With all the post-apocalyptic FPS games coming out this year, Metro Exodus does seem to have something very unique and special about its premise.
Metro Exodus is a first-person shooter video game developed by 4A Games and published by Deep Silver. It is the third installment in the Metro video game series based on Dmitry Glukhovsky’s novels. It follows the events of Metro 2033 and Metro: Last Light.
I’ve admired the series from afar. From never playing any of the games a couple of months ago, to getting my hands dirty with all the claustrophobic action endured in the previous two games – and you know what? I kind of liked it. From whence I started playing Metro Exodus I found out straight away that this game had nothing to do with 2033 and Last Light. From always playing in the gloomy Moscow Metro, to suddenly staring across a vast, sun-bleached desert was quite the surprise. A good surprise of course, yet pretty ambitious given what the developers are used to.
Metro Exodus is a post-apocalyptic road trip on a train through a nuke-blasted Russia. You’re probably thinking; shouldn’t be that bad – out in the open, checking out the blue skies, in a huge metal train what can possibly hurt you? Lol, wrong… Your every breath within Metro Exodus is a struggle for survival (dramatic, I know). Before Exodus, the Metro Exodus had its own little apocalypse with the Metro series nearly collapsing after the bankruptcy of publisher THQ. Luckily, Artyom had the chance to fight another day when developer 4A Games found a new home to call their own at Deep Silver.
As stated previously, the story of Metro is all about survival. While the game’s focus is on the world above, Exodus does still carry some of the series’ classic delights, and classic problems. Nevertheless, the game came out fine and can be considered pretty competitive, if not has the grit and gameplay to surpass the bigger, more costly post-apocalyptic games coming out this year. Before I continue the rest of the review, here’s a little snippet on what the previous Metro games were about to get you up to speed in case you decided to skip it all and start afresh with Exodus. I don’t really agree with this, but you do you mate. *cough* Lazy *cough*. If you want to check out some other great games coming out this year check them out here.
Metro 2033 takes place in post-apocalyptic Russia. Humanity has gone underground since there was a nuclear war that turned the surface world in a barren and poisonous environment overrun with creatures of all sorts. The world had become so f**ked up that bullets ended up becoming a form of money.
The player takes on the role of the protagonist in the story; Artyom, a young man born from the Russian Metro itself. While there, some mysterious gangs known as; The Dark Ones attack his home; Exhibition. Due to this circumstance, Artyom leaves to enlist help from the other survivors. He is joined by Khan, a talented warrior/soldier who knows a real lot about the strange stuff happening in the Metro. Apart from this mysterious gang, and the mutants that dwell in these lands there are also the communists of the Red Line and the Neo Nazis of the Fourth Reich. These two have been at war for years, and Artyom ends up getting caught in the crossfire.
After some time, Artyom finally finds the Dark Ones, and as people with revenge on their mind do, blows them up into oblivion. Sadly, this was a stupid and reckless move because you then find out the Dark Ones were actually just humans who mutated from the nukes and were acting in self-defense the whole time. Artyom is an a**hole. But, who knows what’s going through people’s minds in that s**it-hole. Anyway, to the next game!
Metro Last Light
In Metro Last Light, Artyom gets a shot at redeeming himself. A year after the sadness and the mistake of Metro 2033, Artyom now ends up being a member of the Rangers. The Rangers are a group of highly skilled and talented soldiers who roam the most dangerous parts of the wasteland on the surface, and the underground for that matter. You eventually meet your friend Khan who tells Artyom that there is another Dark One, a child who is being held captive by the Red Line.
Story goes that Artyom goes to the Red Line, saves the kid from General Korbut (Red Line’s Big Boss-man) and ends up finding a group of Dark Ones hibernating in a secret metro. He then calls this child; “the last light of hope.” Lol. That’s where the title of the game comes from, get it?
And with that you’re pretty much caught up. Onto the review of Metro Exodus.
The Story –
After finishing off Metro: Last Light with a “good-ish” ending, you’re never really going to go back to the day before the Apocalypse happened or at least not in this chapter of the game, Metro Exodus finds main character Artyom and his wife Anna working to protect what remains of Moscow’s citizens (an endless cycle). In search of “hope” Artyom returns to the surface world and attempts to locate the survivors via radio with zero results. This gives the Order a clear perspective that Moscow is in fact “hopeless”.
With that, Artyom and Anna’s father; Miller led a small group of “soldiers” to locate a safe haven and uncover what happened to the world with regard to the nuclear war that destroyed everything. As seen and experienced in the two previous Metro games, Exodus focuses a lot on story. While this is all great and stuff, having lengthy cut-scenes and non-combat gameplay encounters on the train and in the world does get dreary, or at least until you connect to the characters a bit more. You really connect pretty much mid-way through the game. Once I got a gist of the backstories of the characters, their personality traits and the tense situations you often find yourself in you genuinely start enjoying these “filler” scenes.
