Metro 2033, originally released in 2010 for Xbox 360 and Windows, is an all-time classic title. Metro Last Light is a graphical and mechanical jump to 2033, continuing the story in a way that matches the status of the original. The Metro Redux bundle was released in 2014, offering remastered versions of both games with all DLC attached. After six years of time to build nostalgia and a year after the release of Metro Exodus, Metro Redux is now available on Nintendo Switch in what many see as an extremely ambitious port.
There are several concerns to consider with any such port: Is the Switch capable of running these FPS games properly? After so many years, do these titles hold up alongside modern games? Is there any reason for people who played Metro Redux before picking it up again on Switch? Is there any reason to get it on Switch over any other console?
One aspect that Metro 2033 nails is the environment, and Metro Last Light is just as good. Metro 2033 delivers an intense, dark, mysterious and terrifying journey in a truly entertaining post-apocalyptic supernatural setting. The anomaly-filled, bandit-infested, war tunnels of Moscow’s crumbling underground come to life as the player claws his way through the darkness. The voice acting and world-building of these games still put modern titles to shame, and the linear, well-paced story drives the player forward through every tragedy, horror, tension, and terrifying turns. The survival mechanics are always present and challenging, the gunplay is gritty and intense, and the game holds up well overall. Classic Survival mode and gunplay-centric Spartan mode combined with a wide spread of difficulty settings allow players to overcome each challenge at their own pace.
Metro Last Light starts the player with fewer resources than 2033, making the game a little less survival-focused in exchange for a broader view of the series’ fascinating setting. It retains the same gameplay modes and difficulty settings as 2033. Normal and Hardcore are the standard experience, but Ranger and Ranger Hardcore increase player and enemy damage while removing various HUD elements for maximum that realism and immersion. Last Light has great characters and great set-pieces, which manages to feel a bit more modern and polished than 2033. Unlike 2033, Metro Last Light isn’t directly based on a book, but it still does. the story and setting are expanded upon beautifully. .
New players should be warned that the games feel their age. They are challenging, and sometimes have great difficulty in unusual places. The AI, graphics, and standards for polish and intuitive design have improved dramatically since Metro Redux’s original release in 2014. However, players who enjoy survival horror, FPS gameplay, and great storytelling will find themselves in two games that are nearly unmatched in those areas. Anyone who isn’t a fan but can still forgive some minor quality annoyances in life will be treated to a pair of classics that are well worth the time it takes to check them out.
As far as ports go, the Switch handles Metro 2033 and Metro Last Light very well. Even during the high-action segments of each game, there were no noticeable stutters or performance issues. Of course, the games aren’t close to how they might look on PC, but they’re a fair shake better than they are on Xbox 360 and PS3. Load times are noticeably slow, but acceptable. For a portable console, the Switch can still handle relatively high-end games of the past quite well.
Unfortunately, there’s no good reason to use Metro Redux on the Switch over any other console. Portability is convenient, but the games’ core strengths – atmosphere and tone – don’t directly benefit from being on a portable platform. For those who have already played Metro Redux, or those who have the option of getting it on PC or Xbox, there’s no reason to choose the Switch version over the others.
At the same time, though, there’s no big reason not to get Metro on the Switch. It sits well, looks good even when displayed on a TV, and plays perfectly on a controller. If the Switch is one’s primary console, Metro Redux is an impressive bundle that suffers from the minor shortcomings of its port. Any fan of survival horror or linear FPS games with great stories should consider Metro Redux a must-play, and the Switch is as good a place as any to pick it up.
Metro Redux is now available on PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, and PC.