Metro: Last Light Redux Review
Calling Metro Redux a simple re-release is as short sided as calling the original Metro 2033 a first-person shooter. Just as the original game is more of a thriller than anything else, Redux is more of a director's cut than you may expect. Deep Silver has taken what worked best for both games, trimmed some of the fat and delivered what are unquestionably the best versions of the games to date. Some of the issues that have plagued the franchise have regrettably not been fixed, but that shouldn't stop you from being taking a trip (or returning) to the Moscow sewers.
Originally released in 2010 and 2013 respectively, Metro 2033 and its sequel Last Light are based off the novel of the same name by Dmitry Glukhovsky. Following a group of survivors in a post nuclear holocaust Moscow that have taken refuge in a subway station, the Metro series makes great use of its tense and often terrifying setting. From mutants to bandits and even environmental hazards like toxin clouds, the nuclear world is filled dangers and the developers use that to its advantage. The train station, it's people and their plight are the real stars of the Metro games and their showcased quite well, and unlike most shooters, you'll actually find yourself caring about what happens to most of them (even if their accents are a bit hokey at times).
"You're going to fail a lot, and die even more..."
The biggest addition gameplay wise that Redux brings to the Metro formula is the addition of multiple play styles for both of the games. Fans of the original Metro 2033 will want to check out Survival mode, which showcases the game at its best. Ammo and other resources are at a minimum and you're going to have to be smart to survive your time in Moscow. You're going to fail a lot, and die even more (although not as much if you're playing on the unlockable and sadistic Ranger mode). Survival mode allows you to play the game as the developers originally intended, and it's extremely rewarding, if not a bit depressing when the credits roll.
Not a fan sneaking through the shadows? Redux also allows you to play both games, and not just Last Light on the Spartan mode, which allows you to play the games as a more traditional first person shooter. Ammo is plentiful and you just point the gun at those who oppose you and hope for the best. Though there's definitely a market for playing the game in Spartan mode, it's a less than remarkable experience simply because Metro doesn't hold up as well as a simple shooter. None of the weapons feel weighted and rewarding enough to be the center of the game and enemies are bullet sponges that take way too long to take out. I strongly recommend checking out both methods to play the game, but survival (and Ranger) mode is easily the standout here.
"Some of the textures are still a bit rough..."
The new console versions of the game benefit greatly from the new hardware, though it's debatable whether they match up to the original PC releases from years ago. The key additions to Redux's presentation are the phenomenal lighting and shadow effects that make playing through the game's dark tunnels all the more enjoyable. It's a pretty big moment when the light of the surface shows through, and thanks to these incredible effects, it means something when you see it (it's just not always good). Some of the textures are still a bit rough, especially in 2033, but most of the game has been given a proper facelift and looks great, with Last Light obviously being the standout.
Metro Redux takes what worked so well in the original releases of Metro 2033 and Last Light and combines them with slightly improved versions of what didn't to create undeniably the best versions of the game to date. Serving as a bit of a director's cut, Metro Redux gives players a reason to return to the subways of Moscow, and a good portion of that is thanks to the addition of the Spartan and Survival modes to the entire package and not just Last Light. The developers didn't fix all of the problems that plagued the shooter series, but what they did unquestionably makes Metro Redux a game worth checking out.
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