Originally released in February 2019, Metro Exodus is the third entry in the post-apocalyptic series based on the novels by Dmitry Glukhovsky. Though it may seem a bit late in the day to throw out a review for this title, bear with us as Metro Exodus recently received a full next-gen overhaul with improvements to both graphical and performance factors, not only that, it may also be one of the best survival action titles that money can buy. So, if you have been on the fence about this title or looking for a reason to return to the world of Metro, join us as we take a closer look at what’s on offer.
Set two years after the events of Metro: Last Light we once again step into the boots of the series protagonist, Artyom. For those who played Last Light, know that the “Redemption” ending is the canon ending in line with the books and will be the ending that set’s the scene for Exodus. Fed up with the constant political struggles and infighting within the Metro, Artyom is determined to leave Moscow and venture further into the wasteland in the hope of finding more survivors of the great war and hopefully a safe place to call home. To do so he gathers a group of allies including his wife “Anna” and together they set out into the world on a locomotive known as “The Aurora”.
This is the first of many shake up’s Exodus provides from the tried and tested formula of claustrophobic environments that we have seen in the previous games. The Aurora act’s as a base hub where you can interact with your allies between missions and there is some solid storytelling here, each character is well fleshed out and has their own distinctive personalities and traits which provide a genuine sense of entertainment and reprieve between the tension of the core missions. The Metro series is well known for being an immersive experience and this journey to a “promised land” for lack of a better term is a fantastic driving force for this entry as we leave the dark tunnels behind and venture into various landscapes from frozen lakes, scorching deserts and lush forest areas. I really felt like I was with these characters along the way, as they witness these amazing sights for the first time, I too was feeling a breath of fresh air from the change of pace provided within the series and became invested not only in Artyom’s story but the stories of my comrades and new characters I met along the way.
Целый новый мир
This more open environment approach is a great example of moving a franchise forward and where most FPS titles would use this as an opportunity to crank things up in the gung-ho department, Metro smartly doubles down on its blend of survival action and brutal combat while maintaining a hefty dose of horror for good measure. For those who may be concerned about a more sandbox version of this world, fear not, as you explore the open area’s you will encounter plenty of bunkers and ruins to explore in the name of completing your objectives so there will be a tidy blend of old meet’s new to keep fans of the previous games feeling right at home. Salvaging for supplies will be the order of the day to keep your weapons and gear in tip-top condition. Upgrades and ammo will be integral to your survival as landscapes turn hostile quickly due to weather and radiation pockets that will ruin the days of the unprepared. But don’t panic, if the environment doesn’t get you, the array of humans and creatures that occupy the landscapes certainly give it a good try. Familiar mutants return but we also get a nice new host of slimy newcomers that occupy their respective environments, each helps to freshen up the template and make each location feel unique.
The political and religious tones that run through the previous two games still play a part here, as you travel through different landscapes you will encounter several surviving communities, some are friendly, others not so much. Ranging from biblical fanatics to more nature-driven settlements, Exodus provides a varied look at how small pockets of civilization have evolved and adapted to survive in the post-war world. Each faction feels unique from the other and dealing with them adds another level to the journey, some will be openly hostile where others may react differently depending on the actions you take in their land. Whichever way you choose to deal with a situation there will always be one absolute, conflict will occur at some point and the gunplay of these tense battles remains as brutal as you’d expect from the series.
Armed with a selection of makeshift weapons that can all be heavily modified and upgraded from turning a twin-barrel shotgun into a fully automatic shotgun assault rifle and beyond, combat feels dangerous and tense whether dealing with hostile humans or fending off mutations. Though powerful weapons won’t be enough on their own, maintaining your weapons will be key as sand, mud and other dirt will cause them to perform poorly and even jam which will ruin your day fast in a hectic firefight. Fortunately, there are plenty of resources to scavenge if you take the time to explore every nook and cranny (I’d advise it) and it’s here where Exodus has seen another great improvement. The development team have done away with the ammo currency system and opted for workbenches and a handy backpack to perform some crafting on the fly. The backpack is especially vital as it not only allows you to craft health packs but to also mod your gun’s, so if you enter a particularly claustrophobic environment you can alter the scope and stock of your weapons to deal with things accordingly or adjust some of the upgrades on your suit to be able to carry more ammo if conflicts are becoming more common.
Я не говорю по-Русски
Everything blends together to create a deeply immersive and gritty gaming experience, but for those of you who and Xbox Series or PlayStation 5, you are in for an extra treat. As of June 18th, 2021, Exodus now features a host of visual and performance upgrades including reduced loading times (a godsend for the impatient) Ray Tracing and Global Illumination which really must be seen to be believed, this element alone adds so much depth especially in the darker area’s where only small cracks of light leak through or when you become reliant on your torch to light the way. 4K texture rendering, coupled with 60FPS performance ensure that every environment looks as lifelike as can be while providing a smooth gameplay experience and for the PlayStation gamers out there, haptic feedback has also been included.
All of these enhancements can be seen in both the base game and the DLC’s so for people who already own a copy, the upgrade patch is available for free. For newcomers to Exodus, you could either purchase a copy of the base game and upgrade or pick up the recently released “Complete Edition” for Series X or PS5 which comes with all DLC included and retails for around £34.99.
I’m happy to say I encountered very little in the way of performance issues during my time with Metro Exodus and I was taking my time to explore and get the most out of each location. The one issue I did have was with the voiceovers, the voice acting itself was fine and each character had plenty of distinction between them but for some reason, the dialogue always overlapped meaning id be hearing several conversations at once or characters would just start talking over each other which became annoying when I was trying to follow the key story points, especially is the title is heavily driven by its characters and their journey. Surely this is something that can be smoothed out in a quick patch down the line.
I first dabbled in Exodus when it originally launched and I am so glad I came back to it, not only does the new hardware make this one of the best-looking games I have ever seen, but it is one of the best survival action experiences I have ever had. The series has evolved in all the right ways and provides the player with plenty of options to play it their way. Fans old and new will find a lot to enjoy here and if an older game can be made to look and perform this great, we should all be excited for what comes next for Series X and PS5.
Format: Xbox X|S, PlayStation 5, PC
Genre: Action, Shooter, Survival, Horror
Developer: 4A Games
Publisher: Deep Silver
Download link: Microsoft Store