The Nintendo Switch has seen its fair share of impressive ports as of late, some of which are of older releases that are great to be able to play again on the go thanks to the console’s portability. Despite this, I was quite surprised to see that Metro Redux was coming to the platform – not just because it’s an older game, but also because I didn’t think that the console would be able to run it that well.
Yet again though, I’ve been left blown away by what the Nintendo Switch is capable of. Metro Redux pushes the console to its limits, but in doing so offers a mighty impressive release that manages to look outstanding in-game and run fluidly throughout with very little in the way of performance issues. I really, REALLY think that the Nintendo Switch is slowly becoming my favourite console of all time…
The two games included in Metro Redux (Metro 2033 and Metro: Last Light) tell the story of Artyom, a survivor of a Nuclear war that affected Russia badly and left it a radioactive wasteland. With society rebuilding within Russia’s metro system, the story tells of the gruelling conditions the survivors find themselves in, the on-going politics that sees friction constantly break out within the metro system, and the new mysterious threats that linger following the devastation.
I don’t want to say too much about the narrative because it really is one of the highlights of the experience. The narrative interweaves believable and supernatural elements together to provide a tale that is hard not to find yourself fascinated by, whilst the colourful personalities you encounter, the betrayals you face, and the seemingly endless string of unfortunate incidents that Artyom finds himself in ensure that you’ll be gripped into the tale right until the very end.
As mentioned, there are two games within Metro Redux: Metro 2033 and Metro: Last Light. Both games offer similar experiences that see you working through the deadly metro and exploring newly-founded settlements, facing off against enemies in action-packed shoot outs, and finding ways to survive the threat of the strange creatures that are lurking in the shadows. Metro 2033 has more of a survival focus than Metro: Last Light with the latter featuring a more action-orientated sequences than the first game, but there are difficulty settings in place that allow you to change each one up to suit your playstyle.
I don’t feel like I need to talk about the gameplay too much because these games have been available for some time now. Basically, the gunplay is satisfying, the levels are well-designed and offer players the chance to either play sneakily or go all-guns blazing, whilst the narrative is expertly paced to keep you on the edge of your seat as you explore the desolate world. There are collectibles to find that give extra tid-bits of the story for those who like to explore, whilst the upgradable guns of Metro: Last Light give shooting fans something to tinker about with. They’re just finely crafted first-person adventures that are a whole lot of fun to play.
What’s more important is how they run on the Nintendo Switch; Metro Redux offers two visually impressive games after all, and they’ve been given plenty of improvements across the board from their original release on last-gen consoles. Thankfully, I’m happy to report that they look splendid on the Nintendo Switch, with the visuals looking incredible throughout (especially when playing handheld). I’d go as far as saying that these are the best looking game on the Nintendo Switch, whilst the consistent (albeit 30fps) frame rate ensures everything looks fluid throughout.
The only real technical issues came with the load times, which can be fairly lengthy in places. In fairness, they’re not all bad, but when you hit a long one you can expect to be waiting well over a minute to get back into the action. At one point I even thought the game had crashed, so yeah, that show how long of a wait it can be…
It’s also probably worth noting that these are dark games, so playing in handheld mode can be a little difficult if you’ve got a lot of natural light in the room. In honesty, the atmosphere and themes of Metro Redux make them feel like the kind of games you’d want to play in the dark of night anyway, but those who don’t have that as an option and want to play on the Nintendo Switch’s portable mode may find themselves squinting as they try to make out what’s going on in the dimly-lit tunnels. It’s not a game-breaking issue by any stretch of the imagination and it certainly hasn’t affected our review score, but it’s worth bearing in mind.
With their dark and haunting narratives, their finely-crafted shooting, and their excellent performance on the console, Metro Redux offers a pair of gripping adventures that feel perfectly at home on the Nintendo Switch. They’re two of the best looking games available on the console right now and they really do push the hardware to its limits; this does come with the caveat of some long loading times here and there, but it’s hard not to be impressed by what the port offers.
If you’re a new to Artyom’s adventures in Russia’s underground system, Metro Redux on the Switch offers a fantastic way to experience them that manages to more than hold its own against its PlayStation 4 and Xbox One counterparts.
Developer: 4A Games
Publisher: Deep Silver
Platform(s): Nintendo Switch (Reviewed), PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC