Metro 2033: Redux
The video gaming industry is in a state of flux. On the one hand, the gaming community (especially the gaming PC crowd) have been treated to graphics that we couldn’t have imagined possible a few years back; look at the near-photo realistic visuals of Arma 3 for instance. These new-fangled graphics are more than just puuurdy to gawk at, they can help fully immerse a player within the game. There have also been some really awe-inspiring storylines that, to me at least, serve as the backbone to any great game. Look at the epic-ness of the Metal Gear series for instance. (I’ll be reviewing Metal Gear Solid: The Phantom Pain, soon).
On the other hand, we have many companies that have seen fit to take a page from the film industry’s playbook and basically re-release the same content over and over and over again. Take for instance all of tired Street Fighter 4 incarnations (of an already stale genre: fighting games); Ultra Fantastic, Super-Duper Glowing, Abracadabra Expialidocious, etc., and so on and so on. Or how about the Sleeping Dogs: Definitive Edition, or Diablo III: Ultimate Evil Edition rehashes? All of these attempts by game companies to double-dip using games that have only been out for a short period of time have caused many gamers to throw their hands up into the air and scream: “Enough already! Stop trying to fleece us!”
Well imagine my yawning divisiveness when I heard that 4A Games was planning what I was assuming to be another thinly-veiled bum-rush/cash grab, with Metro 2033. I hadn’t even liked the original game that much. Although I appreciated the original storyline and squalid atmosphere, the whacky stealth system, clunky combat mechanics, and overall lackluster gameplay, sullied the entire experience. It seemed as though they released a bug-laden alpha build as opposed to a polished, final product.
Then I played 2033’s sequel, Metro: Last Light, which completely silenced my sneering derisiveness. It featured overhauled gameplay and combat mechanics and an even more involving narrative. This, combined with its improved graphics, helped to pull me into the interesting plotline and story elements. I thought to myself: “Hmmm…if they did this with the sequel, what do they have in store for the newer version of 2033?”
I am pleased to announce that Metro 2033: Redux has saved me from being completely jaded by this recent torrent of re-releases and rehashes. Just as with Last Light, the gameplay has been vastly improved. Where I used to attempt something as simple as shooting at an enemy, only to have my weapon respond five seconds later, the responsiveness issues have been fixed. And when I’d try to hide behind some hard cover, only to have an enemy gunman shoot me through it, now bullets ricochet realistically off of surfaces, if I’m even noticed. That’s right, the stealth system has also seen an improvement. You can now creep around in the shadows and have a good chance of remaining undetected, should you prefer a more non-confrontational resolution to potentially hazardous encounters.
I also noticed an upgrade visually. Everything look sharper and seeing it in 4k is really something if not downright stunning (4k gaming folks rejoice!). These new and improved graphics really serve to pull you into the dreary world of Metro, full of abandoned subway tunnels, dismal run-down stations, and dilapidated surface areas. There are also some cool new combat animations, the ability to check your ammo more readily, and other slight, yet nifty little improvements.
4A Games has also presented gamers with two different ways that they can enjoy the game. There’s an improved mode, which allows for more gun-play while eschewing much in the way of the aforementioned creeping around. And then there’s the mode that is much closer to the original, which has you having to ration out your ammo wisely, lest you run out. It also allows for more slinking around in the shadows while trying not to attract the attention of nearby baddies. This mode is more along the lines of what I enjoy in games; a more brutal realism that forces you to think carefully before you act, making you rely more on well-devised strategies, as opposed to fits of spontaneous, bull rushing and bullet blasting. However, I do appreciate that they’ve included both ways to play the game, as my cup of tea may as well be toxic to other, more fast-twitch gamers. Having both options is a big thumb’s up.
If you’re interested in playing a post-apocalyptic style game, full of fascinating characters, perilous dangers, and challenging gameplay, pick up a copy of Metro 2033: Redux. Its forlorn environments are really haunting, and its gripping storyline had me playing long into the night just as a good book can be a real page-turner.
Metro 2033: Redux’s graphics can be mesmerizing in their arresting grittiness. However, in order to get the full Monty with regards to experiencing them to the max, you may want to consider upgrading your gaming PC. Take a look below at a dream machine that will have you squealing like a little school girl with delight:
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