Review – Metro 2033 Redux (Switch)

I love when developers attempt to port games that completely deviate from the Switch’s overall (and completely untrue) stereotype of only featuring “colorful, family-friendly titles that don’t push any hardware boundaries beyond what the Wii U could do last gen”. I loved when Bethesda decide to release both Doom and Wolfenstein for the system. I am still in love with the fact that CD Projekt Red and Saber Interactive managed to make The Witcher 3 run on the Switch’s hardware. I even appreciated when Frogwares eventually ported and released their deeply flawed, yet still somewhat enjoyable The Sinking City last year. The new inductee to this ever growing group is Deep Silver and 4A’s Metro 2033 Redux.


The visuals are fantastic, but the overall character models have aged a bit.

I’ll state the following based on the assumption that you have never played or even heard of the Metro series beforehand. This is a collection of games based on a series of novels written by Russian author Dmitry Glukhovsky. Metro 2033 is the first game in the trilogy, originally released in 2010 for PC and Xbox 360. Then it was eventually remastered and re-released for PS4 and Xbox One in 2014 as Metro 2033 Redux. This is the version that has been ported to the Switch, including all of the revamps and quality of life improvements featured on the other console ports. Albeit with a few limitations due to the fact that the Switch’s hardware is nowhere near as powerful as the PS4.

The game is set in post-apocalyptic Russia, twenty years after a nuclear war had nearly wiped out the entire population of Earth. The few remaining survivors have sought shelter and created a brand new society in Moscow’s huge metro system, living their entire lives underground and using bullets as currency. People are born, live, reproduce, and die without ever seeing the light of day. The surface is now devastated by radiation and mutated animals, although the underground isn’t exactly populated by the best folks out there. You play as Artyom, a young lad set on delivering a dog tag to some superiors on a nearby station out of a promise. A series of events unfold soon after, and we get an entire sci-fi, post-apocalyptic, survival horror/shooter hybrid as a result.


Play Free Bird!!

Don’t let the first-person perspective, gigantic arsenal, and handful of insane action-heavy set pieces fool you. Metro 2033 Redux is, above anything else, a survival horror game with a big emphasis on the survival bit. This is a game in which every single bullet matters, be it the one used as currency or the one used to obliterate a mutant’s skull, as there aren’t many lying around. The same can be said about health pickups, air filters for your gas mask, and other accessories.

Metro 2033 Redux works best during slower, stealth-oriented sections. In these segments you’ll need to use your surroundings and the overall lack of light in order to avoid enemies and traps, as well as take advantage of the same circumstances in order to surprise them. This game’s AI is really impressive, resulting in extremely tense situations, especially when you can barely see what’s in front of you. Using a light source is always a risky thing, but you almost feel compelled to do just so you can see 4A Games’ proprietary engine achieving some impressive feats on the Switch.

Back in the day, Metro 2033 was considered a technical marvel that pushed GPUs to their limits, just like Metro Exodus did in 2019. Granted, we are talking about a game that, as of the writing of this review, is ten years old (albeit slightly improved after being remastered). However, some of its graphical features are still impressive to this day, especially when we’re considering the game is running on the Switch.


All of this is running on what basically is mobile hardware. Kudos, 4A Games.

The lighting effects are absolutely impressive, outclassing some other technical achievements such as The Witcher 3 and Outlast in every conceivable way. The quality of the textures, something that always suffers a downgrade whenever a game is ported to the Switch, is kept mostly intact. Every single sign is completely legible… as long as you know how to read Russian, of course. To top things off, the framerate is always locked at 30fps, which might not seem like a lot, but considering the Switch’s hardware, it’s still worthy of praise. Some aspects haven’t aged so gracefully, such as the Source-esque character models, and the resolution isn’t as high as the one featured in other consoles. Still, I can’t deny the fact that Metro 2033 looks pretty good on Switch, despite its few issues.

If I had to point out a major issue with this port, however, that would be the loading times. They are excruciatingly long, sometimes taking up to a minute to fully load a small segment of a map. I assume that has something to do with file compressing, as other games have suffered the same issue on the Switch, such as the port of Rayman Legends. This is a game with a ton of (well-acted) voicework, so that wouldn’t surprise me at all.

I still have my gripes regarding the joycons as well. I don’t think they are the best controllers for a first-person shooter that requires precise aiming and complete control of your analog movement. You have the option to turn motion controls on, however, which helps a bit. If you have a Pro Controller, don’t even think twice, just use that bad boy and forget that I ever mentioned anything regarding controller issues.


What a perfect time for a nap…

I might have a few gripes with the Switch version of Metro 2033 Redux, namely the limitations imposed by the joycons and its insanely long loading times, but I need to commend how impressive it is to have a game of this scope running so beautifully on the Switch’s hardware. Granted, this isn’t exactly the best pick for portable play, being slow-paced, story-driven, and dark as all hell, but it’s still a definitive purchase for survival horror fans who can’t be bothered to buy yet another Resident Evil for the Switch.


Graphics: 9.0

An impressive achievement for the Switch when it comes to framerate stability, lighting effects, and textures. The resolution is lower than in other ports, as to be expected. The character models definitely haven’t aged very well.

Gameplay: 8.0

Your standard first-person shooter controls, although nowhere near as fast-paced as other contemporaries. As always, a game like this is best played with a Pro Controller.

Sound: 9.0

The voice acting might sound weird at first, given the thick Russian accent present in every single character, but pretty much everyone in the game delivers a great (and very serious) performance.

Fun Factor: 7.5

While Metro 2033 Redux is a surprising technical achievement on the Switch, and playing it on the console is as good as it would have been in any other system, this isn’t exactly best suited for portable play. This slower-paced, story-heavy title is best experienced in docked mode. Also be aware of the long loading times.

Final Verdict: 8.0

Metro 2033 Redux is available now on PS4, Xbox One, PC and Switch.

Reviewed on Switch.