Review by Ethan Baron
Based on Dmitry Glukhovsky’s novel and developed by 4A Games, the third instalment of the Metro series is finally here and it is a fantastic example of how a game can leave the core ideas of its predecessors behind and still deliver above and beyond story-driven gameplay
The uniqueness about Metro story is unlike most games, there is no clear cut Heroes or Villains. Artyom is just a man trying to ensure his own and his comrades’ survival, and that’s how it plays out, you follow the story through, sometimes making tough decisions for better or for worse and you deal with the fallout of your choices. It’s different and certainly compelling.
As a huge fan of the previous games, I am immensely enjoying Metro Exodus, set 2 years after the “Ranger Ending” of Metro Last Light. Artyom, having heard communications on the radio from outside Moscow, is desperate to save the Metro and find them a safe place to live. It’s an ambitious turn for the series moving away from the dark tunnels and above ground into brightly lit environments and I am constantly stunned by the amount of effort the team put into crafting the world.
The first hours seemed slightly janky and moved slowly with things just happening. Once a certain thing happens *no spoilers* then the game opens up and becomes the engrossing, broad stalker-esque survival shooter that the series is known for.
Despite Metro Exodus turning away from the dark confined tunnels of the Metro that the series is known for, they haven’t lost the feeling of claustrophobia and even inside an almost open-world level design, the tension when exploring still holds true to previous games.
There’s a main base of operations. The Aurora, this time is moving on rails where you can upgrade and craft your weapons and equipment. There are safe houses strewn throughout each area where you can sleep and choose the time of day, and other general maintenance options. This means there is more freedom on how to approach different enemies or situations, and whether you want to play full stealth or go in guns blazing is entirely up to you. The open world was something I worried about, but it doesn’t look like the game has sacrificed any of its attention to detail in these massive environments.
A new addition to the game is your backpack which is essentially a portable workshop. Weapon crafting is excellent and the ability to craft and modify on the go is a natural extension from the system in Last Light and dynamically changes the way you can play each level. Need stealth? just craft a suppressor, providing you have enough materials that is!
The game is split into four main open-world environments that come in as different seasons but still includes missions that see you enter tunnels in between and the graphics are astounding, even on my little TV, there is a clear dedication from the team at 4A games on attention to detail.
The most impressive part, however, is how intelligent the AI feels, combat is vast and feels powerful with enemies reading and learning and adapting from your play style, too little things like how mutants hide from certain weather conditions or just generally reside in specific areas gives a rough sense of ecology and interactions that many games fail to simulate.
Conclusion: whether you are new or a fan of the series, this is definitely a game worth spending your money on. The Graphics, Music, sound effects and gameplay are a true testament to how games can and should be made.