Metro 2033 is a post nuclear apocalyptic survival horror game based in Moscow, where civilization is forced to retreat into the depths of the Moscow metro tunnels shoulder-to-shoulder with mutant monsters. Artyom, a semi-silent character who you control, is given the mission to save his home station from the monster infested metro systems.
Metro 2033 offers a strong, intriguing and intricately crafted story-line which is presented through the dynamic characters that surround Artyom. Artyom must save his home station after it was attacked by a unique enemy called the dark ones. Artyom must seek help from the Metro, and so is sent off to do this. Artyom meets many different characters throughout his journey such as Bourbon, Pavel and Khan. These characters assist Artyom in his journey to save his home. However Artyom’s journey gains much more importance than expected, as after saving a little boy named Sasha while trying to escape the Nazis, Artyom eventually meets the colonel of Polis, which is the main power in the Metro. After discussing with the colonel on how to help his home station, it is decided that nothing can be done and instead Artyom must now find a powerful missile named D6 to annihilate the home of the dark ones on the surface.
Atmospheric Elements & Survival Horror aspects
The Atmosphere in Metro 2033 is second to none, the immersion that this game offers to you is almost overwhelming as when you are exploring the dark, monster infested tunnels you feel as if you are really in Moscow, exploring and killing monsters- which sounds stupid, but really! When encountered by mutant enemies, which leap at you through what I can only describe as a dark
void, you are forced to use your natural human instinct instead of actually playing the game. Moreover on this point, when playing a game and being encountered by enemies, you would normally evaluate the situation to decide what to do next, but in Metro 2033 you use your fight or flight instinct- which is a totally different experience to any game I’ve ever played, and I think that this is all down to the brilliant atmosphere.
Metro 2033 Redux performs at a smooth sixty frames per second and shows the hard work of those at 4A games as the graphics are remarkable. The graphics really do supply that extra piece of immersion that makes Metro 2033 so atmospheric and detailed.
The desolate wasteland above the Metro is detailed and a real danger to you. Unlike exploring the Metro, on the surface you can be attack by demons, massive air born creatures that pick you up with their deathly talons and throw you from 30+ ft high in the air. Along with this there are mutant Bears, rats, wolfs, spiders, rhinos and the absolutely terrifying Librarian (mutant gorilla). The dark ones are really the highlight out of all the enemies in this game. These tall, black, imposing, silhouetted figures can control the minds of humans while also terrorizing them. This enemy is shown off more in Metro Last Light, but in Metro 2033 they are merely just menacing mutant creatures.
When exploring the wasteland above you will need a gas mask on, this adds a lot of realism to the game and also an extra challenge, as when you’re being mercilessly attacked by enemies there is a large chance your gas mask can crack, which can lead you to death quite quickly. Also, when your in combat or it’s raining and you have your gas mask on, pressing r1/rb on your controller makes Artyom wipe the mask with his hand to clean the mask of its blood or rain that may hinder your vision. These little details really add up to create a bigger picture, and I love them- if you wipe you mask one hundred times, you get an achievement!
Combat & Weaponry
Metro 2033 is a first-person shooter and serves this very well, its big (and better) brother Metro Last Light is also a first person shooter. Like most games, you start out with a simple, non-customised gun and throughout the game you will gain enough resources and progress to be able to customise and create a much more powerful weapon to the one you started out with. There’s everything from crossbows to snipers in Metro 2033 which is fulfilling enough even for a Rank 5 Gun Nut! (that was a bad fallout reference I know). Shotguns are my personal favourite as you can upgrade them to a quadruple barrel, which is quite overpowered but very satisfying to use. Guns possess realistic recoil and can be customised to your own will at the small Metro towns you will come across, depending on how much ammo you have, which is the currency in the Metro, you can buy parts for your guns or try out a totally different gun.
Along with the guns of course is the ammo, without one you cannot have another, and in Metro 2033 you will have to ration your precious bullets intelligently. Ammo can be found and collected by exploring the metro tunnels or by picking up the loot of your dead enemies, and as previously mentioned, ammo serves as the currency in the Metro- which I really do like as I have not seen this element in games before it poses as a tactical challenge.
My Overall Thoughts
Personally, Metro 2033 Redux is an underrated game possibly just because it is made by a relatively unknown company (4A Games). But I assure you that Metro 2033 offers what other survival horror games do and much more! I was glued to this game for days upon days, and I think that especially due to its lower price these days, everyone should experience a nuked Moscow underground in the Metro.