Metro Exodus developed by 4A Games and published by Deep Silver released on PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One on February 15th 2019. This is my review.
Metro Exodus continues Artyom’s story from Metro 2033 and Metro Last Light. Metro believes that they’re the only people left in the whole world, anytime they try to radio beyond the Moscow city-scape they’re met with just static. One day Artyom receives a small transmission for just a few seconds which makes him believe that they aren’t the only ones left, there is still a world out there to be discovered. After trying, again and again, Artyom fails and each time he goes up he gets sicker and sicker due to the radiation exposure, despite what he discovered though, no one believes him, not even his wife Anna. Miller, Anna’s father and leader of the Spartans of D6 fights Artyom, tells him that he’s wrong, there’s nothing out there. Anna to prove Artyom wrong goes with him but then they discover two villagers and a train that came from outside of the city. This is where Metro Exodus truly kicks off.
Metro Exodus takes you outside of Moscow for the first time by introducing you to the Aurora, the train featured on the trailers. After having to escape the Metro your whole life now remains on the train trying to find new and safe grounds to establish a new home, but not all goes to plan. Through-out the game you’re wondering, what happened to the war? Where is the enemy occupation forces and what do we do next? All questions that kept me thinking about it even when not playing the game, just trying to make my own theories about what had happened. Metro Exodus is a game that the story stands out like the previous ones but lets you discover so much more of this living breathing world. Through-out the story I was truly encapsulated I just wanted more and more and 4A games didn’t at all fail on the storyline.
From the characters, you’ll meet, the ones that accompany you on your journey to a safe place, they all have interesting backstories and brilliant dialogue, so much so that you really do start to feel emotions towards them and hope that in the end, everyone lives. I feel that 4A games always managed in the Metro series to establish such unforgettable characters and they managed to succeed again.
All in all, the gameplay feels similar to the previous two but with added expansions to established systems but the big twist is that the areas now feel much more open. From when the trailer was revealed I wondered how possible would it be to replicate the same feelings you got from the previous Metro games into a more open experience, I can’t lie, I had concerns. Honestly, I had nothing to worry about, if anything, despite 4A Games taking a stab at turning their game into a more open experience, it worked mostly. I say mostly because I have to address, previously I mentioned most of it feels the same with a few added expansions, the movement needs improvement, I felt that the movement was still more suited to the cramped metro environments and not adapted that well for the open-world. For example, fall damage was very unforgivable, sometimes you’d get stuck in a twig while trying to slowly sprint away from a mutant horde and it just felt quite clunky. While I am criticising the movement it didn’t really ruin the experience at all, but it is noticeable and I think with a few tweaks in a patch, 4A Games could in fact sort it out. Another negative issue is that the game was slightly buggy at times, nothing game breaking but enemies would end up floating in mid-air, I clipped through a few objects, just your standard bugs but ones that again didn’t ruin my experience but they do need patching out at some point.
Moving on from the negative points, a lot of good has come from the sequel. A newly expanded weapon building system that really lets you customise the weapons to your play-style, the amount of time I’d spend in that back-pack, probably cost me a life or two as well. The new equipment added to Artyom’s gear also provides more gameplay elements from seeing enemy blips on your little watch or switching it up to the compass to guide you to your next objective it all has something for everyone and 4A Games are giving you much more control this time around.
Combat, combat feels good, when you down a mutant or knock a soldier out (I wanted the good ending for once in a Metro game!) it all feels smooth and satisfying. Each new weapon or weapon mod lets you take them out your way and each way looks and feels good. When you’re in a tight spot underground the corridors flood with enemies, or in an open zone a mutant calls his buddies and you’ll instantly feel overwhelmed but you’ll hopefully always have a way to get out of it whether it be the new shotgun you just added 4 barrels to or a tower behind you where you can pick them off one by one, each situation you get into, there are always multiple ways to get out and it’s fantastic.
Graphics and Sound
So you’re out of the Moscow Metro, how does the world outside look? Unbelievable. Metro Exodus like its predecessors, gets every little detail and expands on it so much that you can tell so much love and attention to detail went into it. I honestly wondered if the open areas might sacrifice anything and it really doesn’t. From the dry hell-scape of the Caspian Sea to the beautiful Mountains, each place you go to looks unique, never once did I come across something and think, “oh look a room that’s identical to the previous one”. Metro Exodus is a piece of art.
Now, voice acting in the game I can’t say is as good as the graphics but it definitely doesn’t break immersion whatsoever, I’d say it’s pretty standard, not awful, not superb but still good enough. However, the environment around you? The train, the atmosphere? Good lord, again a masterpiece. I’d love to truly see 4A Games at work because they created something wonderful and I believe the world needs to see it.
Despite recent controversies with how it was handled on PC, I genuinely believe that Metro Exodus really deserves recognition and so do 4A Games for the effort, the hours, the love that poured into this title and I feel that people casting it off because of a decision, not everyone approved of (let’s face it everyone makes decisions and sometimes not everyone agrees) is truly a mistake. I do believe that Metro Exodus and the previous ones if you haven’t played them, is a game that should be celebrated for its uniqueness, for its deep dive into the unknown. In a place where we are getting incomplete games or games with the bog standard features, 4A Games still know how to deliver one hell of a package and I 1 million percent got my money’s worth.
While there are a few hiccups, and I can’t lie about them it’s still one hell of a game and I really hope for much more in the future. You know, I joked on my Twitter, I joked to family and friends. I wasn’t ready for it to end, I didn’t want Metro Exodus to end and now it has, I literally do not have any idea what to do next and when a game does that, then it must be bloody good.