The 2019 videogame, by now we have understood it, is a rich year and that, surely, will let itself be talked about for a long time. The amount of products with certain reliability - and success - that will see the light in the next eleven months is truly impressive. Already the first two bombs released in January - Resident Evil 2 Remake e Kingdom Hearts III - they are concrete proof.
The current year, however, is also the year of important returns: as we said earlier, in addition to the two giants mentioned, it will return in the coming months devil may cry, with what promises to be a bombastic fifth chapter, but the surprises don't end there. While not enjoying the same fame and notoriety as the productions listed so far, 2019 will also be the year of the return of the series. 4A Games Metro, inspired by the novel by the Russian writer Dmitry Glukhovsky (Metro 2033, in fact), which, in fact, will mark the conclusion of an epic trilogy, which probably has not received the success it deserved.
The third and final chapter, moreover, will bear the name of Metro Exodus and we honestly expect really great things. For the occasion, we have decided to replay the first two titles for you (but also for us), refreshing our memory and thus preparing us for the imminent mass exodus. Make yourself comfortable: the Metro is about to arrive!
Moscow, 2033 - A nuclear war has devastated the Earth and the few survivors are forced to live underground, in the subways of the Russian capital. The various stations are organized with their own "government", almost real city states, and to go from one station to another you have to go through the tunnels.
In the dark there are dangerous and mysterious creatures, including the Gloomy. They are beings with humanoid features and enormous psychic abilities, destined to inherit the Earth, now devastated by war. Going outside is dangerous and the air is contaminated: without a gas mask and filter you will face certain death. In the darkness of the tunnels, on the other hand, numerous enemies lurk, ready to eliminate anyone who dares to invade their territory.
In this distressing and oppressive atmosphere, the adventure of our protagonist unfolds, Artyom. Growing up under the northern districts of Moscow, he is commissioned by Hunter, mysterious friend of his stepfather, to take a message to the most important station, Polis, aimed at explaining to them the threat of the Dark. Having learned that the Polis council has no intention of intervening, Artyom has nothing left to do but go to the D6, bunker with attached missile complex capable of destroying the Garden, main point of aggregation of creatures.
The beautiful story of the title accompanies us for the duration of the adventure, keeping alive interest and tension: we never know what can be hidden in the dark and, the more we continue, the more we understand how things may not be as they seem.
Human beings are also a threat: many have joined in real gangs of criminals, willing to kill anyone for their own interests. As deadly as the creatures that populate the fascinating game world, they show how corrupt the nature of some human beings is and always willing to give the worst of themselves, should the opportunity arise. In the bases, however, we are faced with a completely different scenario: between merchants and soldiers, there are defenseless and hungry children, willing to act as Cicero for travelers for a few bullets (the game's currency). Going outside is then even more insidious than staying in the tunnels: although the light offers a glimmer of hope, one soon realizes how dangerous some creatures that populate the world are and how much the underground tunnels are not really like that. terrifying.
Misery, hunger, fear and tension are the predominant emotions within a bleak scenario, which accompanies Artyom's entire life, starting from his difficult childhood, of which we are occasionally offered some glimpses.
If the plot of the game appears to be pivotal for the purposes of the usability of the title, the same can be said only in part of the gameplay. The title shows itself as a classic FPS, with a rather high level of challenge and with some rather interesting playful ideas.
We are not dealing with a product that flexes muscles in this respect, but overall everything works as it should. The real sore point of the production is represented by the shooting system, where the various guns are often too light and give back an unripe and not very incisive feeling. To be honest, it is fair to point out that the weapons are many and very different also in use, but they fail to return those sensations found in other productions. We liked, for example, the mechanics of the gas mask: on the surface (but also in other, numerous, points of the map) it is not possible to survive due to radiation and it is the player's responsibility to remember to wear the life-saving tool and to replace the filter every time it is discharged. It should be noted that the title offers various advices on progression and does not even disdain to offer the player the possibility of approaching the various (numerous) shootings in a different way.
Artyom, for example, can silently kill enemy (human) enemies, taking care to turn off the lights present during the crossing; some creatures will not attack you because they are peaceful and disinterested in you, and so on. Artificial intelligence, we would like to say, is very lacking, both as regards the sporadic allies and as regards the enemies, with the exception of some beasts, seriously worrying to face and able to surround you.
Nothing to say about the longevity speech: to complete the main campaign it takes about ten hours of play, without, however, trying to find all the collectibles and worrying about satisfying the, to be honest, very few requests from the various inhabitants of the subway stations.
Graphically speaking Metro 2033 Redux defends itself quite well, but it is certainly not a product that excels in this respect. The technical realization of the title, both in the original version and in this remastered version, is rather modest, but still very respectable if we consider the release period.
We were not too convinced by the variety of settings, actually too small, but which, honestly, goes hand in hand with the nature of the story, which sets the story between the gloomy stations and a few other structures. Very beautiful, for example, is the Library, teeming with fascinating creatures and full of style. We would have liked to admire more structures of this kind, of course, but it is a very marginal and completely subjective criticism. In general, however, the title behaves discreetly both on PlayStation 4 and on Xbox One X, on which it runs (officially) at 1080p and 60 FPS, but in some cases it exposes itself to quite conspicuous drops in frame rates, capable of rendering some sequences even more difficult than normal.
Nothing to say about the sound sector: dialogues, dubbing and various effects are well made, and make it easier to let yourself be captured by a story as fascinating as it is disturbing.
Metro 2033 Redux is a charismatic and fascinating product that manages, without ever straying from the original material, to tell an excellent and complex story full of details, combining it perfectly with the pleasure of a good shooting, between one sequence and another.
We are faced with an FPS with major structural limitations, of course, but which overall works well. The sore points can be found in an all too confusing checkpoint system and in a perhaps slightly small longevity but, considering the nature of the production, all in all right.
If you haven't tried it yet, in view of the upcoming arrival of Metro Exodus, it might be the right time to do it, also considering the very modest selling price (the game is also included in the Game Pass subscription). Trust us!
Review by Salvatore Cardone
The remastered version of Metro 2033 offers a much more convincing general cleaning, sure, but still settles on rather low levels. After all, the starting material was already quite modest from a technical point of view and this edition fails to work miracles.
SOUNDTRACK AND DOUBLE ROOM
Nothing to say about the audio sector: dubbing, effects and music are of an excellent level and make it easier to immerse yourself in the game world.
The gameplay is excellent: although characterized by obvious limitations, it proves to be fresh, satisfying and always fun, without disdaining a rather high and satisfying level of challenge.