The Gameplay –
The Metro series isn’t really well-known for its gunfights, and/or gunplay in general. Although, the team behind Metro Exodus did do a good job with this and really amped it up next to its predecessors. You’ll now find that shotguns have quite the jolt when firing them, and can get pretty snappy at times. The Tikhar air rifle is also a really good and fun weapon, it relies mostly on those gamers who are patient and stealthy. Hitting a target is still pretty tricky and inaccurate, most of the time I found difficulty in hitting a target which was right in my sights, but once you get used to it you’ll become accustomed to the way combat is built within the game. At least the game’s checkpoint system meant this occurrence only happens a number of times throughout your gameplay.
Something which I enjoyed a lot in this game is the amount of customizations and methods on how to battle enemies. In the game, you’ll be able to transform items based on what you need by using parts you find from weapons you encounter and others found in the world. One time, I got a decent revolver and modified it to become a shotgun which was pretty nifty – or an AK becoming a sniper rifle really left me to do as I want and kill as I want in this game. Armour and gear is also customizable, for example – upgrading your facemask to make it stronger and tougher. It sometimes get annoying though, if for example you crack your visor it will obstruct your view until you repair it. This can get very annoying in the middle of a fight.
The World –
As you’ve read above, this episode in the Metro series is no longer bound to the dark subways of Moscow but uses a mix of that and the outside world. Before getting into the actual environments, the world of Metro Exodus also no longer relies on the factions seen in the game’s predecessors. The Fourth Reich and the Red Army are barely even mentioned throughout the game, with the player encountering some new, and not so friendly groups of enemies. It’s about time 4A games moved the political story aside and focused on something different. Now, onto the environments.
I think the world of Metro Exodus is absolutely gorgeous, and in my opinion has one of the most diverse environments in the series, and arguably one of the most impressive terrains in any post-apocalyptic game that has come out in the last couple of years. At the start of the game you’re in Winter and at the end of the game in Late Autumn, like this you get a whole grasp of how the environments change through the full 4 seasons of the year – from glistening deserts, overgrown forests and swamps with giant ugly a$$ creatures. As said previously, you’ll still spend quite a bit of time in the bunkers and the Metro itself in case you were worried with the change in location/game-type. In your adventures you’ll likely find spots which are pretty depressing (and cool), places with severed heads in fridges, dead people piled up on each other etc. It’s pretty much a horror game when you look at it from this end, especially at points when you encounter some hideous “creatures” in the subway.
Also, just letting you all know if you haven’t heard yet, Metro Exodus is NOT an open-world game. Nevertheless, the developers of the game do put you in a situation where you can explore large environments scavenging and discovering new things while on your way to the objective set for you, side content is also directly associated to that. Resources in the world are scarce, and a continuous onslaught of enemies doesn’t really ever make you feel safe. For example; gas mask fillers are ultra-important and precious, if you encounter an area with unclean air and you don’t have a mask on you’d die in seconds. Something which was smart is the rarity of med kits, this makes the player avoid direct combat and pushes Artyom to use a stealthier approach when battling enemies. You can also find a way to avoid conflict, but then you’ll be missing out on what resources the enemies might have on them or what they’re “guarding”. Apart from med kits, focusing on direct combat like infiltrating a bandit camp like Sylvester Stallone in Rambo can help lead some worse enemies your way, like a bunch of blood hungry mutants.
When 4A Games decided to the leave the tunnels of Moscow’s Metro and let Artyom explore the outside world that was a great idea. Given what they were able to create, pretty much outside their comfort zone for this game it ended up being incredibly fun. While there are some technical issues, 4A Games managed very well to adapt the stories of Dmitry Glukhovsky into a living, melancholic and action-packed new world which Metro fans haven’t experienced until now. Kudos for the game mates!
Oh, and here’s the story trailer:
Later on in Metro Exodus you’ll be introduced to a silent-but-deadly weapon – the Helsing (Crossbow), this was my favorite weapon.
- Character interactions brings the story of Exodus out in a very light and endearing manner.
- The world, and the seasons are gorgeous.
- Lots of times where I jumped in my seat, which is a good thing, right?
- Strong weapon customization and crafting
- Shooting targets can sometimes be a little difficult, but gunplay is still pretty solid and better than predecessors.
- You don’t really hear Artyom talk except during load screens.
- Combat can be very difficult at times, sometimes also being very unfair to Artyom.
- Barely any Khan, I hope for a Khan DLC.