It took a little longer than the Windows version, but the Metro 2033 and Last Light Redux editions are now available, as expected, on Steam for Linux. They both require OpenGL 4.x so you will need the closed source drivers on Linux if you want to enjoy it, and most probably a nVidia card is preferred at this stage. Last Light was already on Linux before but did not use OpenGL 4 – while Metro 2033 comes for the first time on Linux with this engine update.
There have been reports that while the Linux version was supposed to be as feature-full as the Windows one, actually an important graphics feature is missing: Tesselation. Tesselation is a technique used to smooth the surface of polygons before applying other effects (like displacement mapping) to it. The smoother the surface, the more realistic the effects will look like. Tesselation was a major feature of DirectX 11 and the Metro games made use of it. Sadly, it seems like Tesslation is not implemented in the Linux version, as the following screenshot suggests (click to view full size – Windows is on the left, Linux on the right):
This does not impact the quality of the game in itself: 2033 and Last Light remain excellent First Person Shooters and we should be grateful to have them on Linux as well. However, it is a shame that OpenGL 4 is required while tesselation cannot be activated – and knowing that the developers of Metro have not been seen to update their Linux versions very often, we may never get that option to turn tesselation on. Let’s hope they do something about it though.
Both games were on sale for the release of the Linux version (but not anymore), and you can probably expect them to be on sale again at the end of the year for the Christmas/New year sales on Steam. A good chance to pick up a dark shooter for a White Christmas.
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