Metro Redux Review

Lee Bradley

The Metro series has always been a triumph of world-building. From its dank, spider web-strewn underground tunnels, to its makeshift subterranean villages and the weak, bleary light of the ravaged surface - post-catastrophic Moscow is a brilliantly realised setting.

With Metro Redux, players get the chance to experience this dark world of mutants and monsters all over again. The package contains both 2010’s Metro 2033 and 2013’s Metro: Last Light with a range of improvements and enhancements, ensuring that both games look and play better.

Welcome to hell!

But neither game is perfect. While Metro Redux is the very best way to experience a flawed yet uniquely atmospheric duo of shooters, 4A Games’ tinkering isn’t enough to overcome the series’ larger problems.

The Metro series takes place decades after a nuclear strike on Moscow. Survivors populate the underground train system, giant spiders skittle through the tunnels and an unknown threat is beginning to emerge. You play as Artyom, a young man given a mission that will see him attempt to save humanity.

That’s the set-up for the first game; Metro 2033. Of the two titles it’s the one that has gained the most from 4A Games’ revisit. Where the original was muddy and blurry, the Redux version is quite dramatically lighter and more detailed, helping players to feel as if they’re inhabiting this bleak dystopia.

Similarly, the four year-old game has also gained from a bunch of new gameplay additions. The control scheme has been brought into line with Last Light, the UI has been revised and weapon customisation has been added, along with a few other minor changes. The most noticeable difference, however, comes with the way stealth is dealt with.

Metro 2033’s stealth sections were massively annoying, the very worst element of an otherwise remarkable game. But thanks to Redux’s new enemy AI and the addition of Last Light’s stealth takedowns, these sequences are no longer rage inducing. They’re still not a patch on Last Light’s brilliant Black Station level, but at least you won’t want to chuck your controller out of the window. It’s a big improvement.

Nope. It's not any nicer outside.

What 4A’s revisit can’t fix, however, is the pacing of the game. Chopped up into chapters, Metro 2033 stutters along, making you endure a series of loading screens that prevent an enjoyable flow, especially early on. It’s an issue that even the significantly improved Redux doesn’t address.

Metro: Last Light Redux suffers from similarly un-fixable problems. Not subject to as many changes as Metro 2033, efforts have been made to improve the experience nevertheless. To this end a new lighting model has been introduced, as well as the ability to check your watch and inventory and a few other minor bits and bobs besides.

Most significant is the addition of two new modes, the effects of which spread beyond just difficulty. Spartan dumbs down the AI a little and offers up more plentiful resources, while Survival does the opposite, making enemies a little more fearful and necessitating a focus on scavenging and ammo management.

You can play Spartan and Survival across the new versions of both 2033 and Last Light, but the combination of Last Light played on Survival is undoubtedly the most notable combination. It’s an attempt by 4A Games to undo the sequel’s increased focus on action and bring it back in line with the desperation of 2033. It works, but only so far as Last Light’s design lets it.

Do you have Fly Fishing by JR Hartley?

You see, in Last Light players were given more ammo and their weapons did reload faster. But the main issue came in the sub-Call of Duty set-pieces, the crappy boss battles and the general feeling that Last Light was reaching for a wider audience by shoehorning in poor facsimiles of sequences from larger franchises. It was and remains a disappointment; something that giving you fewer bullets cannot undo. It’s a shame.

Yet despite this and despite the series’ wonky moments, for the most part Metro Redux remains wonderfully unique. Sneaking through an enemy station and sticking to the shadows, navigating the gloom of the tunnels, or gunning down monstrous beasties - it’s all stuff we’ve done before, but in the hands of 4A Games it feels different, somehow more alien. It’s a world unlike any other and that’s why it should be celebrated.

Metro Redux offers up the very best versions of two interesting games that despite their flaws are definitely worth your time. Bundled together in a package that includes the add-ons for both 2033 and Last Light, it’s a compilation that breathes new life into a couple of titles you may have missed. It can’t undo every issue with the source material, but its improvements are significant. More than anything it makes us hope that 4A Games has another run at a Metro game and finally delivers on the series’ promise.


Fantastically atmospheric sound design and those wonderfully rich Russian accents combine for a memorable audio experience.

A huge upgrade for Metro 2033 and a new lighting system for Metro Last Light, as well as a bump in resolution and frame rate, brings both titles in line with next-gen expectations.

Metro 2033 gains the most, with refinements that vastly improve its stealth sections. But Metro: Last Light’s biggest issues remain.

Two 10 hour campaigns with numerous difficulty and gameplay settings, joined by DLC packs that add another 10 hours of gameplay. It’s a generous package.

Metro Redux dishes out a whopping 2000G so it’s perfect for topping up your Gamerscore. Thanks to some creative cheevos that encourage you to tackle levels in different ways, it’s also nice and varied. A solid couple of lists.

Metro Redux offers two flawed but enjoyable games with a substantial visual upgrade and a number of thoughtful additions.

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