ICYMI: Metro 2033: Redux

I hear so many complaints about the quality of video games being low.  Many will complain that stories are boring and the gameplay becomes redundant and repetitive as you make your way from corridor to corridor. Some complain about the A.I being stupid and being nothing more than target practice.

Metro 2033: Redux does away with all of that.  The story is simple, straightforward and does not try to be anything more than a respectable plot to move you from Point A to Point B.  It does not try to wow you or overwhelm you trying to be more than it is.  There is a threat, the protagonist is tasked with delivering a message to a specific destination and must battle through subway tunnels as well as the frigid surface and its dangerous elements.

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The plot revolves around an alien race threatening life for humans. There is more than meets the eye to the supernatural element which I wont spoil.  However, if you are inclined to play this game at some point, there are morality choices which influence the ending.

The place where Metro: 2033 really shines is the gameplay.  This game has intense firefights that are amplified by several factors.  There are several areas in the game which cannot be ventured unless you are wearing a gas mask. A gas mask can’t be worn if it is too damaged and it wont work unless you have air filters.  As you fight, it isn’t simply about avoiding damage, it is about not damaging the equipment beyond repair and making sure you have the means to make it function.  For instance, you have a portable rechargeable battery which charges your flashlight among other things.  When the battery runs out of juice, the light dims, flickers and then goes out leaving you in darkness.  You must then switch to the battery and tap the trigger to charge it.  Such a simple action amplifies the intensity of the action.  There is an air gun which uses a similar concept. You have to pump it up every so often to make sure the projectiles will do damage.  I’ve been in the middle of a firefight and realized the gun’s velocity was low and had to strategically pump it back up to continue to deal the most damage.

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The enemies in Metro are my favorite thing about the game.  The monsters react how you think they would meaning they ferociously attack you once they hear or see you.  The humans are a different matter.  They mainly use light to track you or your movements so stealthily shooting out the lights to advance is a useful thing to do if there are a lot of enemies.  Should you silently eliminate an enemy within eyesight of another foe, they don’t immediately know where you are.  They will look around on the spot and then spread out to look for you.  Sometimes they even wander off in the opposite direction.  You can use the sound of a bullet hitting the wall to lure them to a specific spot.  One of the best things about this game is that when any enemy is within melee range, you can instantly kill or knock them out.  It is really cool.

The weapons are things you’d assume would be in a first person shooter but they all have been chopped and swapped for parts.  When you mod it to add stuff, it doesn’t look professional at all, it looks like a homebrew lifehack or something.  The weapons add to the atmosphere that you are living in Post Apocalyptic Russia and you must scavenge to survive. AWESOME!

The game does not really hold your hand when you play it either.  There is the odd tip here but they are more reminders to do something like change your air filter before you suffocate and die.  Frequently throughout the game I was multitasking between advancing swiftly so I wouldn’t waste air and rationing out my ammo because the high quality ammo is the game’s currency.

I have to tell you that a game that just lets you play it without invading the screen real estate with a million status bars, bullets in your clip, mental state and distance to your next checkpoint.  All the HUD has is your bullet count.  No Mini-map or compass, just how many bullets you have left.  Everything else the screen or audio will tell you.  If you’re suffocating, you’ll hear it and if you have taken too much damage then the screen will begin to blackout and fade away. When you are “in the zone” reacting to a gasp becomes a reflex but it isn’t until you begin counting your bullets do you realize how deep you’ve ventured down the rabbit’s hole.

Everything about this game is the right temperature. I am hoping the sequel lives up to the first part of the tale because I had an absolute blast.

The Jaded Gamer
Twitter: @iamfn2k
IamFN2K@gmail.com

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