When I first started up Metro 2033 Redux , I have to admit I was a bit disappointed. The opening cinematics look like something out of a game that is 10 years old. The graphics are grainy, the models were terrible, and the environment felt animated and not at all dark and gritty as the game promised it would be. “This is supposed to be the grand remake that changes how I view the Metro series?” I thought to myself, as I sighed heavily at the fact that all the opening cinematics could not be skipped. Where was the awesome looking game I saw at this year’s E3?
Well, it turns out that 4A games must be humongous trolls, because the entire opening sequence of Metro 2033 Redux is basically a huge bit of misdirection. As soon as you get to the title screen you realize that this isn’t the same old Metro 2033 that you played before. Graphically, everything looks different. I’m not talking about a quick texture upgrade and model redo different. I’m talking about the kind of different that you see when you compare the original Halo to its remake. I’m talking about legitimately, 100%, remade from the ground up, enough that you would barely recognize this as the original. The only thing that hasn’t changed is the sound and voice acting, and frankly that’s OK.
That’s the feeling I got as I plunged deeper and deeper into Metro 2033 Redux . I realized over and over again that this isn’t the same game I played before. I usually look at remakes fairly poorly, as there is little new content to offer someone who has played the original. Metro 2033 Redux is much the same, in that it doesn’t really offer new content (in terms of new stages or story that is) but the game plays differently enough that it doesn’t matter.
For example, the game has two modes that you can choose from: survival and Spartan. At first glance, these two modes appear to be difficulty modes. Survival mode says that it will make ammo and supplies sparse, making you twitch and flinch at every trigger pull, while Spartan says that ammo and supplies will be plentiful and will give you a more action like experience. Obviously not wanting to have too difficult of a time, I chose Spartan mode.
But boy was I wrong. These two modes weren’t difficulty modes at all. Instead, they were complete remixes of the game and its elements. For example, in Spartan mode, even though ammo and supplies are more readily plentiful, enemies come at you in waves. The tutorial battle at the very beginning of Metro 2033 put me up against like seven enemies at once. Every time I thought I killed the last one another one came at me! Not only that, but I had to pump each one full of tons and tons of rounds before they went down. It was something more akin to Gears of War than the original Metro .
I went back to try things on Survival difficulty and things changed quite a bit. Now I was only encountering one or two enemies where before I encountered a whole horde. These enemies were also a lot more fragile, going down in just a few well-placed bullets. However, I was just a fragile, going down in only a few successful enemy strikes. Not only that, but bullet management became a thing very, very quickly. When they said ammo was going to be sparse, they weren’t kidding. In fact, the game becomes barely a shooter at all, and instead becomes something of a stealth experience.
The developers said that Survival mode is more like Metro 2033 and that Spartan mode is more like Metro: Last Light , and that’s somewhat accurate. Honestly, Survival mode and Spartan mode feel even more exaggerated than their Metro counterparts. The upgraded A.I. actually plays into this a lot. The A.I. in the original Metro 2033 was exploitable in many different ways. Enemy A.I. here is much smarter, able to trace you and track you down even if you are in hiding. This actually makes the game a little bit more forgiving on Spartan mode, where stealth is less of a main gameplay mechanic.
Perhaps the coolest part about Metro 2033 , is the fact that there are fewer loading screens. The action doesn’t break up nearly as much. This makes the whole game just feel a lot more cinematic than before.
Speaking of cinematics, it’s also worth mentioning the new lighting system. Overall, the game seems brighter, but not in a more upbeat sort of way. It would be more accurate to say the game is “clearer” with more details being shown in every locale. The desolate surface is where you see this the most, as dynamic lightning turns what was kind of a canned environment into something that feels like a post-apocalyptic wreck. The new lighting system makes it easier to notice movement as well, so enemies become easier to spot.
A lot of the gameplay from Metro: Last Light is included in Metro 2033 Redux . For example, you can now wipe your mask clean as it get splattered with the blood of your enemies and the muck of the underground. This actually feels like a bit of a tradeoff for the better graphics and enhanced lighting system. It artificially makes it harder to see your surroundings, whereas the original had the same effect but only due to graphical limitations.
Stealth takedowns also are ported back from Last Light to the original, which are a boon to survival mode. Similarly weapon customization from Last Light is also back ported, and this makes a bigger difference in Spartan mode. You also get access to all the DLC weapons from Last Light which, honestly, can make you feel like kind of a powerhouse at times, but does add a bit of variety to the game.
The best way to experience Metro 2033 Redux , is after playing the original. I played the original a little bit before trying the remake, just to make graphical comparisons, but honestly the game has changed in so many more incredibly profound ways. It’s still the same story, and much of the same map design, but around every corner you will find secrets and new routes that just weren’t there before. In fact, this makes the game extra fun if you are a Metro veteran, because every time you notice something out of the ordinary you investigate it and it usually leads you to a bonus… or an incredibly hard enemy encounter.
Metro 2033 Redux is remaking done right. This isn’t a cash in in any way shape or form. It’s simply a much better version of the original Metro . It’s a perfect purchase for either newbies who haven’t experienced the first game, or vets who want to experience the game again in a brand new light. I wholeheartedly recommend Metro 2033 Redux to anyone who is a fan of shooters, horror games, stealth games or post-apocalyptic sci-fi.
RATING OUT OF 5 RATING DESCRIPTION 5.0 Graphics
The best graphics I have ever seen in a remake. 3.8 Control
The controls are good enough. I have issues with the U.I. but otherwise they are pretty standard. 3.5 Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
The voice acting and music are basically the same. It’s not that they are bad it’s just that this version doesn’t give you anything new. 4.5 Play Value
One of the best remakes of the year hands down. 4.3 Overall Rating – Great
Not an average. See Rating legend below for a final score breakdown.
|Review Rating Legend
|0.1 – 1.9 = Avoid
|2.5 – 2.9 = Average
|3.5 – 3.9 = Good
|4.5 – 4.9 = Must Buy
|2.0 – 2.4 = Poor
|3.0 – 3.4 = Fair
|4.0 – 4.4 = Great
|5.0 = The Best