The Metro series began in a relatively humble way
Based on Dmitry Glukhovsky’s Metro 2033
Book and developed by a team of veterans of cult classics STALKER. Initially focused on a more closed and claustrophobic terror. Exploring the ruins of the Moscow subway following a nuclear holocaust. The franchise was expanding and gaining influence. First with the Last Light sequence, then with the rematerialization of Metro Redux, and finally arriving in Metro Exodus. Who prefers to leave the dark tunnels aside in favor of an open world no less hostile.
And while still suffering from performance issues like its predecessors, and some rather weird design decisions. Exodus expands the world of the series in an excellent way. Introducing new and curious regions of Russian post-apocalypse. And managing to maintain a tense atmosphere and hostile even in large open spaces.
Metro Exodus is a direct sequence of both Last Light and Glukhovsky’s Metro 2035
And puts the player again in the shoes of the protagonist Artyom. Who after discovering that the rest of humanity survived the nuclear war outside Moscow. Intends to leave the subway and look for a new place with his wife, Anna. In the early chapters, Artyom gets his wish – though certainly not as he expected. And part of Moscow aboard the Aurora train, together not only with Anna. But also Miller, his superior officer, and father-in-law. And members of the Order of the Spartans, the elite forces of the subway.
In search of a new home, not only for themselves but also for the survivors of Moscow, Artyom and the Aurora crew set off on a journey that takes them to the most different locations in the Russian territory. Which also suffered from the effects of nuclear bombs. The most significant change of Metro Exodus is precise, as said before. Is the implementation of more open areas.
From a rural area taken by an anti-electricity cult
Although it still maintains a relatively linear narrative structure, separated into chapters. The player now has a chance to explore not only urban and enclosed regions but also large wilderness areas. From a rural area taken by an anti-electricity cult, past the Caspian Sea-turned-Sertão, and a forest region. The game not only shows more about what happened to the world beyond the Moscow limits. The opportunity for developers to use the creativity of their STALKER times. The open world changes certain elements. But it remains as deadly – if not more so – than in the subterranean Moscow.
During the crossing, Artyom and his companions are attacked by legions of monsters. Many old and some new – bandits, cannibals, slave-raiders, and other types of madmen. Who has survived and formed post-apocalyptic societies? As in previous games, features are hard to come by. And players are encouraged to explore the map in search of materials for making essential items. From bullets and healing items to weapons cleaning and equipment repair. Metro Exodus is much more a survival game than a traditional shooter. Which is preferable since the mechanics of shooting are functional but not particularly memorable.
Modifying ability is surprisingly rich and capable of radically altering
There is a good variety of weapons. And the modifying ability is surprisingly rich and capable of radically altering elements of different weapons. But their feel and impact do not draw attention to other shooting games. In any case, the game allows – and to some extent, encourages. More stealthy gameplay, being able to knock down enemies in a non-lethal way. Or offering mufflers for the most diverse weapons, which facilitates this aspect of combat.
(I admit, however, that part of it might be because I played the game on a console. Which is not necessarily my ideal platform for this type of game). In contrast, the ambiance of the game is incredible, always reinforcing the hostility of the world around you. And trying to make the player aware (or paranoid) that there may always be someone. Or something on the prowl. The graphics and especially the audio quality help in this by bringing a more alive – and dangerous – world around you.
The 4A Games also managed to diversify
The 4A Games also managed to diversify the different regions in the game and its exploration. The Volga requires boat crossings and brings the presence of aquatic enemies. While the Caspian is a small world of Mad Max. The player controlling a reworked kombi to hunt slavery tankers. Continuing the notion that Metro Exodus is a much more expansive game. There is significant attention given to the secondary characters of the game.
The central narrative still gives a greater focus on Artyom, Anna, and Miller. But Soldiers of the Order of Spartans and survivors found along the way bring their own perspectives. And in some cases even arcs in different regions whose completion depends on the actions of the player .
These characters may not have a great level of depth – especially compared to Miller and Anna. But help bring more wealth to the world and the Artyom odyssey. Especially in the lighter and calmer moments. When the Aurora travels from one destination to another .
The conclusion of the narrative
This impacts even the end of the game, since, like in previous ones. The conclusion of the narrative is based on the actions of the player during the history. And the relation of Artyom with its companions is one of the main factors for this. Despite bringing an excellent ambiance. One of the biggest stumbling blocks of Metro Exodus are the various bugs and performance problems of the game at launch. Playing on an original PlayStation 4, you can see at various times that the hardware struggles to keep the game at a stable frame rate. Especially when there are many elements appearing on the screen at the same time.
There were also several times of getting trapped in the geometry of the environment. Seeing enemies catching and acting bizarrely. In addition, there are certain rather questionable design decisions. Especially in regards to saves, which are only split between an automatic. And a quick manual by the player, which deletes the previous one. When creating the new file. At one point, for example, I was forced to return a manual save 20 minutes earlier. Because I had not stocked up the correct equipment for the mission.
Metro Exodus was still a great experience
If I had made a save after that, it is likely that my chances of advancing in the game would be much more difficult, maybe even impossible. Even with all these problems, Metro Exodus was still a great experience, managing to bring elements of the open world without losing the elements of suspense and horror of previous games, and balance these moments of tension with others of calm and tranquility, giving the player breathe and know more about this universe and its characters. Exodus Metro is available for PC, PS4 and Xbox One.