Platforms: Win, Mac, Linux, XBox One, PS4
I’m less than an hour into Metro 2033 Redux, and already, I’m fairly certain that I’m not ever going to finish this game. Not because I don’t want to – on the contrary, I’m 100% sucked in by the game, but because I don’t know if I have the mechanical skill (or the patience) to complete it.
Upon starting up the game, you’re given the choice to choose your play style. I opted for the Survival experience, hoping that it would be less reliant on twitch with a greater focus on the story than the action, but survival normal is absolutely not a walk in the park. Things were going well until I got a gun that I was told to fire “in short bursts” – I can hold my own with limited ammo taking single shots, but I managed to burn through all my bullets and still die a grisly death in one of the earliest encounters. Considering the save game is a checkpoint based system, I feel like the omission of a story mode difficulty is likely to turn off some gamers with less FPS experience.
However, I don’t want my incompetence to detract too much from what seems to be a pretty fantastic post-apocalyptic first person shooter with horror elements (well, that’s a mouthful, isn’t it?). Set 20 years after the onset of nuclear winter, the people who survived are living in the Russian metro system, and survival just got a whole hell of a lot more difficult since the arrival of some new threats. This is a shooter that’s a whole lot more meat than bones; if you’re not interested in the game’s story, well, you’re playing the wrong game.
My biggest gripe that has nothing to do with my person lack of skill is that it starts pretty much at the end. I’m not sure if that’s due to the source material being a novel, since that setup works fairly well in books and movies since they’re non-interactive media, but in a game, I at least want the illusion that my actions just might change the outcome, even in a completely on-rails sort of game.
Metro 2033 Redux is dark, depressing, and terrifying all at once. It’s exactly the type of game I’d lose days to if I got a sword instead of a machine gun. Well, maybe not days – the story clocks in somewhere between 8 – 10 hours, and the touch-everything types might squeeze out double that. Still, for someone competent at first-person shooters, it promises to be a pretty amazing trip, and might even be worth it for those of us who hardly know which end of the gun is up. I may replay the early game on Spartan mode to see if it’s any more forgiving of the “spray and pray” style of play. Unless you’re confidence in your abilities, you should probably wait for a sale – $20 for a game that’s too hard to get through is a bitter pill to swallow.