|System: PC*, PS4, Xbox One|
|Dev: 4A Games|
|Pub: Deep Silver|
|Release: August 19, 2014|
|Screen Resolution: 480p-1080p||Blood, Intense Violence, Nudity, Sexual Content, Strong Language, Use of Drugs and Alcohol|
by Angelo M. D'Argenio
Metro 2033 Redux absolutely blew me away with its presentation. The options, the graphics, the weapons, and more made it feel like an entirely new game. It currently is contending for best remake of the year, and it’s likely going to win.
With this positive experience under my belt, I dove into Metro: Last Light Redux, expecting the same amount of incredible dedication to making the game feel new and different. Unfortunately, I was a little disappointed.
Metro: Last Light Redux does look different from the original release of Last Light. Textures are updated and models are slightly changed. However, you aren’t going to get much more than that, and that’s the biggest problem I have with the game.
Metro 2033 Redux ported the game to a whole new engine. Enemies behaved differently. Maps were shown in a completely different light in a brand new lighting engine. Everything was just slightly different from how you remembered it in the original, and that allowed you to find secrets, new encounters, and just a whole lot of other extra content you would not have seen before.
However, the engine that Metro 2033 was ported to was the Metro: Last Light engine, and Last Light Redux is in that engine as well, so there just isn’t a whole lot here that has changed. Even if you turn the graphics all the way up, the game shows very little difference to the original Last Light release. Some colors are changed, some lighting effects are a bit more polished, but it doesn’t feel nearly as different as its 2033 counterpart.
Of course, it’s not just graphics that have been updated in Last Light Redux, it’s gameplay as well. Just like 2033 Redux, Last Light Redux allows you to play on Survival or Spartan mode. Survival mode feels more like Metro 2033, a hardcore stealth based survival game, while Spartan mode feels more like Last Light, a fast paced, active more action based shooter.
I played through 2033 on Spartan mode and it totally changed the experience for me. So, of course, I decided to play through Last Light on Survival mode and… well… it didn’t feel nearly as profound. Granted, the experience was different. I definitely felt the ammo scarcity and the need to be as stealthy as possible. But there was something about the game that felt awkward. The encounters did not feel like they were geared toward stealth and survival. Instead, they just felt like scaled back action encounters. The placement of enemies and ammo felt less intelligently planned out than 2033’s survival mode. It was fun, don’t get me wrong, but it didn’t completely change the gameplay experience the way 2033’s modes did, and once again that was a little disappointing.
There are a couple other modes that Last Light and 2033. If you like you can set both of the games to “hardcore” mode in order to have a more difficult experience. Enemies do more damage to you, and you more to them. Unlike the Survival and Spartan options, this option doesn’t make either game feel like a totally new game. Instead, it just ups the difficulty level and it does a good job doing so.
There’s also Ranger mode, which allows you to completely remove the game HUD. This actually makes the click and drag style menus that the game uses make a lot more sense. The idea is that you never know how much health or ammo you have left, upping the sense of immersion. However, I didn’t find it immersive. Rather, I just felt it annoying. A lot of people are treating this as sort of an increase in difficulty as well and I suppose it is, but overall it just felt like artificial frustration. I didn’t like the guess work that not having a HUD made me do. If this were real life, I could just look down and figure out how many clips I have left. I wouldn’t just guess the whole time. I don’t know, maybe certain people are into that sorta thing.
I tried any number of different combinations of these options and yet I could never find that one sweet spot that made the game feel new. In the end, I was still playing the same Last Light that I had played before with a very slight face lift.