By now we’re used to publishers slicing bits off games and popping them in some sort of ‘limited edition’ pre-order box, but it’s usually irrelevant stuff like a different gun or a tatty bit of plastic in the shape of the protagonist. THQ has gone a step further for Metro: Last Light by removing an entire difficulty level (one that it admits in its press release is a “fan favourite”) and holding it to ransom as a pre-order.
The message is clear: pay up sight-unseen, or you don’t get to play ‘Ranger Mode’.
To add a little further insult, the marketing guff for this announcement calls Ranger Mode “the way [Metro: Last Light] was meant to be played”. Yes, it was meant to be played this way, but you’ve taken steps to make sure that a large number of people won’t have the option to do so.
‘Ranger Mode’ was present in the first Metro title, and makes the game tougher by removing much of the HUD, reducing the number of bullets you have available and making combat more dangerous. It was a free add-on for the PC.
Hopefully the ingenious PC community will find a way to mod it in to the sequel, regardless of which version people have.