METRO REDUX ★★★★
18 cert, Deep Silver, PS4 (also Xbox One)
“Life was never easy in the tunnels...”
Metro 2033 and its sequel, Metro: Last Light, are gloriously bleak. Sure, there are glimpses of colour and quirkiness, but these games are set mostly in the ruins of war-ravaged Russia and are exactly as chirpy as you would imagine. The horror/sci-fi games, inspired by the writing of Dmitry Glukhovsky, see mankind slipping down the food chain as they’re driven underground by nuclear radiation and living in constant fear of mutated monsters that live on the surface. A society and economy evolve underground, with ammunition as currency and long- and short-term plans for survival.
As Artyom, a 20-year old survivor born after the bombs fell, you have a chance to make a real difference – though that involves packing weapons and a gas mask and facing down horrific monsters and gun-toting bandits.
Metro Redux includes re-mastered versions of both games, as well as their downloadable content. There’s a range of difficulty levels, and you can choose to play it either in “Survival” mode (a stealth/ combat horror game) or “Spartan” (a more traditional shooter). Both modes are compelling, sophisticated and very playable, and both boast an impressive and unrelenting sense of dread.
They’re good looking games too, and tell their stories with real conviction (and colourful Russian accents). Last Light is the stronger of the two, with more nuanced storytelling and more detailed and advanced graphics.
Like a lot of horror, there are biblical inspirations; the sky darkening with flying monsters calls to mind vengeful Old Testament plagues and characters say they “hid from God” in the Metro. War references abound too, with snow-caked Russian cities reminiscent of the Battle of Stalingrad. 4a-games.com