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Review | Metro: Last Light Redux (PS4)

Review | Metro: Last Light Redux (PS4)

by September 29, 2014 0 comments

 

The last light shines the brightest. Cubed returns to plunge the depths of the post-apocalyptic saga, adapted from Dmitry Glukhovsky.

 

If Metro: 2033 Redux is like Zone of the Enders ie: a solid proof of concept and introduction to the fiction, then Metro: Last Light Redux is like Zone of the Enders: The 2nd Runner, the massive expansion and more articulate execution of the concepts established in the first game. When Metro: Last Light first came out it had the misfortune of being caught up in the closure of THQ, and of course 4A Games still is contending with the absolute worst working conditions such as the frequent power failures and even corrupt customs officials seizing their hardware. Metro: Last Light is the reason to purchase Metro Redux on retail, however purchasing Metro: Last Light Redux solo is always a viable option.

 

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Metro: Last Light Redux begins with a recap of the final moments of Metro: 2033 then immediately with a sequence that will set a tone for the rest of the game and that will distinguish itself from its predecessor. Like with Metro: 2033 Redux, the redux edition of Metro: Last Light gains a fidelity bump compared to its PS3 and Xbox 360 counterparts. Liquid fluid 60 frames per second and a retina scorching 1080p has the PS4 version of Metro: Last Light Redux looking fantastic. The same artistry that 4A Games displayed in Metro: 2033 Redux is in full force and then some, since the team has grown more experienced and have implemented all kinds of dazzling new effects that effectively draw the player into this dark and horrible world. Artyom, no longer a scrub is a full on ranger with a mission. On this mission he will encounter a wide variety of opponents from Soviets, Nazis to ferocious mutants that stalk the metros and surface and just maybe- he might even find a little love along the way. The story of Metro: Last Light Redux is a rich and complex one with strange underpinnings of mysticism and Christian imagery with interesting characters that have stories that have a real emotional core to them. There is far more plot in Metro: Last Light Redux than Metro: 2033  Redux which allows for a wider variety of locations from cathedrals to a Venice-like underground city.

 

 

 

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Ways that Metro: Last Light Redux succeeds its predecessor is how it rectifies some of the design choices established in the first game. For example- the long scripted story chapters are less frequent and are briefer as well as the game offering much longer chunks of gameplay where the player has more agency and options for creative gameplay. This not only makes the fewer scripted story sequences more enjoyable but they also serve as a moderate pacing break from the constant tension filled sequences that Metro: Last Light Redux excels at. Players are going to be able to savor the laid-back locations where they are free to explore a floating shanty town in the underground where they can part take a side quest or just restock on supplies. While Metro: Last Light Redux does improve on almost every possible way from Metro: 2033 Redux, it still carries some of its technical issues with the AI and graphical hiccups like clipping models and some unnatural animation or lifeless expressions.

Once again, the crew at 4A Games masterfully render Dmitry Glukhovsky’s world but with some niggling flaws. Despite the few and far in between graphical inconsistencies Metro: Last Light Redux is an excellent looking game. Does it fully utilize all that the PS4 has to offer? No, but this is still a work of art and undoubtedly looks the way the art director intended it to look (for the most part). The sheer density of geometry is staggering in this game, with so many individual objects and pieces of set dressing that paint each environment. If there was one visual flourish that was always on point with no noticeable flaws, it would be the lighting- good god the lighting in Metro: Last Light Redux is impeccable.

The best moments of Metro: 2033 Redux are amplified in Metro: Last Light Redux with more creative and varied levels than ever before. The environments on the surface are especially worthy of mention where the series finally embraces survival horror and nails it home with some of the most harrowing tension to experience on a PS4 since P.T. The survival mechanics are just as strong as ever in ranger mode and still is the definitive way to play Metro: Last Light Redux. The sheer amount of desperation felt when in search of a fresh air filter is emphasized by Artyom’s desperate gasps for air. The core mechanics are as tight as ever and with a whole bunch of new toys at Artyom’s disposal, there are more ways than ever to engage the enemy- especially now that players have the option to lay down mines. Just like in Metro: 2033 Redux, the load times are extremely fast and respawning from death encourages experimentation and creative play from users.

The expediency of these load times truly does enhance the game’s ebb and flow, keeping the player in almost constant control. Spartan mode is still present and serves as an option for players who rather have a forgiving and more bombastic shooter play style. Sped up animation for the weapon handling and reloading, this mode reflects the sensibility of most modern military shooters on the market. While not as much of a drag like in Metro: 2033 Redux due to the more nuanced pacing, varied locations and less frequent scripted events- Spartan mode is not the definitive method to het the most out of Metro: Last Light Redux.

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Check out the Score

GAMEPLAY

With more agency offered and less scripted interruptions, Metro: Last Light Redux is a much more even paced game than Metro: 2033 Redux. The ammo currency is still as genius as ever, now with an even greater variety of weapons available making the hard choices that comes with survival even more front and center. The levels in general are much longer stretches keeping the flow nice and steady. Though there are still scripted story sequences, thankfully they are shorter than the overly drawn out ones as seen in Metro: 2033 Redux, still no means of skipping them however. 

GRAPHICS

Metro: Last Light Redux is every bit as gorgeous as its predecessor and then some due to the expanded scope and more ambitious story. Surreal atomic wasteland splendors of the ruins of Moscow are expertly realized. While the character models do look impressive for the most part, there are noticeable instances of clipping and even some odd anomalies that can be best described as contorting or twisting of polygons on some of the joints of some NPCs, although be it rare occurrences. Character facial expressions still are not as lively or as natural as they could be. This games boasts some of the finest looking particle and atmospheric effects to be seen on the PS4 bar none- and of course some of the most beautiful lighting seen in any game. The children of the metro are still the most horrifying mutants in Moscow.

SOUND

Metro: Last Light Redux sound is consistent with the previous game. Original Russian dialogue track is still an option for those who don’t care for English with Russian accents. Mutants have guttural roars and screeches that truly do sound like they come from within. Distant dialogue of NPCs in the populated town areas of the metro enhances the atmosphere to make the world feel lived in and inhabited. A special mention to the death rattles of victims that Artyom stealth kills, which feel especially chunky and breathy.

Value

If Metro: 2033 Redux is the coming attractions, Metro: Last Light Redux is the feature presentation. Complete with all the DLC bonus levels, Metro: Last Light Redux is a worthy purchase for anyone who pines for a robust single player action game and comes recommended either solo or even as part of the Metro: Redux retail compilation.

Final Score

FINAL SCORE

Metro: Last Light Redux is a certifiable successor and a triumph of the creative human spirit that 4A Games displayed during their deplorable working conditions. A quality game that is on par with the likes of Half-Life 2. Bursting with atmosphere, tight controls and stealth mechanics- the only other comparable titles are Wolfenstein: The New Order and the previous game, Metro: 2033 Redux. Highly

 

recommended to anyone who enjoys single-player first person action games, [i]Metro: Last Light Redux[/i] should not be missed.      Cyber Leaf Version smaller        

 

 

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