When Metro 2033 originally released back in 2010, it was something of a graphical showcase that really put the latest consoles and custom-built gaming PCs through the wringer. Rebuilt from the ground up in 2014 for this enhanced 'Redux' edition in order to bring its visuals and gameplay more in-line with its sequel, Metro: Last Light, it seems almost impossible that we're now looking at such a heavy-weight behemoth being ported successfully over to what is, essentially, a mobile platform.
And yet here we are. Not only has 4A Games managed to squeeze the entire experience onto Switch, but it has also done so with a port that sits right alongside another excellent survival horror title, Alien: Isolation, as the most impressive we've seen so far on the console. This is the full-fat Metro 2033 Redux experience, looking almost identical to the enhanced PS4/Xbox One versions of the game and running at a completely solid and stable 30fps in both docked and handheld modes. Pадоваться!
For the uninitiated, Metro 2033 is based on the 2002 novel of the same name by Dmitry Glukhovsky. It tells the story of the last remaining pockets of humanity struggling to survive in the aftermath of nuclear war; haunted survivors who eke out a rough existence deep in the subway tunnels beneath the irradiated ruins of Moscow. You assume the role of Artyom, an idealistic young ranger who's sent on a life or death journey through the guts of the Metro system – and a handful of sojourns to the frozen, skeletal remains of the city above – in order to seek help for his beleaguered home station, Exhibition. It's a journey that sees Artyom sneak, stab and shoot his way through mutant-infested tunnels, battle across irradiated city squares and take on post-apocalyptic Nazis on his way to save his home and find out the truth about The Dark Ones, mysterious visitors who've made their home on the ravaged earth above the Metro and with whom Artyom seems to share some sort of psychic bond.
Metro 2033's main strengths lie in how it manages to expertly combine slow-paced stealth and survival horror gameplay with moments of all-out action carnage whilst still making time to focus in on its compelling central narrative and – in its Redux incarnation – all of these elements have been polished to near perfection with a host of changes that get rid of a lot of the jank that existed in the original version of the game.
Here, Artyom's voyage benefits immensely from improved enemy AI and stealth mechanics that have been fine-tuned to fix the valid frustrations players had with the 2010 version of the game. Stealth works as it should now, weapons handle more smoothly and there are easy-to-use radial menus that streamline the once cumbersome selection of Artyom's various gadgets and guns. Visuals, too, have been completely overhauled with brand new character models, advanced lighting, dynamic weather, fancy particle effects and reworked levels, all of which means that the whole thing flows much more smoothly. Amazingly, all of this has made it over to the Switch version of the game intact and uncompromised.
The haunted tunnels of the Metro that you traverse are bursting with mutant and human enemies to take down or circumvent as you see fit, but there's so much more to think about on top of this. You'll need to constantly be aware of your surroundings, with tripwires, traps and irradiated sections both above and below ground that call for you to equip your trusty gas mask and constantly monitor how much time you've got left with your air filters.
Light plays a huge part, too, with Artyom's watch indicating whether or not he can currently be seen by his foes. You'll need to move slowly and cautiously through areas, extinguishing light sources to stay in the shadows and tactically removing enemy threats with silenced weapons or takedowns where possible; doing everything you can to attract as little attention as possible is the order of the day. There's also a massively satisfying sense of weight in how Artyom goes about his work, with detailed and believable animations conveying the effort of his every action, no matter how mundane it might be. This physicality does wonders in drawing you totally into the slow-burn tension of proceedings as you methodically creep your way towards your objectives.
indeed, it's from this slow and methodical gameplay that Metro 2033 derives most of its tension and it's only when the game forces loud action segments on you that the intoxicating spell is temporarily broken. There are a handful of occasions where you'll need to face off against waves of mutants, and these are easily the weakest parts of the game, highlighting a combat system that doesn't lend itself particularly well to full-on assault and enemy AI that does a much more convincing job of playing the unaware adversary being hunted from the shadows.
