Out of both the games in the Redux package, Last Light is perhaps the most confusing. It’s a fairly recent release – it only came out last year – so this whole “remade with next Gen visuals” thing seems a bit flat.
Either way, here we are again, in gaming’s favourite setting – the apocalypse. But the Metro games have never been about machismo fuelled rampages through zombie infested cities, swinging around chainsaws glued to dirt bikes. They’ve been about the creepy, desolate, survivalist atmosphere of post-nuclear Russia… or, for that matter.. Current day Russia. Both Metro games manage to weave storytelling, stealth, and action together in a way that hasn’t really been rivaled by anything else – and yet they still haven’t met with the success that some indie and, well, cheesier post apocalyptic set games have.
Last Light is considerably more action-focused than 2033 which is why the new game modes introduced with Redux really help bring it more in line with its predecessor. It’s like the difference between Alien and Aliens – although I hesitate to use anything in the same sentence as Aliens and Last Light isn’t nearly as much of a near-on sacrilege as the gung-ho shit upon the best horror franchise of all time. From a story point of view, it’s a great sequel. It allows the characters to grow in a way that isn’t just forced for the sake of it and expands upon the great atmosphere the first game forged. 2033 is a hard act to follow, though – and Last Light didn’t even really seem to try from a gameplay point of view. It’s a great shooter, and it’s a nice waltz through the terrifying Russian wasteland, but some of the sense of desperation and hopelessness was just lost when the heavier focus on combat came in. The game’s new survival mode does remedy this, and should be the biggest reason you buy into the re-release if you’ve already gone through its maiden voyage last year.
It does seem a bit insulting to people who have already bought it only to have it come out a year later with significant gameplay changes. 2033 given the remaster treatment came out better than ever, but the improvements with Last Light are so marginal it’s a little bit questionable to repackage it with a new game mode and expect people to buy it again. It’s hard to really notice any difference at all, save for some better textures and slightly improved character models. The graphics didn’t really come as far as they did from 2010-2014 in the space of a single year, so using it as a selling point just seems a bit wishy-washy. That being said, the world of Metro looks stunning, always managing to avoid the horrible brown stew most games of this setting sink into (we’re looking at you, Fallout 3). It seems alive and organic, with the humans that populate the underground not being simply content to accept it as the grim last stand it is. Ramshackle shops and homes that genuinely look like they could fall apart at every moment, people commiserating and drinking mushroom vodka around fires, clinging on to every last bit of civilisation they can muster. It’s desperate, miserable, and people are dying everywhere, but there’s little sparks of light and hope scattered through the wasteland.
The main problem is there just isn’t enough added content to warrant buying it again unless you’re some kind of Metro Fanatic (shut up, I’m not writing this wearing a gas mask and hoarding cans of beans at all). The DLC really just adds a bunch of weapons you could easily do without – perhaps if they’d added in some extra story content it’d have made it worthwhile, but I truly struggle heartily recommending this despite the quality of the game considering you could probably pick up the cheaper original release and still have pretty much the same experience if you’re happy with a more combat-focused experience. If you’re going to go for one of the Metro Redux releases, make sure it’s 2033. You won’t regret it.
Ultimately the decision of buying Last Light comes down to what you’re buying it for. If you’ve never played the Metro franchise, but you’re considering it, the bundle is the most complete release of it to date. 2033 is still the better game, and the graphical improvements are considerable, but Last Light seems more like an extra bonus than anything else. If you already played it last year, you might not find anything worth going back to here. It’s worth buying into if you gave it a miss the first time around without a shadow of a doubt, but unless you’re super keen on replaying it in survival mode, there’s just not enough here to warrant the purchase.
Disclaimer:All scores given within our reviews are based on the artist’s personal opinion; this should in no way impede your decision to purchase the game.