Staying with the apparent theme I've set myself starting 2018 of slightly horror/creepy first person games with a twist of the apocalyptic after playing Bioshock 1,2 and Infinite, then Prey, my attention naturally turned to two more games of this genre; Metro. I remember watching the Exodus gameplay trailer at E3 last year in being seriously impressed, so went out and bought the Redux collection. As if needing to fulfil my badge of a gamer it then went and sat on the backlog shelf for many, many months until over the Easter break I felt like knocking some more "short" campaign focused games off my list, and so the time in the disk tray had finally reached the Metro Redux. I've since finished both games and will now write about said thoughts for an unquantified amount of time. I suppose that time is quantified by how fast you are at reading, and whether you get bored half way through and don't actually make it to the end... as I say, unquantified.
Most of the things I want to talk about are related to the first Metro, 2033, as this is by far the superior of the two games, spoilers for my final verdict! I really did love my time with Metro 2033, the first few hours had me hooked, between the engaging gameplay and shooting mechanics and the real fear I had while walking round some of the environments, all rounded off with a highly intriguing story, that may lost some of the momentum in the middle, definitely picks up again towards the ending. As soon as you start the game for the first time you will be given the option to play it in Survivor or Spartan mode, the former balances the game to make every bullet you shoot count as well as fewer med-packs, on the other hand is Spartan mode which conforms the game to a more traditional FPS campaign with rare shortages of bullets and plenty of med-packs. I opted to both Metro games in Spartan mode, this is purely due to the number of games I had played just before Metro that similarly placed a lot of importance on each and every bullet. Specifically the previous day I had finished Prey in which I grew very bored with having to search every corner of the map to find enough supplies, and before Prey I played the Bioshock trilogy. I am glad I opted for Spartan mode, as it let me focus on some of the brilliant design decisions that went into making Metro 2033, specifically the tension which is perfectly balanced and maintained, as well as the core gun-play which I thought was very well done. My only criticism of the weapon system in Metro is that there is a modestly sized weapon customisation system which can change things like the weapon optic, recoil reduction, suppressor etc. On paper this is a fantastic addition to the game, however there is a rather large array of weapons to choose from along your journey through the nuclear Moscow. The result was that I had two weapons on me that I never changed and fully customised to my requirements, and the final weapon slot was given over to pick up weapons that I wanted to try out. I don't know how difficult it would be but I would have liked it if purchased attachments could be reapplied without buying them again if you swap out a weapon and pick it up again. This had a relatively minor impact on my gameplay experience, but it would have been a nice way to round out the weapon and combat system. My final note on Metro 2033 is that the rather trippy ending was fantastic, I really like the way the tension and weight of responsibilities grew as the game progressed and I think the final hour or so really ending it very well.
Moving on to Metro Last Light and I have significantly less to say about this game. Sadly is just wasn't nearly as fun or enjoyable for me to play as it was going through 2033 for the first time. I will say right now that some of my issues may be related to the fact that I played both games back to back in little over a week. The other thing to bare in mind is that because it is the Redux version of both of these games it is possible that they were made to feel and play the same as each other, and this is my first big problem with the game. Almost everything is exactly the same in Last Light compared to 2033, the weapons mostly look and feel the same, every scrap of the UI and menu system is almost identical. Having recently played the Bioshock games back to back I was expecting a similar level of progression and expansion in the sequel, but quite frankly I wouldn't have been surprised if you had told me Last Light was a fan project using the same assets as 2033. So the core minute to minute gameplay was far to similar to 2033, but there are two main areas where Last Light is simply worse than its predecessor. Firstly the more minor of my two issues is with the horror, or spooky elements, to put it simply there aren't any. I may be wrong but I don't think there was a single time during Last Light that I felt in any way scared or worried about what was around the corner. This may in part be due to the fact that all of the enemies are predominatly the same as those I had just fought in 2033 and so the fear of those enemies had been reduced simply by fighting them for too long. My other main issue with Last Light is the whole damned story is just bad in my opinion, it is hard for me to explain why without spoiling the end of 2033 which I refuse to do. Suffice to say the main aim in the first game is then flipped on its head in Last Light and those who were just your enemies, are now the sole drive of the campaign, but this time trying to help and save them. This would have been an acceptable option if the game had any dialogue options or a branching story, but the game forces me into actions that I simply didn't want to do, especially hot of the heels of 2033. All in all I woulnd't say I had a bad time with Last Light, it was simply a disappointment after playing 2033 which really grabbed me and didn't let me go.
The final point I would like to make is one that covers both games, and that is the waypoint system in the games. Put simply there were several occasions in both games when I had no idea where to go or how to get there. The only assistance the game offers you is a compass that you can use at any time and points you in the direction you need to be going. This doesn't take into account the fact that many of the maps are twisting and turning, so there are times when you need to briefly go in the complete opposite direction to where the compass is telling you, to find a side tunnel(or such the like) to be able to travel in the correct distance. There was also one instance when I simply had to wait and kill some enemies before assistance arrived, but the game didn't tell me that and I was frantically trying to avoid the enemies while running in circles trying to find some intractable to progress the mission. I only found the correct thing to do was wait after I simply spent enough time until eventually I got sick of running from the enemies and decided to fight back.
There you go then, my concise-ish review of both Metro games that make up the Redux collection. All things considered especially baring in mind the price you can get these two games for these days I would highly recommend the collection to anyone who wants to maybe try something a bit different. My scores then.
Metro 2033: 8.5/10
Metro Last Light: 5.5/10
Metro Redux: 7.5/10
As always thank you very much for reading, I will be back soon with more reviews and content!
Friends of The Games Critic:
My name is Ed, I write everything here, covering all kinds of games, but I only play them on the PS4!