Metro 2033 Redux review for Nintendo Switch

Platform: Nintendo Switch
Also on: PC, Xbox One, PS4
Publisher: Koch Media
Developer: 4A Games
Medium: Digital/Cartridge/Disc
Players: 1
Online: No

One of the criticisms that big-budget games get when they?re ported to the Switch is that, more often than not, sacrifices need to be made in order to get the games working properly. This isn?t entirely unfounded. I mean, I loved The Witcher 3, and Skyrim, and Bioshock, and all kinds of other classics that have come over to Nintendo?s hybrid console, but I think it?s clear that they don?t necessarily look as good as they do on other systems.

Metro 2033 seems to have discovered the solution to this challenge: make everything as dark and dank as possible. If no one can see what?s happening, after all, no one can see the rough edges and papered-over seams.

That?s not meant to be a criticism, by the way. I didn?t play much of the Metro franchise on other consoles, but I played enough to know it?s meant to be all claustrophobic and eerie, a post-apocalyptic future where humanity has mostly been forced underground into dank tunnels and where unknown dangers lie in wait to tear you apart. The dark graphics are a feature, not a bug, which means that the game didn?t have to sacrifice too much to come over to the Switch. When monsters charge at you through flickering lights, the experience is the same here as you?d get on any other console.

And since Metro 2033 is based so much around its atmosphere — gloomy, desperate, tense — it works here mostly pretty well. This is a game where you have to scrounge for and preserve your bullets, and where you often have to make the choice to run rather than stay and fight. That experience has arrived on the Switch fully intact.

The one area where the game may be a little lacking, however, is the combat. Every so often you have no choice but to stand and fight, and when that happens, it feels like you?re fighting with the game?s controls as much as you are with the monsters. Your aim has to be precise, but not only do you have to contend with lousy guns, low-light and erratically moving enemies, you?re also fighting with an aiming system that feels like it?s working at cross-purposes from you.

That said, given that Metro 2033 is a survival horror game, that?s not the worst area for this port to feel a little off. Fighting insane monsters with old guns would definitely be a challenge, so in that respect the game is kind of spot on.

But really, focusing on combat in a game like Metro 2033 is kind of missing the point. You?re here to survive to see the next day, not go in with guns blazing and rack up body counts. It?s a dark, tension-filled experience, and it?s well worth checking out on the Switch if you haven?t yet had a chance to play it.

Koch Media provided us with a Metro 2033 Redux Switch code for review purposes.

Grade: A