Welcome to the Metro.Introduction
Metro 2033 Redux is a polished version of the survival horror FPS Metro 2033 developed by 4A Games. The game is based in a post-apocalyptic Moscow with a surface plagued by mutated creatures and harsh environments. Those that remain in Moscow are forced to find salvation beneath it in the tunnels of the Metro. Communities known as “stations” are established in an attempt to maintain the Moscow that once was. However, once-defunct regimes vying for power and the arrival of an unknown force known only as the Dark Ones threaten to disrupt this balance and drown the Metro with the horrors of the surface. The player assumes the role of Metro resident Artyom, an individual whose sense of duty provokes him to embark on a suicide mission that will see him traverse the darkest reaches of the Metro and the harrowing surface of Moscow. Welcome to the Metro.Approach situations tactically or impulsively.Gameplay
Artyom’s journey through the Metro is a very linear experience that occasionally provides opportunities for the player to diverge from the path to discover secrets that enrich the history of post-apocalyptic Moscow. There are certain actions and decisions the player can take that are very subtle, yet affect the conclusion to the journey. These actions and decisions as well as their associated endings are a nice touch as they reflect the player’s view of the Metro. Will you view it as world capable of returning to its former glory or a world on a highway to hell? This subtle decision-based system implemented in Metro 2033 Redux is also available in the gameplay. The player is given the opportunity in most cases to either approach situations with stealth or direct engagement. The stealth system is very well developed as players must avoid or disable lights to move through the shadows and avoid generating noise from footsteps or enemy traps all the while eluding the vision of enemies patrolling the area. There is also the ability to choose between knocking out or silently killing an enemy as well as a sound indication that alerts the player whether or not the enemy is aware of their presence. Direct engagement completely abandons the elements offered through the stealth approach to allow the player to enter conflicts with guns blazing. Lower difficulties coupled with the Spartan mode result in a greater deal of resources thus allowing the player to easily approach situations with direct engagement while higher difficulties coupled with the Survival mode almost demand the player approach the game stealthily.
The gas mask adds a very nice touch of immersion to the experience.
Another notable feature that is signature to the Metro series is the gas mask. It is a necessary piece of equipment that allows the residents of the Metro to breathe on the surface as well as inside of highly radiated areas. It can crack if enough damage is taken, blood among other temporary vision impairments can be wiped from the visor of the mask and there is sometimes a struggle to find filters to continue breathing. It is surprising that such a simple feature to the game adds such a great deal of immersion to it. There is not a great deal of problems with the gameplay as 4A Games were able to touch up on many of the issues that plagued the original. Even so, the gunplay still feels unsatisfying, as enemies do not appear as affected by damage dealt to them when compared to Artyom. When the player takes damage, breathing becomes heavier, the screen becomes flooded with blood spatter and a rushing heartbeat can be heard, but when an enemy takes damage they simply drop dead which is quite anticlimactic especially after a drawn out gunfight. The spider webs found throughout the Metro also derive from the experience as they just end up slowing the player’s movement, but this feels more of a nuisance than immersive. Ultimately, the gameplay is quite well done especially in comparison to the original and the problems mentioned are extremely trivial in the overall scheme of things.
Destructively beautiful. Graphics
Metro 2033 Redux trades the original’s dark lighting and colors and gritty textures for brighter lighting and colors as well as more refined textures. This change helped to make certain areas in the game more visible and detailed although when compared to the graphics of the original it appears as if Redux lost some of the tension that the original captured through its gritty quality in graphics. That being said, Metro 2033 Redux produces quality graphics that still do well to capture the dark history of the Metro. Weather effects do very well to make the player feel just how desolate and dangerous post-apocalyptic Moscow can be. Character models were no doubt an improvement to the original Metro 2033’s character designs as characters became reflective of their age and appeared a great deal more human than they had in the original. The monsters of the Metro have also benefitted from the graphical improvements, as they appear much more menacing. The environments are a marvel that captures the harrowing essence that the game breathes. Technically speaking there is never a noticeable drop in graphical quality and the lighting is always well placed. Essentially, this game builds upon the destructive beauty of the original with a small sacrifice to the tension offered by the original. Sound
The background music to Metro 2033 Redux is brilliant. Like a chameleon, the background music adjusts to whatever environment Artyom is in. Trudging through the haunted tunnels of the Metro, the music becomes eerily sinister, while exploration of the inhabited Metro stations produce more hopeful yet melancholic sounds. The music that accompanies the loading screens prior to each new mission also serves extremely well to foreshadow the experience that is to be had during the mission. Take for instance the song used for the introduction to the “Ghosts” mission. It creates a chilling atmosphere that essentially informs the player that the upcoming mission will be something tragically horrific. Character voices are another story as they generally are a blend between comedic and energetic, which is the antithesis of the Metro. These uncanny voices are sometimes useful as they are very suitable when applied to the communities of the Metro that represent a sense of hopefulness.
Solve the greatest mystery of the Metro.Story
Considering Metro 2033 is based on the critically praised novel Metro 2033 by Russian author Dmitri Glukhovsky, it is only natural that the story is nothing short of impressive. Artyom’s dialogue prior to each mission as well as his diary entries allow the player to examine the Metro through his perspective although he never truly determines what he considers morally righteous. The blend between calm and climatic is brilliant, as the players will find themselves traveling through the desolate tunnels of the Metro only to be thrown into a high-octane chase. Moments like these are plentiful leading to an engaging adventure. There is a great deal of attention paid to every detail as each mission has Artyom exploring a different aspect of the Metro from the ongoing conflict between the Soviet Union and the Fourth Reich to unraveling the intentions of the mysterious Dark Ones. The beginning of the game makes it apparent that Artyom will make it very far in his journey, but discovering how he made it there is just as alluring as what will happen next. Trophies
The trophies of Metro 2033 Redux are quite straightforward. They range from standard kill count trophies to completing certain missions in a specific way such as progressing through a level without killing any enemies. Survival and Spartan mode both possess their own trophies implying that there is a need for two playthroughs, but difficulty is not a factor meaning the player is free to play the game at any difficulty, which is somewhat disappointing as higher difficulties offer the best Metro 2033 experience. There are a total of 51 pages from Artyom’s diary that serve as collectibles, which may be difficult to find at times, so a guide may come in handy. There are also trophies for experiencing the two different endings in the game. The acquired ending is dependent on the accumulation of moral points, which are achieved through performing certain actions and interacting with certain objects throughout the game. It is also best to have a guide handy for this, as a lack of moral points by the conclusion of the game will warrant another playthrough.
Is journeying through the Metro a worthwhile experience?Final Verdict
Metro 2033 Redux sacrifices a small amount of tension offered in the original to offer a far more polished product. The portrait of post-apocalyptic Moscow is painted flawlessly as no aspect of it is abandoned. Gameplay features such as the gas mask and stealth approach help to create a very immersive environment, although enemy deaths can be unsatisfying causing the overall experience to become somewhat anticlimactic. Regardless of its very minuscule flaws, Metro 2033 Redux offers one of the most memorable gaming experiences in recent years.
Overall Rating: 9
- Immersive experience
- Well crafted story
- Visually stunning
- Complementary music
- Uncanny voices
- Occasional nuisancesReviewer's experience with Metro 2033 Redux
At the time of writing this, I have completed one playtrhough of Metro 2033 Redux earning 29 of 50 trophies. I have also played through Metro 2033 once on Xbox 360.