Next week is huge for game releases. Not only do we return to the gridiron with Madden NFL 15, but we're also getting a double dose of post-apocalyptic action with Metro Redux, which includes remastered versions of both Metro 2033 and Metro: Last Light, with visual refinements and other gameplay tweaks.
This isn't just a quick package created to reintroduce players to the Metro franchise, but rather a director's cut of sorts, with a number of options available in both games that make them better than ever.
In case you need some convincing to pick up Metro Redux next week, we're happy to oblige.
Being able to play the under appreciated Metro 2033
When Metro 2033 originally came out for Xbox 360, it found a great core audience, but not nearly as big as it deserved. THQ, at the time, didn't give it the kind of promotional push it needed to be ultimately successful, although word of mouth helped it sell. Even though it wasn't your typical first-person shooter, with its limited ammunition, it became a fun cult classic.
In Redux, the ultimate version of 2033 is available, complete with a number of new options, should you not want to go the survival route. We'll cover this a little later on in the article.
PlayStation owners missed Metro because it was an Xbox 360 exclusive, so this is your chance to rediscover it again.
The apocalyptic presentation has never looked better
Metro Redux feels right at home on both the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 (as well as PC), and 4A Games went all out to make sure both games look better than ever.
With a 60 frames per second speed (even during the more intense gun battles with creatures and soldiers), improved lighting effects and more details than ever before, Metro Redux looks great across the board, even though the PlayStation 4 and PC versions support 1080p while Xbox One supports 900p. A small technicality, unless you have a really, really large TV, we assure you.
It's startling what kind of a difference 4A's new graphic engine made for this game, and you'll be able to see for yourself starting this Tuesday.
The story goes deeper than you might expect
Most first-person shooters follow a rather basic story, with the good guy chasing after the bad guy and so forth. However, the Metro saga delves a little deeper into the tale of Artyom, a soldier who survives a nuclear attack on Moscow, only to deal with the horrors that come after. If arguing with members of his own platoon isn't enough, Artyom has his hands full with angry wildlife, as well as strange alien beings introduced over the course of the story.
4A Games was inspired by Dmitry Glukhovsky, who wrote the original Metro 2033 novel and its supplementary stories, even though it didn't exactly copy the narrative, instead choosing to craft its own. The ambience is definitely there, though, and through a series of flashbacks, dreams and other sequences, it comes together in its own twisted way.
Plus, you can pretty much start anywhere you want in the package, though newcomers may want to begin with the original Metro. It'll give you a better idea of what kind of torment Artyom is going through, and prepare you for the events ahead in Last Light.
Not a fan of survival? Try Spartan
Metro 2033 underwent a few tiny changes in its conversion to PS4, Xbox One and PC, including the ability to perform stealth takedowns and wipe your mask free of blood and clutter, as you could in Last Light. Perhaps the biggest gameplay difference, however, lies in what play style you wish to choose.
You can still play in classic Survival mode, where your ammunition and supplies are limited and you'll have to take on tougher enemies. Now, though, you can also play in Spartan mode. This is similar to Last Light's set-up, with more action in the game, as well as access to more resources. Think of it as an "easy" mode in comparison to the game's original difficulty – something a few fans have been wondering if they'd get this time around.
We suggest trying out both types of gameplay. Survival is the classic way to go, especially if you want to rediscover Metro 2033 for what it originally was. However, Spartan isn't bad either, and there's a thrilling satisfaction in brutally taking down an enemy soldier from behind.
If you really want a challenge, however, check out Ranger Mode, which is available in both games. You'll have to work with hardcore rules, including tougher AI and the inability to access a heads-up display. Good luck.
Weapon customization is your friend
Finally, both Metro 2033 and Metro: Last Light come with a fair share of weapons, from the Abzats heavy automatic shotgun to the aptly named Bastard assault rifle. You'll run across a variety of weapons over the course of the game, and if you pick up enough bullets for currency, you'll be able to upgrade them, ranging from faster firing and reload rate to secondary accessories, like an aiming sight.
The upgrades can be a bit costly, but when it comes to staying alive under the streets of Moscow, every one you can get your hands on helps. Shop around and buy the ones that are best for you.
Oh, and when you get your hands on the Gatling, treat that baby right. Once it's at full capacity, it can tear through a good portion of enemies like paper.
Metro Redux will be available this Tuesday for PC, Xbox One and PlayStation 4.