BEAUTIFUL REMASTERING OF A DEPRESSING WORLD
Post-apocalyptic stories are kind of my thing. So when given the chance to go back underground into the dark and damp Russian Metro that Metro: Redux takes place in, I signed up immediately. In case you weren’t aware, Metro: Redux is made up of enhanced versions of both Metro 2033 and Metro: Last Light for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. If you missed out on either during the last generation of consoles, you now have the opportunity to play the best versions of both, in the same package.
The story of Metro: Redux is based on the Russian novel titled Metro 2033 by Dmitry Glukhovsky. It is set 20 years after a nuclear war incinerated most of the planet’s surface, leaving the world uninhabitable due to radiation. Humanity was nearly wiped out, and those that survived in Russia retreated into the Metro stations to escape the radiation. While those in the Metro tried to survive underground, the radiation above ground spawned new lifeforms in the form of hostile mutant creatures. Not only do the survivors have to find a way to live underground and deal with political wars that still plague humanity, but now they must also fight off the mutants from their former land above.
You play as Artyom, a survivor who was born right before the war and raised in the Metro. Artyom is tasked with delivering a message to the Metro station Polis about a new enemy that is attacking the Metro. These new creatures, called the Dark Ones, aren’t killing their enemies, but instead driving them insane (which eventually leads to them dying). The rest of the story is about Artyom’s journey, the things he learns about the Dark Ones along the way, and saving the Metro from annihilation.
Again, I really am a sucker for post-apocalyptic stories, and the Metro universe has a fantastic one. Not only is the main story already extremely deep by itself, but it is filled with backstories at every Metro station that add to it. Each new station you come to adds to the atmosphere because they are all so different due to things like political affiliation, how wealthy a station is, or the cultural backgrounds of each. You will meet all kinds of people who are just trying to survive — some finding it much easier than others. I loved listening to random conversations among the crowds in each station.
However, even though I thoroughly enjoyed the story, it is not for everyone. Metro: Redux is a depressing story about what humanity is like on the brink of extinction. Even when there are not many humans left, they choose not to band together to survive, but instead let politics and greed get in the way. If you can’t handle seeing people do horrible things to each other, this isn’t a story for you.
The graphics have been significantly upgraded in both games (more significantly in Metro 2033 since it is older), and they look gorgeous. Well, as gorgeous as a world destroyed by a nuclear war can look at least. Both games looked and felt like they were designed for the current generation of consoles.
The gameplay in Metro 2033 Redux has been improved by implementing the changes that were originally made to Metro Last Light (and still included in Metro: Last Light Redux), such as alerting you when an enemy starts to notice you. These changes make the two games play identical to each other rather than feeling like two different games like they did last generation.
The first-person-shooter gameplay of Metro: Redux is very tight and reminded me a lot of Wolfenstein: The New Order earlier this year, which is a good thing. It’s not Call of Duty gunplay, but it doesn’t have to be in order to be a fun game.
What really makes the Metro games feel different from other post-apocalyptic games (like Fallout) is the deep survival system. Because of the radiation above ground, anytime you venture up into the wastelands, you will need to have a mask on with an air filter. Your mask can be broken by gunfire or mutant attacks, which will obscure your view, requiring you to find a fresh mask somewhere. Air filters need to be changed out every few minutes, which leads to you frantically searching every nook and cranny to make sure you have a good supply of them. The difficulty level you choose will change the amount of supplies you find, so choose wisely.
Metro’s survival aspect is something I really wish games like Fallout would do. As much as I love the run-and-gun gameplay and political side of the story, it was constantly changing my mask and filters that made me feel like the world above had been destroyed.
The Verdict: 8.4 out of 10
If you’ve never played the Metro games, now is the perfect time to do so. There is no better version on the market, especially not for the price ($24.99 for each individually, or $49.99 together). If you’ve played them before, or even just one of them, I recommend playing this to re-experience the awesome story and atmosphere in beautiful 1080p. I extremely enjoyed my time traversing the Russian Metro once again.
For more information about what the score means, check out our official review scale.