do more damage, but the enemy is also more lethal. Make sure every bullet hits because they aren’t that common. In case you were looking for an even more difficult mode, there’s the true survivalists dream come true: Ranger Hardcore mode. It completely disables the HUD and UI which means you’ll have to check your gear on their state. Metro 2033 now has a stealth system which makes sneaking around and killing off enemies more diverse than just running and gunning and adds another layer of tension. Stealth becomes rather tedious when you can’t hide the body and the enemy is sure to find it. This forces you to make kills more rapidly and gives you less chance to oversee the situation and approach it accordingly. The games aren’t all about killing though, you can be merciful to your enemies, knocking them out instead of killing them. In both Metro 2033 and Last Light the stealth is solid and you can completely omit certain combat situations by sticking to the shadows.

When ammunition is in shortage, you’ll find yourself switching to other weapons which use other bullet types. There is no room for favorite guns or a possibility to stick to a gun for a whole playthrough unless you hit every enemy in their vital spots and all of them go down on the first shot. Somehow there’s only want for two kind of guns, the pistol has a silenced gun barrel making it ideal for stealthy takedowns. Shotguns for up close, high damage output. The machine guns seemed ineffective after unloading 2 clips of bullets on an enemy without any visible damage, the temptation creeps in to switch back to the shotgun. Guns can be changed to suit your play style. You can change the stock of the guns to minimize recoil. There are upgrades to the barrels of the guns to minimize the sound or the spread of the bullets causing for a more precise shot. Darkness will also be a big part of the game, apart from the night vision goggles, you’ll have the possibility to equip your gun with a scope which makes seeing your enemies in the dark easy.


When Metro 2033 first came out in 2010 I gave it a miss because the survival horror theme meant having to manage my resources. Knowing my style of gaming is spray and pray when it comes to shooters I was fearful of the post apocalyptic journey. When Last Light was released I figured I needed to finish Metro 2033 before I could start that one. So I’d never play it. With the Redux version which includes all the DLC and is the best of both worlds, I’m glad I took the plunge. The graphics are beautiful and if it hadn’t been for fear of running out of air filters and suffocating there would be more incentive to wander the surface far longer. If you ever wondered whether or not the Metro series is something for you, now is the time to immerse yourself into the post apocalyptic madness that is Moscow.

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First game ever was Crash Bandicoot 3 Warped, ever since then, gaming has been something that I've gravitated to. Reading's fun but not as interactive. Always up for a bout of online multiplayer. If that multiplayer is co-op. So if you are up for a friendly co-op session, hit me up. Rahenik's the name to search on PSN.

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