‘Metro 2033 Redux’ Review

Platforms PS4/XB1/PC
Developer 4A Games   Publisher Deep Silver
Genre Survival FPS   Platform Played On PC

Before going on with Analog Addiction’s review for the enhanced edition of the first Metro game, I need to clarify two things.

First of all – apologies for the incredibly-late revision. I had received both Metro: Redux games well-before the launch of said compilation, but I had also encountered a game-breaking bug related to my PC configuration that prevented me from playing them, so I had to wait for a fix from the developer.

Secondly, we have decided to split the Redux review into two articles – one for Metro 2033 Redux and one for Metro: Last Light Redux.

Without further ado, here’s AA’s final verdict on Metro 2033 Redux

Metro 2033 Redux features two difficulties: Survival and Spartan. Survival is more challenging, focusing on resource management and a tenser combat (basically what the original Metro is), while Spartan mode (first seen in Metro: Last Light) provides you with a faster-paced gameplay, in which you don’t really have to worry about ammo and filters. Additionally, 2033 Redux also comes packed with Last Light’s Ranger mode, which limits your heads-up-display, in addition to making combat and resource-gathering even more challenging. Simply put, the game has something for everyone, not matter the type of gamer.

The year, as the title implies, is 2033. The entire world has been plunged into a nuclear apocalypse by unknown mutants. You play as Artyom – a Russian survivor hiding alongside his people in Moscow’s underworld tunnels: the metros. As a whole, the game’s plot is a giant trek from point A to point B, but it certainly isn’t as dull as it sounds. Along the way, you’ll stumble over multiple establishments where you’ll interact with the local vendors, team-up with (or fight against) various characters, and even encounter paranormal zones that transcend time. These metaphysical encounters also sometimes manifest as dreams, though – sadly – they are never given any kind of explanation. Oh, and you will also slaughter hundreds of mutants.

Metro 2033 Redux is at its best when you’re all by yourself, as the atmosphere is absolutely haunting. When underground, you almost always feel caged. One misstep, and you’re blown to bits by booby traps; take a wrong turn when chased by a pack of mutants, and you will hit a dead-end… literally. The levels outside the metro are even better, as they give you a little bit more space to dance around the unknown creatures roaming (or flying!) about. Artyom’s journey will take you about ten hours to complete, but you can safely add about five more if you’re the perfectionist type, and even more if you’re playing on the ‘Ranger Hardcore’ difficulty.

Guns – while nothing outside the usual pistols, shotguns, machine-guns, or flame-throwers  – can be upgraded with the usual sights, suppressors etc., but the interesting part is that in the Metro universe, bullets act as currency. You can even trade more powerful bullets for guns, grenades, med-kits etc., but wouldn’t you prefer to use those on the “heavy hitters”? Combine that with the fact that ammo is fairly scarce, and the game offers a unique necessity for balance.

In addition to carefully managing your bullets (i.e. not spraying them like in Call of Duty), you must also collect filters for your gas-mask. Because of this, loitering in one area for too long might instantly get you killed. Of course, this only happens when you’re on the outside, or in some polluted area.

2033 Redux features a small selection of enemies, though the impressive A.I. certainly makes up for the fairly-small variety of creatures. You’ll also come across human enemies, and this is where you are most of the times presented with two choices – go guns-blazing, or sneak past them. The stealth segments are especially entertaining. Slipping past guards in almost pitch-black environments provides a nice challenge and change of pace. These encounters have been greatly-improved when compared to those of the original Metro 2033, some – if not all – allowing you to bypass an entire area without ever raising the alarm.

Besides the usual weapons and ammo, each level also includes notes written by Artyom, which offer you a better understanding of his thoughts and feelings. They’re a nice touch for the overall presentation of our protagonist, since – unfortunately – he’s the silent type. Speaking of which, I really hate the fact that Artyom can’t be heard outside loading screens. On numerous occasions people talk to him and even inquire about certain things, and he just stands there like an idiot; it breaks the immersion.

On the presentation side, Metro 2033 Redux shines brighter than any light penetrating the deep metros. From parents foolishly promising their kids a better tomorrow, to people drowning their sorrows in booze, would-be leaders trying to keep order, fanatics clinging to a lost past – the tunnels do a great job at introducing you to the helpless nature of humanity. The lightning is fantastic, textures are sharp, and the soundtrack is appropriately haunting. I recommended playing 2033 Redux with headphones – it’s the ultimate form of immersion, especially for those moments when you’re suddenly aware of faint footsteps coming from behind you, only to turn around and get slapped by a giant mutant. This is not a horror title, but some moments are not far from that.

Metro 2033 Redux is a blast to play, from start to finish. It can be as hardcore as you want, it features an amazing atmosphere showcasing the struggles of a post-apocalyptic world, the shooting mechanics are tight, and the stealth encounters are particularly satisfying. On the other hand, the story doesn’t always make sense (especially those weird dream sequences), and Artyom’s silence can be quite annoying. If you already own the original Metro 2033 on the PC, you might want to wait for a future price-drop. For everyone else – this is a must-play title, especially considering its $25/€20 price-tag.

The Good

  • Challenging for Some, Accessible for All
  • Haunting Atmosphere
  • Tight Combat Mechanics
  • Satisfying Stealth Segments

The Bad

  • Story Not Fully Explained
  • Artyom’s Silence

The Score 8.5