Metro Redux just came out, and it contains one of the best examples of a remake in recent history. That remake is Metro 2033 Redux.
Why is Metro 2033 Redux so good? Well, it took Metro 2033 and made us look at it in a new light. First of all, it introduced new gameplay mechanics, like the ability to wipe your visor. This tiny simple design from Metro: Last Light changed the game in numerous ways.
Metro 2033 was originally a very dark game, for a number of reasons. First of all, the game simply didn’t run on the best engine. It was an old game and there were limits in models and lighting that kept the game from being really awesome looking.
As a result, the developers took advantage of their graphics systems and made the game dark and scummy. This really hammered home the idea of the post-apocalyptic world where everything was destroyed and you needed a gas mask just to walk on the surface.
However, the upgrade to the Metro: Last Light engine changed all that. Now they had a much better engine, much more detailed models, and a much greater ability to pull off tricks with lighting. On one hand, this allowed the game to look absolutely gorgeous. On the other hand, it made the game less scary. When enemies and environments are briskly detailed, you become more aware of the danger around you, and the dark and murky oppressive environment evaporates.
That’s where wiping off your visor comes in. Instead of the game being naturally dark and murky, it is now artificially dark and murky. Grime can splatter on your visor at basically any time. To stay alert of your surroundings and combat ready you have to wipe it off every so often.
Tedious? Yes. But also ingenious. Now, instead of an enemy suddenly appearing out of the shadows which were there due to a primitive lighting engine, enemies appear the second your wipe off your visor to get a good look. The effect is still the same, you never know what is lurking beyond the blood and grime, but it’s been turned into a game mechanic now.
This is what makes Metro 2033 a great remake, not just this one game mechanic, but all the added game mechanics from weapons to new rooms in maps.
All too often remakes are really just texture pack upgrades. However, that’s rarely worth paying full price. Fans used to create texture pack upgrades for fun for lots of old-school games. The idea of paying full price for it is less appealing at best.
Metro 2033 Redux, however, still guides you through the same game, but adds just a tiny bit more. These small new game mechanics change the way we look at the game as a whole without completely remaking the game from scratch. This is the sort of thought that I hope will be put into all remakes from this point on.
Former Contributing Writer