This is my ongoing exploration of the Metro games, played in release order. I will chronicle my playthrough of each title in turn and discuss any recurring themes and noteworthy events. This time I complete Metro 2033 Redux.
I had survived the library, and with a group of rangers we had made it to D6, the abandoned missile base…
Unfortunately, it was locked and Miller had me slide beneath a blast door before it snapped shut. The room I was in was full of what I could only describe as pulsating egg sacks, and the scorpion-like mutant that skittered around from cover didn’t dissuade that notion. I blasted the spiderbug and it ran off. There were lots of holes in the walls, so I knew that more would come.
It didn’t stop me being horrified due to my arachnophobia, when more appeared. I blasted away and threw a molotov, eventually killing the bloody things. Of course, this being the Metro, another one appeared. I was aware that it wasn’t a fan of my torchlight, but with it skittering everywhere I wasn’t able to keep it up without having the overwhelming need to gun the bastard down.
The sound of the rangers fighting something echoed through the hallway as I went down a manhole. I grabbed my flamethrower and burnt the two spiderbugs that came at me, then I legged it up a tunnel and a ramp made up of wooden planks. I dropped down into a cave, which is honestly something that surprised me. I knew the metro tunnels, I didn’t realise there might be even more tunnels beneath Moscow.
Rather than stick around, I headed for a light which turned out to be in the more modern metro system. I opened a door and, hearing a noise behind me, slammed it shut. Luckily, the rangers were ahead of me, and I hurried over. They reported that Stepan had died, but not how. Before things got too maudlin, Miller heard a noise - something was coming towards us. Rather than the expected mutants, it was an automatic train. We climbed aboard, and set course for D6.
Upon arrival, the place was filled with a thick fog. We grabbed our gas masks and debarked the train. Miller and I went through the fog, finding ourselves in a depot, and headed for a control room which would hopefully turn on the air filtration system. It was dark and creepy, but despite our guard we didn’t need to worry. Unfortunately, the controls required repair, so Miller sent me off to the auxiliary controls upstairs, which required turning on at his mark, in order. Once this was done, the fog quickly cleared, and after Miller punched the panel, the lights came on.
The place looked a lot less scary, and more impressive, with the lights on. The others were stood on a platform which moved down a railing to meet us once we left the control room, and we all rode it down a floor or two. I wasn’t too happy to notice spiderbug eggs along the walls further down, and even more dismayed when I found some on the same floor as us, near the big door we had to find a way through.
Miller did something to one of the electric carts, and it went on to push the door open for us. We went into the command centre and Vladimir booted up the system - but it killed the batteries, leaving us with only emergency lighting. Ulman, Miller and I left to activate the reactor on the lowest floor, but were attacked by some kind of orbs. Miller told Ulman to stay and guard Vladimir, and took me to the platform, where we headed down. There were weird growths on the walls which produced more orbs to attack us. With my ammo running very low, I opted to stay behind and, where possible, throw dynamite to destroy them before they were produced.
At the elevator, we were spoken to by the Invisible Watchers. Thankfully, it was just Ulman screwing around with the now-activated speaker system. Once the elevator went down, we saw what had caused the weird growths on the walls. Some mass of pink living matter was covering the reactor. The elevator arrived below it, so Miller and I hurried through to a ladder, which led to the control room. Miller activated it, but it only brought the reactor to a portion of full power. He told me to head up to a crane on the ceiling, and he would distract the blob that had fired something at the control room window.
Obviously, I was not too happy about it, but ran like hell along the gantry and up a ladder. I jumped into the crane’s seat. Powered up, I had to move over to three areas to remove the rods. It would have been easy if the thing wasn’t firing at me the whole time… Once it was done, I maneuvered to another gantry and dropped back into the control room through a roof hatch. Miller and I left, with him vowing to come back and deal with whatever the hell that was later.
