Metro 2033


Key events

1st September 2014

Face-Off: Metro Redux

16th March 2010

Metro 2033 launch trailer

16th March 2010

Metro 2033

3rd February 2010

Metro 2033 - Gameplay trailer

8th January 2010

Metro 2033 story trailer

2nd November 2009

Metro 2033 trailer

FeatureThe secret stories of Metro

'An empire of myths and legends'.

The station is abandoned, the platform crowned with a mountain of junk. There are books, pieces of furniture, newspapers, broken bicycles, busts of forgotten heroes - objects of the old world, collecting dust. Maybe objects remember too? At this station, people see things. Artyom had a vision of two old men, discussing god and fate, smoking shisha, while a cat lazily napped alongside. Homer saw things the way they were - the platform bustling with commuters in rush-hour, the polished ghost-like carriages gliding along the rails. And Hunter saw himself, or at least a part of himself he'd prefer not to recognise.

Barren wastelands. Decrepit and abandoned towns. Desolate landscapes ravaged by time and trauma. Recognisable landmarks slowly but surely reclaimed by nature after our demise. Games have consistently embraced the post-apocalyptic setting. It invites excitement, apprehension and a deep curiosity, and plays on the thought-provoking hypothetical, the 'what if?'. And when these post-apocalyptic environments and landscapes are incredibly detailed, they can result in great efficacy and power.

In a restaurant somewhere in sunny Los Angeles County, 13 years ago, two old friends were having lunch. Wine and conversation were flowing. They remembered how they'd met at LucasArts in the 90s. They weren't there to talk business but they did because video games were their bread and butter. One of the men, Jack Sorensen, was reeling-off job opportunities he knew of - he being executive vice president of worldwide studios at games publisher THQ. "THQ Australia?" he enquired. But the other man, Dean Sharpe, didn't seem interested. He had closed his own studio Big Ape Productions a couple of years earlier, dropped off the radar and taken a break, and now he was ready for something new. But Sharpe wanted a challenge.

The environments of massive open-world games, particularly in recent years, have been rightly praised for their representation, scale and design accuracy. However, there are some gems at the other end of the spectrum - environments that make you feel cramped, tense and desperate for a break. This is an approach to environment design utilised in our real-world, from gardens to architecture, and is mirrored excellently in some game environments, creating areas that trap us in cramped, claustrophobic conditions.

Face-Off: Metro Redux

Digital FoundryFace-Off: Metro Redux

Cross-format analysis, plus original vs remaster comparisons on PC.

Some might say that Deep Silver did everything it could to address the various controversies surrounding current-gen console remasters with the launch of its remarkable Metro Redux. 4A Games handed in code that was a truly transformative experience compared to its PS3 and Xbox 360 predecessors, it significantly improved and modernised Metro 2033 and the publisher did its best to bypass the 'rip-off cash-in' arguments often levelled at remasters by bundling both games together in a retail package available in the UK for less than £30. But what about PC?

This one was always going to be trickier. Resolution and frame-rate boosts mean little to a PC audience accustomed to tweaking settings and upgrading hardware in order to get the gameplay experience it wants. The idea of value is wildly skewed in the world of Steam summer sales - and where the original version of Metro 2033 was at one point literally given away for free. Deep Silver hasn't actively marketed any game-changing improvements to Metro Last Light, while the revised version of Metro 2033 has been accused of being 'nerfed' owing to 4A opting to rely less heavily on volumetric lighting in certain situations.

In many ways, this is a dual-purpose Face-Off, then. Not only are we stacking up all three versions of the dual-game Redux, but the PC version - which also bundles up all of the existing DLC - clearly demands comparison to the existing editions of the game. That takes us up to ten different Metro versions we've played over the last month then, with plenty of discussion points still to cover, so let's dive in with the apparently contentious Metro 2033.

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Digital FoundryDigital Foundry vs Metro Redux

Xbox 360 vs Xbox One. PS3 vs PlayStation 4. Is this the remaster you've been waiting for?

The PlayStation 4 and Xbox One remasters are coming thick and fast, bringing with them a wave of controversy - should developers be concentrating resources on porting over games they've already made? Are resolution and frame-rate boosts enough? Most crucially of all, do they represent value for money? The Metro Redux package from Kiev-based 4A Games puts forward a hell of a good case: you get two complete games for £30 and each title is available solus via digital delivery for those who already own one of the originals. But most importantly of all, the remastering work is very, very good. In fact, we'd say it's up there with the best.

See what Metro's next-gen remakes look like in action

Due this summer, "Redux" runs in 60 fps, adds new gameplay modes.

Metro 2033 and its sequel, Metro: Last Light, are getting next-gen remakes this summer with "Redux" versions coming to PS4, Xbox One and PC. Now, publisher Deep Silver has revealed the first gameplay footage of both titles in Metro Redux.

