A new look of desolation.
Developers 4A Games had taken to a book to make a game based on the relentlessly used theme of post-apocalyptic scenarios back in 2010. While the game itself was tapping the potential of an overused theme, the execution of the game was very impactful, especially with their game’s heavy emphasis on the environment. The 2010 title – Metro 2033 – and its sequel – Metro: Last Light – were redone recently, receiving not only a cosmetic makeover, but also including all the past DLCs and two new slick game modes.
The reworked version of the games are quite aptly named with a suffix of Redux. The bundle itself is called Metro Redux. The changes done to the Redux versions of the game may not be prodigious, they aren’t most certainly anything to overlook. From added DLCs, to porting assets from Last Light to 2033, Metro Redux boasts of numerous changes and additions, but what really catches our fancy is the visual sprucing that both the games have received.
"There are no frame rate drops on the PS4 either. The PC version of the game gives the option of going up to 4K resolutions which is welcome news for the lot out there with Ultra HD TVs. At least 4A Games knows how to feed the respective gamer’s hubris accordingly. "
4A had released the Metro games on the older generation of consoles and the perfect opportunity to remaster a title was on the new generation and they have certainly managed to pull off a splendid job of getting things right. Metro 2033 wasn’t available on the PS3 so we can’t have the older console to contend with the PS4 when it comes to the improvements that were made in Metro 2033 Redux.
We kick things off with the resolution output of the consoles. The PS4 churns out its native resolution of 1080p while the initially planned launch of the X1 version with 900p was given a slight boost with the resolution going upto 914p. This difference may be very miniscule but it seems the developers have gone with making the experience of the game smoother by providing consistency in frame rates which is quite visible as you cruise through the game with no drops.
There are no frame rate drops on the PS4 either. The PC version of the game gives the option of going up to 4K resolutions which is welcome news for the lot out there with Ultra HD TVs. At least 4A Games knows how to feed the respective gamer’s hubris accordingly.
Both the consoles run the game at a stable 60 frames per second with adaptive v-sync enabled to take care of the rare occasions when frame rates decide to jive things up a bit. The same story goes for the PC version too. Metro games are known to push the boundaries of GPUs, so maxing the game out can be a formidable challenge for GPUs like the R9 270x or the GTX 760, although they do come very close; this performance is also affected by the CPU since the game utilises multi processors quite extensively.
"One of the most visible improvement in the Redux version of the game is the presence of alpha processing and particle effects, both of which have been immensely improved. As a result, campfires look beautiful and so do situations involving smoke and motes of dust."
Metro 2033 Redux actually borrows a lot of assets from Last Light to make it look better. The game is evidently further worked upon by 4A. Last Light Redux version of the game largely maintains the same outlook as the original game, albeit with the obvious changes to account for the new hardware that the game is meant to run on. The Redux versions of both the games are great improvements when it comes to textures and changes in set pieces and ambient objects.
The shadows are better, reaction to light sources is more accurate, textures are rendered in good detail, but the mainstay of the remastered version is the lighting system, which is both an improvement and a downside to the Redux version of the games. The PC version of Metro got a day 1 patch which introduced volumetric lighting, which lends the game an immense aesthetic boost when it comes to dealing with light sources like torches and floodlights, especially in a dull and somber environment like the Metro games have.
One of the most visible improvement in the Redux version of the game is the presence of alpha processing and particle effects, both of which have been immensely improved. As a result, campfires look beautiful and so do situations involving smoke and motes of dust.
Even with high resolution options available in the PC version, anti-aliasing is limited to toggling super sampling, although there seems to be post processing AA in effect regardless. The game also doesn’t let users handle advanced graphical settings with various options like SSAO, anisotropic et al. What really miffed PC users was the fact that both, Metro 2033 and Last Light, wouldn’t run on their systems. As a game that has seen a full fledged release, this is quite a shameful thing even though it is bound to be fixed very soon.
"Metro games - Metro 2033 specifically - had a gloomy, dark and foreboding outlook that promised vile things lurking in the shadows that accentuated the apprehensions of the players and that added to the experience of the game immensely. With the Redux versions of the game, that twitch inducing anxiousness that put you in doubt, is gone; to a great degree if not fully. This is where the redux versions feel lacking and mar the experience somewhat."
Overall, while the Redux versions of the game portray a plethora of improvements, especially with regard to Metro 2033, the game looks quite ‘bright’. Now generally, this is a perk as you’re able to make out what things lie about near you and otherwise and with a special mention of the lighting system which makes the game look much neater than its earlier counterparts, but it ruins the ambience of the game in some ways. Another point to note that the image quality for Metro 2033 on Xbox One is better than on the PS4 but the latter trumps the former in the case of Last Light.
Metro games – Metro 2033 specifically – had a gloomy, dark and foreboding outlook that promised vile things lurking in the shadows that accentuated the apprehensions of the players and that added to the experience of the game immensely.
With the Redux versions of the game, that twitch inducing anxiousness that put you in doubt, is gone; to a great degree if not fully. This is where the Redux versions feel lacking and mar the experience somewhat. Is the Redux version worth getting? I can’t say definitely.
For someone who has already played the games before, the Redux version may seem like a spectacular improvement over its predecessors in terms of graphical quality and all the content in a neat package, but may be a let down by the lack of the same disquieting environment as in the original games.
For a newcomer to the series, this is a really an option worth considering.