We went up another lift and met Ulman at a platform next to a train. We boarded the train, with Ulman again remaining to guard Vladimir, and left for Ostankino Tower, where we needed to reposition the missile system’s targeting laser, and also happened to be where this story began…
As before, I was saved from an oncoming vehicle by Miller, and we watched as watchmen surrounded us. They attacked, and we fought them off until demons joined the skirmish. I was out of ammo for my AK and my flamethrower, so was wasting valuable money-ammo. The good thing was that I had over 300 of them.
Miller and I made a break for it, fighting off watchmen as we went for the tower. After a couple of waves, we were in the tower and had to find a way up to the top. Miller had the bright idea of us getting on the elevator, and him taking off the counterweight - which propelled us upwards at a rate of meters per second, and upon arriving with a thud almost threw me off of the tower through a missing wall!
Miller survived intact, but a demon was on us, wanting to eat some fresh human flesh. I escaped back into the elevator, inches away from the demon’s claws before it ran off. I made a break for it, trying to get to Miller as the demon kept coming for me. When I reached him, the demon burst through a wall and smashed into Miller. I shot the demon, it falling to a single magazine, and Miller told Ulman to get in touch with me, as he was injured.
Following orders, I continued my climb to get as high as possible. I jumped onto a ladder, which made it begin to fall as I climbed it. I got onto a gantry and managed to get inside the building. There, the Dark Ones spoke, saying that I was there to kill them - which was right. Very astute, these Dark Ones.
Out through a door, I went around and up some broken metal work. Back in through an open door, there was a broken gantry which I managed to jump across. Until it began to crumble. I grabbed a metal cable and pulled myself up along it to safety as the gantry fell apart below me. I went up a ladder, and was finally high enough to set up the apparatus I had brought all this way. Ulman told me that it was perfect - that was when the Dark Ones struck.
Gathering in my mind, I couldn’t count their number before they took me somewhere. The ground appeared below my feet and disappeared after me, as I tried to escape a prison they had made through one of four doors. Two led to blank walls, one to nothingness - the final one to a Dark One. It grabbed me from the other end of the hallway and I had a flash of the real world, with my body going past the apparatus and about to fall to my death, but then I was in another prison.
I ran through a hallway, stopping before a Dark One could grab me. I ran away back in the opposite direction, then turned again when another one appeared. I kept running until I spotted a human, but before I reached them I fell to my knees and then fell into another apparition. This one was a mix of the two, with appearing floors and a seemingly endless tunnel that had a Dark One “chasing” me. It didn’t appear to move, but I had no intention of finding out. Until I slipped and fell over.
Figuring I was destined for another prison, I was surprised to be handed a revolver by Hunter. He disappeared and I turned, shooting the Dark One that was close behind me. It fell, and I awoke at the top of the tower, with a Dark One dead on the steps in front of me. Ulman told me that the missiles had launched, and I sat back to watch the fireworks. They flew past the tower and blitzed the city a few miles from me, eradicating the Dark Ones and saving Exhibition…
Well, it was a very different game to what I expected before I began - I had no idea of the story, the cast of characters or even the weapons. Weapon customisation was great, though the use of some gauges of ammo as money annoyed me because it meant that I was literally wasting money if I didn’t conserve my ammo. However, it was a fantastic touch, and I really liked it.
One thing I wasn’t too big a fan of was the voice acting. The adults were acted well enough, but the child’s voice was awful. I wouldn’t have minded too much, but I watched a bit of gameplay from the non-Redux version of the game, and it actually sounded like a child.
Due to the rotating cast of characters and enemies, I liked that no two levels were the same. Some you had company, several had human enemies, and at no point did the metro feel safe. Nor did the surface, because your filter could need changing right at the same moment you needed to reload and giving you the choice between suffocating or being mauled.
The creature attacks were honestly disappointing. I died a few times, though I didn’t write about it, and was upset that each monster has a single attack pattern. The same noise, the same slash/bite/punch again and again until you die, kill it or get away. The mutants themselves were designed very well, and each certainly elicited a reaction from me, but the attacks did make them feel a bit flat.
I really enjoyed Metro 2033 Redux. It took me 15 hours exactly to complete (including those long opening credits whenever I started the game), and I got 17 out of 49 Steam achievements. I look forward to next time, when I begin Metro: Last Light Redux.