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Metro Redux review: The definitive way to play Metro 2033 and Metro: Last Light

Hayden Dingman | Aug. 20, 2014
For a few moments when I loaded up Metro 2033 Redux I had one of those "Hm, I don't think anything has really changed" reactions. It's been about two years since I last played Metro 2033, and I remembered it looking...well, basically the same as the Redux version looks. Metro 2033 was gorgeous when it came out, so this didn't really surprise me.

None of that is fixed by giving me less ammo and making enemies more aware. The game is still paced like a crazy thrill ride, regardless of how many bullets I have, and nothing has been done to make Last Light's tone match 2033 more.

Don't get me wrong — I still enjoyed Last Light. It's a very different game from 2033, though, and not in a way that can be solved by Survival Mode. You'd need a complete overhaul of every level and a fundamental redesign of the game, neither of which was attempted here (for good reason).

As promised, 2033's levels get reworked a bit too. There are a few new encounters, though you'd be hard-pressed to point out which ones unless you've played 2033 very recently. A few of the inter-level loads have also been removed, which is great.

We could also talk load screens. There are new graphics on 2033's load screens to match Last Light's aesthetic, and the load music has been swapped out. In fact, I'm pretty sure music has been swapped out even in-game. I can't be certain, which is testament I guess to the quality of this Redux version. However, some of the music seemed more bombastic than I remembered. In my memory, 2033's music was very understated.

Bottom line

If you've never played Metro 2033 and Last Light, you're missing out on a fantastic series — probably one of my top five shooter experiences of last generation. The games are excellent at world-building, and where many games toss around the word "immersive" I think Metro is one of the few that can actually lay claim to that term. The Redux versions would be a great place to jump in if you missed these the first time around.

Metro 2033 Redux in Spartan Mode is great if you loved Last Light and never could get into the original — it's like an additional easier difficulty, meant for fans of shooters instead of stealth games.

For people who've already played and enjoyed both games, the Redux versions are a weirder sell. I personally think the Redux version of 2033 looks better (despite some missing particle effects), but I know some purists might not. You can't please everyone, but I'd say 2033 Redux is a great buy if you really love the original and want to replay a tuned-up version.

Last Light Redux, on the other hand, is basically just Last Light Game of the Year Edition. The changes are far more minor, and the inclusion of Survival Mode is unlikely to assuage the ill-feeling many 2033 fans had at the game's action-packed emphasis on set-pieces and bombast. It's more suitable for people who didn't just buy Last Light a year ago.

Got that? Newcomers, jump on in. People who haven't played 2033 but enjoyed Last Light, come on down. People who own both already, use your best judgment.

 

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