Metro Redux Review – Comrades in Arms

Metro-Redux

The Metro series has been remastered for the PC, PS4 and Xbox One and is set to release next week. We have been lurking around Moscow all weekend playing both Metro 2033 and Metro Last Light. The question is: Should you don your gas mask and start playing it, or just let the game breathe its final gasp?

Read our review to find out.

The Metro series is based on the novel Metro 2033 by Russian author Dmitry Glukhovsky and follows a young Russian soldier named Artyom.

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In 2033, Artyom , a 20-year-old male survivor and one of the first born in the metro, learns from Hunter, an elite soldier of the rangers, that a group of mysterious creatures referred to as the Dark Ones are threatening Artyoms home station, VDNKh, in the Metro. Hunter gives Artyom his dog tags and tells him if he does not come back, he must go to Polis and present these to see if they will help his station. Artyom must travel through territory occupied by Soviets and a group of Germans known as the Fourth Reich, and infested with mutants as well as the much changed surface of Moscow. The game has two different ending based on your choices.

Metro: Last Light takes place one year after the events of Metro 2033, following the same ending from the book, and not necessarily the ending you finish in the game. The Rangers now occupy the D6 military facility, a huge pre-war bunker with miles of tunnels that have yet to be fully explored, with Artyom himself now an official Ranger. It is shown that even after a year, Artyom is still haunted fromevents that unfolded in the previous game. Consequentially, he suffers nightmares. Despite their best efforts, word of D6 has spread around the Metro, with rumors that the bunker may contain enough supplies to sustain the Metro indefinitely. Tensions run high as the rival factions prepare for war in the hope of seizing the bunker and its contents for themselves.

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Gameplay for both games is almost identical and will have you moving between the dark and dangerous tunnels of The Metro, which hold not only human enemies but other deadly creatures as well, and above ground where your breaths are measured in seconds and death can come from anywhere, including from above. Creatures you’ll run into, and that may run into you, vary from shrimp like critters, to ground crawling things on legs, to flying dragons that want nothing more than to pick you up and take you to their nest to feed their young.

Two things that are in short supply, and that are key to your survival, are your gas mask filters and ammo for your weapons. Gas masks have replaceable filters which can be found, quite sparingly, in boxes and on the bodies of the recently deceased. You can also damage your gas mask, so keep an eye on the face mask. If it starts getting cracked, grab another as soon as you have a chance. You wear a very useful watch that might not look like a Rolex, but is worth more to you than any diamond encrusted timepiece you may have coveted in the past. Your watch has a timer counting down the life of your current air filter, whenever you are actually wearing your mask. Pulling up your menu will show you how much time you have as far as filters in your pocket, but don’t swap them out until your watch hits zero because each filter has a set amount of time and this time doesn’t stack. Once a filter is swapped out, it is gone for good and you lose that time.

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Almost all levels give you the ability to stealthily move through them and when sneaking up behind a bad guy you’ll have the option of either killing him or just knocking him out. There is an achievement for finishing the game without killing any humans unless forced to, so going the stealth route is a distinct possibility. Your trusty watch also has a blue light that lights up whenever you are visible and is dark whenever you are hidden from sight. That blue light becomes key to your stealth as it will light up whenever you leave the shadows.

Ammo for the various weapons in the game is just as scarce, so picking your shots should become second nature because a well placed bullet is much more efficient than running and gunning with guns blazing. Spray and pray will only leave you with nothing more than your trusty knife and no one wants to bring a knife to a gun fight. There are two types of ammo in the game as well. There are bullets that were created down in the Metro that are effective, but not as powerful as the military grade rounds that are much harder to come by.

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The weapons in the game are many and range from a variety of shotguns, auto rifles, sniper rifles, hand guns and stealth weapons like dart and bolt guns. Stealth weapons are air powered and will have a gauge of some sort to let you know how much pressure is available. Once the weapon is empty of pressure, you’ll have to pump it back up or it will no longer work. On the PS4 all you have to do is hold L2, press right on the d-pad and then R1 to pump it back up. Your flashlight also requires being pumped up to continue working so you’ll need to make sure to check that often. On the PS4 hold L2, press left on the d-pad and then R1 to pump the generator.

Weapon dealers can be found in a few areas in the game and they offer attachments for your weapons that can make them quieter (but weaker) and add better sights like laser or ACOG. With in-game currency being hard to find though, you’ll find yourself being a very frugal shopper. You may also want to save some of that money for a nice lap dance in Venice while playing Metro: Last Light Redux, but then again maybe not.

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These are both very dark games and definitely not for the young gamers, with the ‘M’ rating truly being earned. Killing bad guys with a gun is your typical shooter fare, but taking someone out stealthily gives many different variations of executions with your knife. These are all brutal, but some can seem extra disturbing. Plunging a knife downward into the back of a bad guys neck, knowing you just severed his spinal cord, is a pretty effective way to take someone out, but very graphic in nature.

Gameplay is mostly linear, but a couple of locations do allow you to roam freely, albeit in a limited area. Metro: Last Light Redux‘s Venice has a shooting gallery, an adult theater complete with a stripper pole, and the aforementioned lap dance parlor, as well as an arms dealer and ammo dealer. A couple of other locations are similar, but there’s very little free roaming available. There are collectible items strewn about that will help tell the story through Diary pages, and some of these are well off the beaten path, so completionists will be busy with those for a while. Once you’ve completed a chapter it becomes selectable to re-visit so if you do miss a note, the game will tell you and you’ll be able to start that chapter over again if you quit to the main menu.

Also included in this remastered masterpiece is all of the released DLC that made it out for the PS3. Nine total additions that add to the overall awesomeness that is Metro Redux. The two games combined will keep you busy for days, and the DLC will add even more hours on top of that. From looking around the museum and trying challenges in the Developer Pack, to assaulting The Tower Pack and trying to reach the top of the leaderboard, even when the stories are completed, you’ll still have plenty to do. One thing to keep in mind, though, if you are in the middle of a story mission, starting any of the DLC missions will overwrite that game save and you’ll have to use chapter select to start that story chapter over.

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Developer 4A games has taken a great series from the PC, Xbox 360 and PS3 and made it even better. Metro Redux not only looks great on the next gen consoles and PC, but plays just as great. The story is worthy of a top of the line Summer blockbuster, and the action can get very intense, depending on how you choose to play. For those of us that never played Metro 2033, this remastered and polished title shows us what we were missing, and then adds in Metro: Last Light and all of its DLC to boot.

Two Full games + Nine DLC Missions = A whole lot of  fun

Pre-order yours now!

Well done 4A Games!

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