Aside from all the stealthing and sneaking, it's also the portrayal of life in these horror tunnels that Metro 2033 manages to pull off so well. As you journey from Exhibition to your final destination high above Moscow, you'll happen across pockets of humanity; desperate people living desperate lives, refusing to give up, holding on to a past and a way of life that has been nuked out of existence. It's often surprisingly stirring stuff, with families huddled together around campfires, ramshackle bars, bewildered and confused children... people trying their best to normalise their terrible situation. The ugly side of humanity is here, too; old conflicts and politics are still thriving, even in the face of final annihilation.
On top of the huge technical overhaul, Metro 2033 Redux also adds a new play style that gives players more choice in how they experience the game. Alongside the original's default survival style that sees every gas mask filter, every bit of ammo and equipment that you scrounge become invaluable, here you get a Spartan mode which apes the gameplay style of its much more action-oriented sequel. Weapons, ammo and basic survival kit are all found in plentiful supply, ensuring Artyom can bring the fight to both mutants and human enemies at a much faster and more mainstream FPS pace. For us, the original slow, stealthy, save-scumming style – where resource management and careful planning are the order of the day – shows off the gameplay mechanics at their best, but it's still great to have the choice here and the newer action-oriented style is certainly a gentler introduction to the world of Metro.
Once you've chosen either of these styles of play you then get to choose from four difficulty levels, from the base normal difficulty – which is no cakewalk – right up to the fabled 'Ranger' hardcore, which sees your entire HUD, UI and all hints and tips entirely disabled, leaving you to battle it out using your wits alone with hugely stripped-back resources at your disposal. It's the ultimate test; an absolutely brutal way to experience the horrors of the Metro but one that is worth having a go at for those amongst you who like a proper challenge.
In terms of this Switch port, as we mentioned, 4A has done a stellar job here. In both docked and portable modes this one plays at a flawless 30FPS with portable resolution topping out at 720p, while docked sees the game stick to 1080p for the majority of its running time. A quick reminder: this is a game that runs at 900p on a base Xbox One; it's nothing short of miraculous just how well it performs here. It looks strikingly similar to its PS4 and Xbox One counterparts and it's only on very close examination that you'll notice the expected texture and detail sacrifices that have been made to make this all possible.
In portable mode, the smaller screen also makes everything look beautifully crisp and clear with the inherent darkness of the game helping to hide the tricks and sleights of hand – such as some pretty heavy resolution scaling – that keep that framerate running so smoothly during your adventure. It may be running at half the framerate but, to be honest, the slow and heavy nature of the gameplay means that this really doesn't matter nearly much as it might do in a faster-paced FPS. Controls feel tight and responsive; we didn't notice any input delays or lag during our playthrough and those revamped weapons and gadget radial menus make selecting your guns, ammo, gas mask or night-vision goggles a breeze. This Switch version also brings HD rumble and motion aiming to the table, with the latter really helping out with those exacting long-range night-vision shots on pesky enemy snipers.
One area that hasn't fared quite so well, however, is the loading times. For the most part, levels do load up pretty quickly but there are occasions where we sat for a good long while (up to around a full minute) for some missions to start up. It's not ideal for sure, but it is tempered somewhat by the fact that once you're in a level, reloads upon death are almost instantaneous. Taking into account everything this port manages to bring to the table, we're pretty much willing to let this one factor slide.
Metro 2033 Redux is a top-class first-person shooter/survival horror game, a breathless experience that's been almost flawlessly ported to Switch by 4A Games. Artyom's desperate, haunting voyage through the irradiated remains of Moscow is every bit as engaging today as it was when it first released back in 2010, and this Redux version benefits massively from overhauled AI, gameplay mechanics and visuals. In terms of first-person shooters or survival horror games on Nintendo's console, this is one of the very best.
So 4A games joins the ranks of M2, Saber and Feral as an amazing porting house.
Congrats to the team at 4A for their hard work and accomplishment.
