<span class="bold">Metro Last Light Redux</span>
Starting a few days after the events of Metro 2033, Last Light puts you once again in the shoes of Artyom, who has now become a ranger.
Your commander will send you on an apparently simple mission, but from there on everything will turn for the worse and you will be needed to act fast to avoid a war that could bring the last few remnants of humanity to extinction.
Comparing it to 2033, I must say that last Light looses its mystery: this time the problems Artyom will have to face are all very “human”, and there will not be that shroud of creepy mystery that surrounded the first episode; yet, the plot is well thought, thrilling an perfectly working -the developers have just swapped a main theme to another.
The atmosphere that made its predecessor great is still there: once again, the games of light and darkness, smoke and spiderwebs, rubble and post-nuclar nature grants always an impressive sight, always appropriate on every context, and the new graphic engine helps a lot. Not only the visual fidelity is nothing short of impressive, but unlike Metro 2033 the game runs very well, flawlessly form me unless I tried to set everything to very high. There, I suppose any machine would struggle, but in truth it is not a big problem, as lowering the options a bit offers just a minimal visual downgrade for a great improvement in performance.
Also, all animations are much smoother than in 2033 and the physics respond massively better, especially when displaying the effect of a taken bullet.
For what concern the rest, the game is the same as its predecessor with several refinements: the weapons and in-game markets makes more sense now, allowing you to customize your weapons of choice rather than simply selling gear you could easily find on the ground; the shooting is just as good, especially in Ranger mode, where 4A tried to use maximum realism, with the limit of two weapons carried, a very high damage output for both you and the enemies, non-regenerating health and a series of expedients that will force you to spare your resources and play like in a real survival game, genuinely fearing for your life each time you are forced to fight, especially the horrible and ravenous mutated beasts.
I have particularly appreciated the effort put into making the world more believable: the developers managed to craft multiple approaches to most maps, thankfully abandoning the corridor/cutscene scheme that defined the first Metro. This time you will not be submerged by cinematics (even if there are still a lot of them), and many time you could learn more about what is going on by eavesdropping, reading logs or simply watching your surrounding to deduce what did or is about to happen.
Stealth is not a nice addition anymore, but one of the main points of the game; this time, you can pass almost every human inhabited area without being noticed, and other that using sneaky predatory tactics “à la Riddick” you can also ghost entire sections without ever being noticed, with the help of your watch (it signals when you are visible), the night vision goggles and a wise use of light switches, light bulb unscrewing, engine shuttings ans several other distractions.
The only thing I still don't understand is the morality system: once again, to obtain the alternate ending, you will have to generally do good deeds (and this is right), listen to certain conversations and finding corpses of stashes.
The game entirely revolves on Artyom, but Last Light Redux contains a few additional, optional missions starring other characters you met on your travels that give a nice background of what was going on behind the scenes.
All in all, despite losing a bit of its mysterious charm, I found Metro Last Light to be a massively better game than Metro 2033, one that I wouldn't hesitate to recommend to everyone.
Suggestion: the game, like Metro 2033, has an extremely long sponsor presentation sequence. To avoid making the game take more than three minutes to start -I'm not joking- you can cut 2/3 of the legal blubbering by replacing the file "legal.ogv" with a modified text file bearing the same name.