My newest review for Metro 2033 Redux is now up on Steam for your entertainment/information.
I did say that I had a three paragraph format for these Steam reviews, right? Well, apparently I told myself “screw that! I got things to say about these games!”. So…it’s weird. This is one of my longest Steam reviews at 810 words (4634 characters). My Defense Grid 2 review is the longest Steam review I’ve done at 1,162 words. Craziness! Not that I’m trying to do the longest reviews possible, it’s just an interesting note. I’m busting these out pretty darn well right now, to the point that I think I could possibly do full-featured blog posts. But I’m not going to jinx myself, I’m going to keep doing what I’m doing because it’s working and that’s fine by me. More posts this way comes!
A Paladin’s Steam Review of Metro 2033 Redux Edition. My Unhappy Thoughts On This Remake.
- Genre: First Person Linear Shooter with Horror and Stealth Mechanics.
- Developed and Published by: 4A Games & Deep Silver
- Platform: Windows, Mac, Linux and Consoles.
- Business Model: Base Game
- Redux Bundle purchased by myself
I figured with the Redux version that 4A games would bring us the game that they wanted to originally put out along with all of the enhancements, lessons learned over the years and new features their engine could bring to the table. Boy, this was not what I was expecting…
It’s surprising how many bugs still made it through to release. I encountered my fair share and also read about the others encountered on the forums. For example, in the original Metro 2033, the “Trolley Combat” level had a game-breaking bug where the scripted sequence could get completely broken. This required you to restart the level as you couldn’t progress forward anymore. Now, take the Redux version in the same level. There is a bug where if you entered the previous scripted sequence before the level with your night vision goggles on, the game will force them on before you enter the cart, making it nigh-impossible to kill enemies. Only solution to fixing this? Restarting the entire previous level all over and making certain to not put the night vision goggles on before the scripted sequence that causes the bug. I am baffled how these bugs (among others, as the same script-breaking bug apparently exists in Trolley Combat. Nice.) made it to release. Especially when it involves the same level that was reported to be very buggy the first go around.
Graphics & UI Talk
Sure, I’ll give them some credit. The graphical atmosphere is improved with more special effects and post-apocalyptic textures compared to the original. That’s pretty easy to see from the original with entire rooms made to look more decrepit and affected by the nuclear fallout. Texture texture quality is also significantly better than before. Facial animations don’t look so odd and dated either, though at times the characters look…look like they were transplanted poorly into new bodies. The Physics engine is also better and far less sensitive compared to its predecessor. UI also looks more modern and up-to-date though it gives less information than the previous game did. Not sure how they managed to pull that off.
I do disagree with their assertion that the lighting system, AI and weapon handling is better. Mutants feel far more bullet-spongy (even at Ranger difficulty levels) and there’s been some reports that hit-boxes aren’t as good as they used to be. I noticed how headshots at point blank range with a shotgun wouldn’t kill the easier mutants. How it handles secondary weapons is a 180 in the wrong direction. Instead of your grenades, knives and other related weapons being easily accessible from keys 6-9, they stow them all away in a single key that is changed by holding tab and moving your mouse in the direction of the weapon you want to use. What. The. Heck. Doing this during combat is overly difficult. This is a consolitis change and I absolutely hate it. Additionally, the AI seems extremely random and unfocused in its thinking. I’ll have some attempts at the level where the AI will completely ignore me and go for the other NPCs around me. Other attempts will result in the entire horde of mutants zerging and overwhelming me. It feels extremely schizophrenic and if this is truly Last Light’s AI engine, I’m not looking forward to playing the sequel.
Stealth System Overlook
The stealth system is probably the worst change of the bunch. Instead of having a nuanced three-level stealth system, that at least gives you a chance to recover from almost being seen, it throws it all out for a binary in-stealth and no-stealth system. One little touch of light on you and you will be immediately spotted by the AI. Due to this, it seems like they had to dumb down the AI so that even if a human guard is five inches from your face, they won’t see you so long as you’re in the dark. It’s hilarious and sad at the same time.
This remake/redux is an avoid. If you want to experience the best of Metro 2033, the original is the better way to go. The graphics are better, sure, I can agree to that and the optimization is much better than the original. I can definitely agree with that assertion. But the downgraded stealth system, same amount (if not possibly more?) of bugs, less enjoyable combat and quirkyness caused by the port to the new engine doesn’t make it worth it. There are a other changes that I didn’t talk about that don’t fit well or bring the game down. I was willing to overlook some of these problems until I ran into the game crashing bugs. At which point, I figured I was better off investing my time into finishing the original rather than dealing with this port that could have used a few more rounds of QA and playtesting.
Thanks for reading!