Bridging the Franchise (cntd)
With the narratives and worlds so tied together it seemed a bit jarring that gameplay took such a sudden change in direction. Thankfully herein lies, in my opinion, the biggest positive about Last Light’s re-release treatment. Now fans of both styles can be happy, as the game lets people choose from the get-go whether they’d like to play the more action-oriented style of the original, or boost up enemy damage and scale back the amount of resources available to play in the style of 2033. I opted in for the more survival-horror style that I think compliments the story and world more, and I found myself having much, much more fun with the game than I did playing the original. It also bridges the two titles and makes them seem even more like the one big continuous experience they really are. For those that purchased Last Light upon its initial release but were turned off by the change in style, this option alone should make the product worth a second look.
Still Looking Good
Unfortunately some of the other improvements that Redux boasts end up being largely inconsequential. While graphics technology has improved noticeably since the franchise’s freshman effort in 2010, I really didn’t notice anything looking particularly better in this version than in the Last Light of 2013. I’m sure that if compared side by side there’s probably a few nicer textures and models here and there, but all in all tech just hasn’t developed enough since then to make the visuals a viable reason to upgrade. Don’t, however, confuse that for me being displeased with the way things look (and sound, as there hasn’t been much change there either). The visuals were pretty great when the game came out last year, and it’s still a great game to show off your rig with. Though the game takes place in underground tunnels and barren wastelands, the game still manages to keep the screen from turning into the brown soup that so many desolate games do.
The art direction helps things too. Everything from the weapons to the underground “buildings” feel ready to fall apart at any moment, and the various people drinking around fires, shopping, and just generally going about their daily lives give the settlements in particular an organic, personable vibe that pull you into the world of Metro that much more. So again, while none of this is particularly different from the original release to Redux, it’s still pretty darned good. Other features rounding out the list are the inclusion of Last Light’s DLC, and some new animations, but the DLC is mostly just weapons that I’d be fine without, and the new animations aren’t valuable enough in and of themselves to warrant an upgrade.
You, dear reader, are going to have to make up your own mind on this one, and I don’t feel comfortable giving it a universal “buy” or “don’t buy.” Whether or not you find Metro: Last Light Redux worth the money is going to depend entirely on what you’re buying it for. If you’re someone who’s never played the game, or if you’re someone like me that liked 2033 but didn’t appreciate the pacing changes the sequel brought, then yes, pull the trigger. The game becomes much more of a survival-horror title with the new available options, and if you’re new you can try both styles and decide for yourself. Otherwise, there’s really no reason to prefer the original over this remastering. The audio visual improvements are modest, and the added content of the DLCs are relatively miniscule. All in all, I myself had a great time with the title, and the Metro franchise is still one nuclear winter I never want to turn to spring.
Let’s you play it as a survival horror game, setting and mood are fantastically dense, and the game still looks and sounds good.
There just isn’t enough added or improved content for those that already played the game and didn’t mind it’s more action-oriented style.