When the next generation consoles were first announced, many would look at them as an opportunity to play brand new IP’s, listen in to some unbelievable sounds and witness graphics that were way beyond that ever seen before. Others would have happily taken some of the slightly older titles and looked for some remastered, updated hidden gems that may have been missed previously.
So when Metro Redux was announced as a remastered, retouched Metro 2033 and Metro Last Light double collection, there were many who were excited to hear about two of the Xbox 360’s hidden gems becoming available on Xbox One.
And when they come in a package like they have, every man and his dog should appreciate exactly what Deep Silver and 4A Games have delivered, for it is unbelievably good value.
I must begin by mentioning the price. Obviously this will vary slightly depending on where in the world you are but for the equivalent of 30 GBP, you will be picking up two games that have been updated to such a high degree, it would come as no surprise if you thought these were proper full on next gen titles, especially in the case of the second of the two games; Last Light.
What I won’t do is bore you with any complex back story as the chances are you’ve already taken in at least one of the two in their previous form, no doubt on the Xbox 360 but for those unfamiliar with the series, both Metro games see you take on the role of Artyom as you battle through the post apocalyptic waste grounds surrounding Moscow. You’ll come face-to-face, throughout both first person shooters, with enemies that come in the guise of Soviet soldiers, mutants or the daddy of them all, the Dark Ones. Depending on who you are facing at the time, you’ll find a different form of attack may be needed with plenty of running and gunning (more of the running in my case) whenever you come up against some of the many mutants that occupy Moscow, whilst a much more considered approach can be taken if you find yourself sneaking through the Soviet troops and a swift knife to the throat after a stealthy meander is at times very satisfying. Of the two, 2033 just seems to love throwing many eerie moments and multiple mutants in your face at all times (this is something the Dark Ones are king at), and you’ll most definitely find yourself slowly creeping through the tunnels of the metro, nervously awaiting the next encounter. Last Light doesn’t skimp on the scare factor either but of the two, if you’re looking for something that is going to scare you witless, then check out 2033 first!
Both titles will happily give you a many hours of game time and within that you’ll find all the DLC that was previously available for 2033 and Last Light when they first released on the 360 and whilst Last Light especially was always pretty decent to look at, both have been hit with the biggest of big HD brushes and look absolutely beautiful. There are times, again especially in Last Light, that you’d be very hard pushed to tell it apart from a full on next generation game….it is that good and even though the vast majority of the game takes in some dark dank tunnels, the visuals are a joy. There are still a few issues contained throughout both titles, 2033 for example has many a moment when you’ll find mutants and soldiers walking through each other and combining as one but these seem to have been ironed out for Last Light. It’s to be expected I guess as Metro 2033 was first released back in 2010 and there are times that its age shows, even through the thick HD bells and whistles.
So if I were to stop this review now, you’d be looking at a couple of remastered shooters that are worth the bargain price that they come at. But 4A Games and Deep Silver are bringing something else to the table that fires the Redux package into a higher bracket of gaming goodness and very very nearly makes the Redux package a ‘must buy’.
And that little something else comes in the form of a couple of game modes which make the games vary so much, it’s like you’re getting four games for the price of one. The ‘Survival’ play style sees you taking on either game much as they were intended to be played, with little ammo and a massive emphasis on resource management and some combat that is so tense, you won’t want to waste even a single bullet. As if neither 2033 or Last Light were eerie enough, ‘Survival’ mode moves it up a notch and is something that must be experienced on a late evening, with the lights off and the sound turned up to 11! Whilst ‘Survival’ is the mode most in tune with the original games, the modern day gamer (ie, those CoD run and gunners) will love the fact that Redux has a secondary play style that lets you forget all about your ammo, pay little attention to your health and gives out a much faster paced and infinitely more action-oriented game that will see many flock to it. ‘Spartan’ mode is there for you when you just want to have a good quick blast as opposed to a more tactical affair and is a world away from it’s tense compatriot.
If you then throw in no less than four widely different difficulty levels, including a ‘Ranger’ mode and it’s older harder brother, the ‘Ranger Advanced’ that both see you with even less ammo, even less resources and a non-existent HUD, then the four games in one that I previously mentioned quickly quadruples. Not bad for thirty quid eh!?
As a double pack, Metro Redux also gives you access to a huge 2000 Gamerscore split over a frankly ridiculous 98 separate cheevos, but if you’re prepared to spend the time playing both games through each of the play styles and also fancy delving even deeper into the metro in search of numerous hidden areas, you should find yourself grabbing the vast majority of them fairly easily. You may have to do a bit of searching for the last remaining ones though.
So, we’ve already established that Metro Redux is more than worth the cash but is it just the price that makes us excited about what is essentially two remastered titles? The answer to that is a simple no. The most exciting additions are the play style options and the fact that both games have stories that just beg to be told….Last Light especially. Yes, there are some basic issues which very occasionally annoy but you have to remember that 2033 is now getting on a bit and no amount of reworking can iron out all issues. It’s just something that you have to live with and if you can’t then I only need point you in the direction of your credit card statement which will instantly make you feel better.
To sum up, if you’re someone who is after a slow paced horror thriller, buy Metro Redux. If however you’re someone who prefers a faster paced action shooter, buy Metro Redux.
It’s quite simple really….buy Metro Redux and enter the Metro once more!