Reviews - Updated on April 7, 2022

The series of ports on the Nintendo Switch that previously seemed impossible continues – in February, the first two parts of Metro were released on the console. And if other major games were transferred not by their creators, but by third-party studios, then the 4A Games team decided to port Artyom’s adventures on their own. Let’s put aside the jokes about “Metro in the subway” and get straight to the point.

We did it all ourselves

As in the cases with Alien: Isolation and Skyrim, they began to transfer the Metro dilogy to the Nintendo Switch not from the old generation of consoles, but from the current one. The owners of the hybrid platform received updated versions of Metro 2033 and Metro: Last Light with the Redux subtitle for each of them. They are purchased in Nintendo eShop separately from each other, and they are also downloaded. The physical version contains a cartridge that contains both games – no additional downloads are required.

You can read reviews of Metro 2033 and Metro: Last Light here and here, and since we didn’t devote any materials to the 2014 reissues, it’s worth telling a little about them. Versions of Redux include all existing add-ons, graphical changes like improved lighting and better animations, as well as a bunch of gameplay fixes and innovations. Artificial intelligence has grown wiser, the mechanics of battles have become a little different, the controls have been made more convenient, and so on. Plus, two game styles appeared in both parts: “Spartan” and “Survival”. The former is for action gamers who don’t want to think about resources and ammo often, while the latter makes consumables rarer.

The Switch version received an exclusive “feature” – gyroscope control. In the settings, you can change the sensitivity and invert both axes. There you can also choose one of three button configurations, change the vibration strength of the “joycons” (by default, for some reason, it is turned to the maximum, which makes the controllers literally make noise) and swap bumpers and triggers. In the next menu, the language of dubbing and subtitles changes – voices can be in Russian, Ukrainian and four European languages ​​\u200b\u200b(without English), and you don’t need to download anything extra when switching.

There are no other unique features, including bonus content, for the Switch versions. But hardly anyone expected to see them here: first of all, the collection of Metro Redux on the Switch is a portable version of existing games, which, together with the “wired” DLC, will last for quite a long time, especially if you set yourself the goal of seeing all the endings and trying not to kill.

No Subway Jokes - Metro Redux on Switch

Those who fell in love with Metro for its atmosphere will feel it in the Switch versions as well.

Unfading beauty

In stationary mode, both Metro 2033 and Metro: Last Light are played at 1080p. Everything looks very nice – there are no ugly smeared textures, the characters look like themselves, and the atmosphere has not disappeared. All objects remained in their places – if there are a lot of people in some scene (for example, at a theater performance in Last Light), none of them were harmed during porting. They didn’t remove the reflections in the mirrors, the cobweb, which Artyom removes with a lighter, continues to hang where it was hung in the original versions of the games — in general, everything here is the same as everywhere else.

Of course, the quality of the textures and geometry suffered slightly, but you can only see this with a close examination. All sorts of details like Dmitry Glukhovsky’s scattered books and musical instruments that you can interact with look great, not to mention larger things. Moreover, I did not find a clear contrast between the locations outside and the subway – there is no feeling that the tunnels are better detailed. Both there and there everything looks great, and even more so with high-quality lighting. True, there is a small bug here, due to which the light from fire and light bulbs sometimes breaks through obstacles – it is insignificant, but it is difficult not to notice.

In handheld mode, shooters run at 720p, the maximum resolution for the Switch screen. And in this form, they look amazing: all effects and lighting are preserved, you don’t pay attention to textures at all. But here you face the same problem as in Alien: Isolation – very often you find yourself in dark locations that you explore with a frail flashlight, so it is difficult to see what is happening on the screen in the bright light of the sun or a chandelier in the room. Trying to “stealth” when enemies merge with the environment is not very convenient. But to pass at night, before going to bed – ideal.

No Subway Jokes - Metro Redux on Switch

The transfer was painless even for extras – all people are in their places and are busy with the same things as in the original.

The optimization is most impressive – the frame rate is stably kept at around 30 frames / s. Usually, when you play ports on Switch from “large” consoles and notice drawdowns in difficult scenes, you wave your hand at these shortcomings – they say, the console is not the most powerful, it’s excusable to lose frames from time to time. In the Metro compilation, you expect something like this, but this moment does not come in the end. Even though you go to the surface and see a bunch of buildings, cars and all sorts of rubbish, even if you exchange fire with a dozen opponents at the same time, everything works as stably as possible.

Therefore, there is no time to think about the fact that you are playing games on a console, which, it seems, should not be suitable for such projects (especially with such a high-quality picture). Even the downloads here are not that long – in most cases, you have to wait half a minute at the most, and very rarely the process stretches for more than 60 seconds. This only applies to downloads when moving to the next level; if the hero died and the checkpoint is restarted, then they are not forced to wait at all – the phrase “Press A to continue” appears instantly.

There is nothing more to say about these ports – the same games on the new platform. The only innovation that I personally would like to see in these re-releases is the ability to skip videos on the engine. Still, both Metro came out on the last generation of consoles, and even after so many years, I almost remember most of the episodes by heart. Unfortunately, there is no such option here, and adding it is probably not so simple. Plus, these re-releases are primarily designed for those who get to know the series for the first time on the Switch, and not for those who played these shooters several times due to bugged trophies, as I did.

Even in dynamic scenes, there is not a hint of sagging frame rates.

***

The collection of Metro Redux for Switch is another impressive achievement of not the most powerful platform. Those who want to purchase these games specifically for a hybrid console will not feel disadvantaged – the ports look great and work stably, and the games themselves, although the gameplay is somewhat outdated (Metro 2033 is almost ten years old), are still good and in many ways unique. Beginners will not regret buying it, those who missed one of the parts can purchase it separately, but those who have studied both shooters inside and out have nothing to do here – unless you love the Metro universe so much that you want to return to it even outside the home.

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