Good job but 30fps is a disappointment for this type of game.
we need an updated top 10 ports to Switch article and Dragon Quest XI, Metro, Witcher, Doom and Warframe deserve a spot
I've been on the fence about buying the physical version of these. On the one hand they seem like really well-done ports and include the much-needed gyro aiming but on the other hand I'm generally not too interested in the genre and might just get bored within an hour.
@glorymade I don't really agree on the Doom part, try to play it on Switch on higher (or like me Nightmare) difficulty, the framerate tanks then.
As for the other games you mentioned I agree, Diablo 3 deserves a spot too.
Not my kind of game but it proves what talented dev teams can achieve with so called limited tech. Devs have got lazy.
Those screenshots look pretty rough, and FPS games play terribly with joycons. Also £44.99 for two games, one of which is 10 years old and the other is 7, is way too expensive considering they're often under £5 on steam and the ps Store.
YO WOLFENSTEIN! 2 WHOLE GAMES ON ONE CARTRIDGE! THIS IS WHY I BUY!
the sound amd controlls are weak
I know how all of this ends after playing Metro: Exodus. And have Metro: Sam's Story next.
Why on earth would I pay $25 to play this again... they even gave it away for FREE during the Exodus launch 🤦♂️
This is as exciting as Bayonetta 1 on PS4 - when I can play 1,2 (and promise of 3) on my Switch. More tired old games as "3rd party support" on Switch.
@BenAV if you’re not generally interested in the genre why would you even be on the fence? - what a ridiculous statement
Whilst I've played these through on PS4 and have no plan to double-dip (I only use my Switch docked), It's incredible what 4A have achieved in porting these over. I'd highly recommend both Metro titles to Switch users new to the franchise, they're incredibly atmospheric and at times touching and thoughtful (the tales and plights of characters). I'd recommend going full stealth mode (apart from run-ins with creatures which force you to fight for the most part), headphones on, dim the lights and you'll have a blast...
Another awesome addition to my Switch library.
@Rodan2000 Just because I usually don't enjoy games in the genre doesn't mean that I never do and never will. I try to be pretty open to pretty much all types of games.
can i seriously ask why some reviews show the docked resolution and portable resolution while others do not? If you have a way of finding out the resolution I don't see why every review does not have this information.
Wow, never heard of this game until today, and I have to say, it looks like allot of fun.
@sixrings They just posted an article yesterday explaining that going forward they would be using this new system.
I’ve got this preordered. Yes it cheaper elsewhere but the portability is what I’m looking for.
two of the best FPS’ ever, IMO. But unless you’ve only got a switch, they regularly are under £4 each on the PlayStation store, and you get 60fps / 4K, fancy textures, lighting and fog. But this looks great for what it is, a mobile port.
As someone who use to buy and play 360 games, then go back and buy the Wii versions just to see how that experience changes on a different style of system, I love these impossible ports.
Will definitely pick this up.
Fantastic. I just read the book and am extremely pleased to see the port coming to the switch, in such great condition too!
Sigh... I own this on the PC and Xbox One X. Now, due to the portable nature... I must purchase again 🤷🏾♂️
@cheesedude Not on switch it isn't.
Really enjoyed playing this on Xbox one a couple of years back. Kudos for them for providing a solid port!
I might pick up the double pack one of these days if it goes on sale just to play this. Last Light is just sort of a bonus IMO. This is definitely a physical-only sale for me, there's too many big games that are digital-only these days competing for space.
I have these on PC, but I’ve gladly bought them on Switch, I might be able to actually play and finish them now. I’d love to see Metro Exodus make its way to the Switch.
@ChineseJames Captured screenshots looks bad on any console because of compression. Captures looks bad on PS4 and Xbox One too, and nowhere as good as ingame.
I agree that the price could have been lower.
Panic Button ported Doom 3, and were still sold for like only 8 bucks on release on all consoles.
Bethesda even bothered to add 4K/60 support for Xbox One X version of Doom 3.
Other than poor sales, there is no reason this couldn't have been a Wii U game when it was new.
I'm glad to see Switch getting some more FPS titles, since it's a genre that's quite lacking on the platform, but the stealth and horror aspects kinda kill it for me. It's just not to my taste.
