Beyond the dark, oppressive tunnels and the radioactive surface of Moscow, the societies that arise from a nuclear apocalypse and future areas are habitable for new life. It is a sensible change in the environment that widens the horizon of Metro, although it sometimes loses the focus for which the series is known. Yet the gunfights and stealth provide a familiar and unbelievable tension, complemented by streamlined survival mechanisms needed to cope with frightening threats. But with Artyom and his friends hitting a one-way train ticket in the hope of greener pastures, Metro Exodus will travel more about the sustainable relationships and ties that bind a serious number of survivors.
In the opening hours, returned protagonist Artyom is shown with a persistent insistence that human life exists outside the metro. It brings him into serious problems, and it has furthermore become apparent that a larger conspiracy is at stake. Your departure seems all too sudden and a bit of a bad service for the hardships that you have endured in the previous games, but the heat of the moment and the instinctive instincts of your companions help you to the starting point of a year-long expedition wherever the railways lead.
Metro Exodus, for example, takes the franchise in a bold direction by devoting a few important chapters to open, sandbox-like environments where you can roam freely, explore non-critical points of interest, and follow the path of the main story. Exploration is usually not a reward in itself, because these open areas are scarce and you have trouble encouraging you to go far away. If you do that, you come close to mutants that force you to use valuable resources for very little in return. Navigating is not really fun, whether it is the slow rowing boats in the Volga or empty countries of the Caspian Sea. It sometimes seems as if the methodical movement of Metro was thrown into much larger spaces for which it was not intended. Fortunately, the game maintains it for the other chapters, especially when you reach the lush forest of the Taiga that guides you in a masterly way to and from open areas and limited spaces at a hardened pace.
During your stay in the open areas, optional side quests complement your map organically through environmental hints or characters that mention an interesting point in dialogue. These are not traditional side quests that are logged into a checklist; instead, there are opportunities to experience more of Metro's tense combat scenario & # 39; s and possibly find new equipment, save additional resources or extract smaller stories that contribute to the bigger picture.
Despite the addition of open environments, Exodus plays in the first place in the same way as previous games, and the series of existing strengths is usually channeled. Carefully applied levels strike a balance between the freedom of approach and linear, directed paths to targets when you encounter human enemies, creating a fine flow within missions. Certainly, some guards will have turned their backs easily or make stupid movements in a fight, but the overarching sensation that you can quickly kill or be killed is stuck. Another center of fighting against mutated animals yields a different style of tension. Irradiated spiders, agile mutants and lurking amphibians are frightening as you grab for their attack in ravaged pitch dark corridors and flooded buildings. Even the innocent spiders that crawl on your arm and across your face build a terrifying atmosphere. It is a state of vulnerability covered with a layer of fear that Metro makes up for it again.
You hardly feel unfairly or overpowered, because weapons fire and can be a challenge to tackle. Each firearm has a selection of adjustments that you can remove from enemy weapons – sights, telescopes, barrels, loading mechanisms – that give you control over how you want to fight. This wide variety of adjustment options can turn a dull revolver into a formidable long-range weapon or a janky Kalashnikov into a devastating assault rifle – a satisfying system that gives firefighting an extra layer of depth. Modding can also be done with your backpack at any time, giving you the opportunity to adapt to situations when they occur.
Workbenches and your backpack are forgiving in Metro Exodus because there are no more stores to buy equipment and items. Gone is the clever system of acting in bullets of military quality for critical items; in place is a crafting system that is both manageable and appropriate for the survival mentality that Exodus brings. You collect scrap and chemicals to make medkits, filters and ammunition and to preserve the condition of the weapon. Even when you juggle with systems such as keeping your flashlight charged and changing gas mask filters, it never becomes overbearing and adds a nice challenge to gear management, even if you fend off enemies all the time.
For the most part, Metro Exodus abandons the supernatural by leaving the clairvoyant Dark Ones in the past. By venturing into the unknown, the game tends to rely on trusted post-apocalyptic tropics. You have the cultists who have brainwashed the locals to avoid technology, a society of cannibals setting up an orderly front, and slaves exploiting and abusing others. But Exodus uses them to lay the foundation for the better moments between characters and the struggles they have to endure. And despite the fact that the story is less centered around Artyom – who strangely remains a silent champion outside the charging of screen monologues – Exodus unfolds in a much more personal way. The broader examinations of humanity and psychological twists have been reverted to make way for a more informed story about the necessary sacrifices you do for those you love.
These characters come to life with an impressive amount of dialogue that seems to go on forever, but because the moments of frivolity have a certain amount of charm and seriousness, you want to stay and listen.
The best parts of the story can be found in chapters between the action where you just hang around aboard the Aurora, the train that serves as headquarters. Here you can tune the radio to broadcasts that play on events in the game or listen to some nice tunes, but more importantly, it is your chance to unravel the engaging personalities that are part of your crew. These characters come to life with an impressive amount of dialogue that seems to go on forever, but because the moments of frivolity have a certain amount of charm and seriousness, you want to stay and listen. It is not without a few rules that are contextually misplaced, although the natural flow of dialogue and interactions between the team communicates as much about them as the stories they tell.
Anna shares her thoughts about the life she hopes to build with you while she lets her head rest on your lap. Damir's dedication to his ethnic roots and what is left of his native Kazakhstan leads to a bittersweet exchange. Stepan, the big softy, is an uplifting presence that also fills the air with his acoustic guitar. And Miller is the hardened leader who illustrates the tough love of a father figure who wants the best for you and his daughter Anna. These are just some of the characters that best represent the story of Metro Exodus.
However, the exact storylines can change; The moral system of Metro makes a return and subtly assesses your actions without explicitly revealing itself. What is important is that it does not always force you into a non-lethal approach; if you want to cut the throats of the heartless slaves or take a shotgun to the head of a cannibal, do so, and as long as you do not hurt the innocent, you are in vain. And with a sharp eye or sharp ear, you can also encounter unexpected events that will reward you, depending on your course of action. Consequences do not make themselves immediately clear, but can lead to fascinating results as the story progresses.
It is worth noting that technical problems are spread over Metro Exodus. In a single playthrough (pre-day one patch) I was hit by the gaming world just after an auto-save, inexplicably lost upgraded equipment that I could not get back on a workbench, and had a few rare but noticeable framerate drops on modest settings with a reasonably high-end PC. They did not break the game, but can frustrate and destroy the hard-earned progress. In the few hours I spent with the PS4 version, the game was stable and, as expected, it turned at a lower framerate than a capable PC. It is not always a smooth ride, although it does not take away from the moving journey that the game imposes on you.
You may miss the mystery and the intrigues of the previous games, but Exodus compiles a charismatic crew of friends and family that you want to follow until the end of the world.
At first sight, Metro Exodus gives you that wide open, free and dangerous world that is not bound by tunnels, although the scope of the story focuses on what you personally drive and the length you are willing to go to protect what it is. is most important. The open sandboxes may not be the strongest addition, but the game still includes the feeling of vulnerability and post-apocalyptic terror alongside powerful weapons used in sophisticated combat and stealth scenarios. You may miss the mystery and the intrigues of the previous games, but Exodus compiles a charismatic crew of friends and family that you want to follow until the end of the world.