Metro Redux or Dark But Shiny Remastery

Admittedly, Rabidgames’ first thought regarding Metro Redux was “yet another Remastered bundle? Is that something we really need?” Remember the remastered versions of Tomb Raider and The Last Of Us, where, well, nothing but the graphics and some hair animation changed? Good for newcomers, but buying the same game twice is clearly insane, right?

To be fair, Metro Redux is more. First, it contains both games, Metro 2033 and Metro: Last Light, plus all DLC. Two games for one sounds good. Even better, Metro 2033 has been improved not only in terms of graphics, but also in terms of gameplay: It now feels slicker and smoother, and the graphics on the new consoles really shine! When rain drops (or dirt) is gathering on your mask, when you’re outside looking at the ruins, when you are wandering through the rusty habitable zones, when you’re in the dark and your torch illuminates the surroundings eerily – it’s a big improvement, and it helps to capture the essence of the Metro experience and let it really shine!

Plus, we are asked what we actually want to do: You can even playRedux as a rather normal shooter where you don’t have to take care of every bullet now – if you want. If you want some Dark Souls in your Metro experience, feel free to play on Hardcore and absolutely no UI. Metro Redux lets you experience the game how you see fit. Quite funny it seems small developers like Russian 4A Games and Polish Projekt Red seem to be the only ones getting that. The more choice we have to play the game like we want, the more we’ll like it – masochism in the vein of Dark Souls the exception from the rule, of course.

So, if you’re up for some survival shooter fun with a hint of horror included, Metro Redux is your game. However, bear in mind it is not perfect. While the hub levels where you can equip yourself and listen to people around you to get tons of information about living underground in Moscow are great, the “fighting levels” are not always that amazing, and they get downright annoying if you have to fight feral animals that do nothing but jump at you and guess what, they can kill you with two bites. Furthermore, the human artificial intelligence in Metro Redux is not exactly smart either – you can easily exploit the kind of broken stealth system, and enemies also tend to line up in your line of fire perfectly. Plus, Metro 2033 uses the same level structures for too long: Hub, shooting, hub, shooting, hub … etc. Thankfully, Last Light made the levels more diverse and different.

But let’s face it, no one plays Metro Redux solely because of the gameplay – yes, it is mostly fun, but not top priority, just like in Spec Ops The Line (although the ordinary shooter of the mill gameplay served a true purpose there). It’s the story that matters, and the story is really well woven into both games. Be it the power struggles between the remaining humans, the merciless fight for survival, or the mysterious Dark Ones, it all is intriguing. But Metro’s biggest selling point is the thick atmosphere – a desolate world where darkness saves you and the light of day brings only death. Every conversation between people in one of the hubs tells you something about life in Russia in 2033, accompanied by dimly lit environments and hand-crafted weapons and tools.

Furthermore, Metro Redux feels different from the Call of Duties and Battlefields out there – maybe its the Russian origin, maybe it’s the desolate feeling of a dying feral world, maybe it’s just the clever threats of dwindling light, gas mask filters and ammo that make Metro the unique experience. Yes, the gameplay is not perfect, but the mood and the tone are. After America fuck yeahing too many times, the Russian metro system is a more than welcome change from the shooter blueprints of recent years.

Rabidgames approves: There are three ways to define an amazing game (which relates to at least 9/10 in terms of metacritic logic): Either you have the best gameplay or you have the best atmosphere or the best story. Metro Redux might lake supreme gameplay, but the interweaving thick and bleak atmosphere as well as the clever and gripping story make Metro an amazing game waiting to be experienced. Of course, the amazing graphics help … but graphics are just tools, while the atmosphere is art! Metro is living proof games can be art – even though the living part is mostly a metaphor in this game.

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