If that silly rumor about Halo coming to Switch is just that, I'd still like something in that style. A sci-fi FPS with a decent story. Or even a WW2 FPS with a solid campaign and team deathmatch multiplayer. COD could use some real competition and Switch would be a good place to get started since COD isn't on the platform.
@Heavyarms55 Stealth isn't a requirement, you can choose what way to deal with the human enemies - you can toggle options on the menu screen that will give you an experience with more/less bullets and filters to suit either play style...
The horror is more of being in a confined space and survival, the creatures are very much of a sci-fi nature!
@Profondo I mean, I doubt I would hate the game, no way. It just isn't quite what I am looking for from the genre. I don't really consider creatures/monsters of any sort to really be sci-fi. Unless they are just like, alien animals on another planet. When I think sci-fi, I'm thinking more along the lines of Halo, Star Wars, Mass Effect or Battlestar Galactica. I actually really dislike the Hollywood monsters that get called sci-fi.
Yea great port job of an almost 2 gaming generation old game. Is that how low our standards for switch third party support have gotten to be? Lame
Switch goes from bad to worst.
Bring us all library from ps3 ps2 ps1.
Oh... And don't forget full price plz.
Thank god PS5 is on the road!!!
Doing physical for this!
Yeah I think I’ll buy this. I couldn’t make my mind up so I just tossed a coin LOL. It’s only what 45 squid for both games? Seems like a total bargain.
Tea be told I actually own both games on my PS4 already HOWEVER I simply can’t pain myself enough to play them on a controller. It’s literally all about joycons AND motion control these days hon. Gosh it’s exactly like Doom and Wolfenstein 2 again. Buy games on PS4 (or I even think gifted. Games are so cheap but I don’t recall spending the tiny amount buying Doom and Wolfenstein on PSN. I must have got codes from my friends/work stuff.
Fun secret I feel like spilling. Famous devs often get codes that net you their entire library for that console. It’s a VIP like system often reserved for bosses and their friends. I’ve collected a few in my time and I must have Bethesda’s as I even own Fallout 4 yet I never ever wanted to play that (just looks like a rehash of Fallout 3 so I skipped it).
There you go I taught you something new today! Don’t say I ever give you anything sweeties!
@glorymade don't forget Grid, Sniper Elite 3, Call of Juarez, Dragon FighterZ and Diablo 3
Wow! I owe ordered the download a while ago and when I got back from work tonight there it was and WOW! What a port! What a game!
Wireless earphones in, gulikit adaptor in and wow!
This is absolutely stunningly chuffing brilliant!!!!
Did I say wow?! Wow!
Can’t wait to play these on my Switch! Getting the third game for PS4.
"why on earth"?
Did they give it away for free on a portable system I'm not aware of that also docks to a tv at 1080 and that I can take on an actual metro to play?
I have this on steam and loved it. It's superior in my opinion to Last Light (but Last Light theme track is amazing). The steam redux was a bit janky to me. There are so many actions that configuring a steam controller was kinda nightmarish, though worth it in the end. There is something about just turning on the switch and playing that makes me purchase all my old pc games here.
Its a very good game
@Richnj back in those days I left 3rd party to the PS3 and X360. Only nintendo exclusives on the wii, or the rare exception.
@Trilobietman I hope so, just bought it on sale for less than $7, so if it sucks, eh oh well. Only about 15 mins worth of pay wasted anyway.
This game is way too hard for me. What am I missing?
I have it on Normal... and I get killed constantly -and/or run out of ammo the entire time.
Looked decent and ran pretty good... needs Easy mode for people that aren't hardcore and just want to enjoy a game, I am getting torn to shreds in Metro 2033!!
I enjoyed it when it came out and it's on sale for $2.50 so guess I'll give it another go for the gyro aiming alone.
@HXLXIII Weird place to brag about your pay but whatever gives you self worth.
@SteamEngenius wasn't trying to come across as bragging but ok. If you wanna be salty about it? Be my guest.
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