Metro Redux is the remastering of two phenomenal games, Metro 2033 and Metro Last Light, developed by 4A Games and published by Deep Silver. The Metro games sit comfortably some where in between the more casual experience of the Fallout series and the more hardcore experience of the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. series. This review will split into two halves for each game.
Metro 2033 was one of the most underrated games of 2010 and still doesn't get the recognition it deserves. Metro 2033 takes place 20 years after a cataclysmic nuclear war that had taken place in 2013 (sometimes referred to as World War 3 to some NPCs.) In Metro 2033 you play as Artyom, an inexperienced young man in his early 20's wanting desperately to be an elite soldier called "Rangers" like his idol, a man named Hunter. After his home station is attacked by mutated beasts known as "Nosalises", Artyom, must venture through the Metro tunnels to a far away station known as "Polis". To add insult to Nosalis induced injury, there's an unknown race of beings known only as "Dark Ones" that are seemingly attacking humans telepathically and destroying their brains. I won't spoiler anything, but Artyom is the only one immune to the Dark Ones' influence and is the only one able to stop them. Gameplay is the standard First Person Shooter experience, but with a heavier emphasis on stealth making it a bit more unique. The atmosphere in this game is one for the record books. I highly recommend playing both 2033 and Last Light with headphones. From the echoes of both human and monster in the far reaches of the Metro tunnels to the somber music and NPC conversations in each of the Metro stations you will encounter on your journey.
Metro 2033 is where the bulk of the remastering went. It looks almost as if it were built from the ground up using the updated 4A Engine similar to that of Metro Last Light, but a more realistic idea is that the textures and placements of some objects were given a fresh coat of paint that still looks absolutely fantastic. Unfortunately though, the best comparison image I could find was a compressed YouTube image that doesn't do it as much justice as I would have hoped it would, but I think it still gets the point across.
As well as a graphical upgrade, Metro 2033, also gets an upgrade to it's HUD and menus. Now it's exactly like Metro Last Light where you hold down a button or key that brings up all your tools. This is a million times more convenient than the older Metro 2033 HUD and menus though I can see why some people may not like it feeling like the same game, but i like it being two different games feeling like one huge video game ride.
One of the stand out features is the atmosphere. It's almost unbelievable just how alive this game feels especially since death lingers heavily in the air. Every Metro station you visit on your journey to Polis feels lived in by real people. It doesn't feel like the developers just made a Metro station and put some NPCs in there with a few lines of dialogue. Children will gather around a flame while an adult tells them a story of plays an instrument.
Some times you will be given a small side quest for money or a karma point towards the good or bad though it doesn't really matter because Last Light will always pick up after the bad ending. I can not say enough good things about this game. It's really more like an experience because even after you've finished the game you will never forget the experience you had with it. Since you can buy each game separately I give this game on it's own merit a 9/10.
If it isn't broken; don't fix it is definitely 4A Games' motto with Metro Last Light. Now, normally this would be a bad thing like with the Call of Duty series, but the gameplay was nearly flawless in 2033 (NEARLY) so there wasn't much that needed to change to make Last Light any better. This part of the review has spoilers from Metro 2033 so you've been warned.
Metro Last Light picks up right after the bad karma ending to 2033 where Artyom launched the missle strike against the Dark Ones' nest, but only after it's revealed to him that the Dark Ones were actually good and mean't no harm to humans and actually wanted to help them rebuild humanity. Khan, from 2033, visits Artyom and reveals to him that one Dark One survived so now it is race to get the last remaining Dark One. You will fight against the Fourth Reich, the Soviets, and bandits as well as everybody's favorite mutated dog things; Nosalises.
Whereas, Metro 2033 took place in the winter, Metro Last Light, is the spring following. Now all the snow on the surface has either melted or is still melting. Here on the surface you can see the odd beauty of the post-apocalyptic landscape. Last Light spends a little less time on the surface than 2033 so that's a shame. While on the surface it is also more linear than it was in 2033.
Artyom also gets a love interest named Anna whom the developers spent more time modeling her boobs than her face (you'll see what I mean in a minute). Anna actually goes through a bit of a character arch. She starts out as a real bitch to Artyom then through a set of events she respects and becomes attracted to him. Anna isn't given a lot of screen time though. She's at the beginning of the game then disappears for more than half the game to show up towards the end. Artyom still only speaks during loading screens and remains silent during gameplay which makes me wonder how he ever gets Anna.
This is what I meant when I said that the developers spent more time modeling Anna's boobs than her face. I have to note that the breasts and nipples are the most realistic I've ever seen in a video game (which is warrant enough for a 10/10 amiright, guys??) The nudity is kind of strange in this game though. Both times it happens you are in a really intense fire fight then less than 5 minutes later you get boobs in your face. I'm not really complaining for that reason, but it did hurt some of the pacing for two really intense parts.
The first time you on a raft with another survivor fighting off mutated water monsters called "Shrimps" to get to a nearby station then you get a bare breasted lap dance. It is optional though. The second time you shooting your way through a metro station that is burning down and are trying to get to Anna because she was captured by the Soviets in the last mission. At the last moment the enemy breaks you gas mask and you are exposed to a biological weapon that the Soviets tested on the metro station with. You and Anna are then both saved and quarantined by Khan and his men because the biological weapon was Ebola. In the face of uncertain death Anna gets partially naked and Artyom and Anna make a baby.
The atmosphere is back and it is just as effective. Moans and echoes can be hard in the far reaches of the metro tunnels and the stations are just as alive as 2033. More activities can be seen being done. I would argue that the stations feel even more alive than in the previous game. You'll see adults entertaining children in new ways as shown in this picture and features even more NPCs going about their daily lives as if they weren't AIs.
There are less side quests to do in most of the stations though. You'll still see your typical bum in the corner asking for a bullet and you can still give him one for a good karma point. Metro Last Light also has the ability to get a good ending and a bad ending except this time one of the endings implies a sequel to this game and the other ends the series. You'll see which is which depending on the ending you get. 9/10.
So, I'll stop gushing for a moment and get down to it. Metro Redux isn't flawless. Stealth is some times way too easy. There are some minor animation hiccups here and there. Last Light has minor pacing issues, but overall these games are amazing. The story is well told, the atmosphere is incredible, the gameplay is rock solid, boobs, and you get to kill Nazis. What more could you possibly want. Both Metro 2033 and Last Light have both been remastered and it shows (more in 2033). You also get both games for the price of one. I highly recommend you pick this one up on any platform of your choosing. I know that it should average out to about a 9/10, but I'm taking into account you get two games for the price of one. Overall I give Metro Redux a 9.5/10. It's that good.