UK chart: Metro: Last Light turns up top

But can't beat Metro: 2033's first-week fifth-place tally.

Koch/Deep Silver's new buy Metro: Last Light has stolen first place in the UK video games chart from Dead Island: Riptide, the publisher's other game.

FeatureMetro 2033 retrospective

Going underground.

Metro 2033 is not a game that deserves a sequel. Too often the game stumbles in its quest to combine elements of shooter, stealth and horror, never confident enough in any one category. The story demands no clear continuation.

THQ opens online store shopTHQ

Homefront, Red Faction 40 per cent off.

THQ has lifted the shutters on its online store shopTHQ, which sells the publisher's titles primarily via PC download.

THQ to rename Metro 2034?

Last Light URLs snapped up.

Forthcoming FPS sequel Metro 2034 is to be renamed Metro 2033: Last Light, if a set of new URL registrations are to be believed.

Metro 2034 a possibility for PS3

Sequel overrode 2033 port, says author.

Russian author Dmitry Glukhovsky reckons the newly revealed sequel - and conversion of his novel - Metro 2034 will also head to PS3.

Metro 2033 sequel will be 3D

Metro 2033 sequel will be 3D

Dubbed, imaginatively, Metro 2034.

THQ has revealed a sequel to Metro 2033. It's called Metro 2034 and will be offered in 3D.

Core games boss Danny Bilson shared the information with CVG.

THQ showed Metro 2033 running in NVIDIA 3D at E3 earlier this month. Bilson said the higher development costs of 3D are offset by the "unbelievably reasonable" cost of operations in Kiev, Ukraine.

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Metro 2033 DLC detailed

Ranger Pack due for PC and Xbox 360.

THQ has confirmed that the upcoming Metro 2033 downloadable content mentioned earlier is due "in the very near future", and detailed the contents.

Metro 2033

Metro 2033

No picnic.

Ah, time to roll out one of my "meanwhile in capitalist Russia" anecdotes... A couple of years ago I was lucky enough to be out in Moscow visiting a developers' fair. While I was there I met up with one of the 1C Company bosses, and we had a chat about the apocalyptic theme that runs through Russian and Ukrainian gaming.

It was, he said, partly something to do with the psyche of the people of the region, but also, perhaps, because Fallout had been so popular. "All our developers just want to make another Fallout," he said, laughing.

It was only later that I realised quite what he meant. It wasn't that they all wanted to make intricate role-playing games, but that the classic apocalyptic scenario had become one with the region's own dystopian fictions. Some of the games we're now seeing come out of the region - S.T.A.L.K.E.R., Cryostasis, Metro 2033 - are an expression of that collision of ideas.

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Digital FoundryTech Interview: Metro 2033

Oles Shishkovstov on engine development, platform strengths and 4A's design philosophy.

Last week, Digital Foundry introduced the technology behind 4A Games' new Metro 2033. Featuring a brand new engine with an eye-opening level of bleeding edge rendering tech, the game instantly got our attention.

Digital FoundryMetrospective: 4A Games vs. Digital Foundry

Metro 2033's technical mastermind explains the game's post-S.T.A.L.K.E.R. technology.

Unreal Engine has defined the technological standards of high-definition console shooters, but Gears of War apart it seems as if it is down to proprietary engines to exceed them: Infinity Ward, Bungie and Guerrilla Games have produced the most critically well-received FPS titles on console, and all of them are using their own in-house technology.

Digital FoundryMetro 2033: 4A Engine impresses

Digital Foundry pulls it apart.

In a market dominated by Unreal Engine 3, any kind of new cutting-edge technology is instantly of interest to Digital Foundry. The 4A spec sheet we received from THQ contains all kinds of wonderful - as you might expect from the people also responsible for the technological underpinnings of the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. X-Ray engine.

Metro 2033

Russian hour.

It's been a tough couple of weeks. Straight from reviewing S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call of Pripyat, Tom drafts me in for a hands-on trial of another dark nuclear slaughterfest: THQ's newest shooter: Metro 2033.

English Metro 2033 keeps Russian VO

THQ's spooky shooter goes authentic.

The English release of Metro 2033 will include a subtitled version of the original Russian dialogue. Both PC and Xbox 360 versions support this.

Metro 2033

Going underground.

If you're going to show off a brand new post-apocalyptic FPS to a bunch of cynical hacks, you might as well get everyone in the mood: jet us off to Moscow, put us in a freezing nuclear bunker 65 metres under the city, kill the lights and then launch a real nuclear attack. Sadly the budget only covered points one and two, although we did get a deafening siren noise via a nearby Alba stereo, along with some tasty Russian canapé.