It was over a year and a half ago, but it feels like yesterday I saw Metro Exodus for the first time, it looked stunning running on the Xbox One X. I had never played a Metro before but the demo convinced me that I needed to play this game.
The Metro games are based upon the Dmitry Glukhovsky’s books with Metro Exodus being the third game of the series. The game was developed by 4A Games. Metro Exodus follows the events of Metro 2033 and Metro: Last Light. Set in post-apocalyptic Russia after a devastating nuclear war that has wiped out mankind. You take the role of Artyom who has become disillusioned with all the fighting and corruption within the Metro and after witnessing a working train on the surface decides to flees the Metro in Moscow with his wife Anna aboard.
Metro Exodus is a survival horror first person shooter with about 12-15 hours of gameplay. You will get those moments in the game when you are alone, with limited ammunition hearing eerie noises wondering if something is going to jump out of the shadows. And there are those moments when something has come out of the shadows and you are under attack. And those sections where you scavenging for gear to keep you alive.
The game is played out over a year so you get to experience all four seasons – Winter, Spring, Summer and Autumn. This adds to the beauty and wonder of the game. There is also day and night cycles which can be used to better plan your attack. During the day you are more likely to be spotted by humans, at night it is easier to hide in the shadows but you are more likely to encounter fiercer mutants.
In terms of variety of mutants you will encounter spiders, bears, crabs, dog and humanoids, each one requiring a different strategy to overcome. For example, there are light sensitive spiders where you need to shine your torchlight before killing them. This keeps the game engaging and you never feel like you done this a million times before. You will also come across humans through out the game, unfortunately their AI isn’t as intelligent as it should be. Beyond the weapons you find and craft the game encourages you to stay hidden allowing you sneak up to your enemy and take them down with a single blow or hide as the enemy passes. The choice is yours.
The game features large sandbox areas where you free to roam, take on side missions, find enemy camps or enter abandoned houses to scavenge gear. Even in these sections there is still a level of tension. Side mission include retrieving a guitar, looting a plane and freeing prisoners. By completing side missions you are rewarded with items such as compass, so it is definitely worth the time.
The sandboxes are connected by linear sections and have some of the best action scenes within the game. I really enjoyed the sandboxes section but I felt the gameplay in linear section really stood out.
One of the highlights of the game is crafting. If you find a new gun you can either collect it or strip it for parts and use them to modify your exisiting weapon. Each weapon has a large roster of modifications available including scopes, barrels (yes two barrels guns) and loading mechanisms. You can also craft medkits, ammunition and air filters for your gas mask.
The graphics are outstanding on the Xbox One X running at 4K with HDR enabled. The level of detail, the lighting, the look of your weapons all add to the wonder and delight of playing the game. The dessert and the forest sections really show the graphical prowess of the game, whilst the time underground shows off the play between light and darkness.
For fans of Metro this is an absolute must buy and those who love survival horror you should definitely pick it up. I personally found the world engrossing, the crafting really engaging and taking on mutants exhilarating. The game is not perfect, the fact that Artyom does not speak detracts from the realism of the game, the AI of the humans could do with some work, the excessive load time and some of the conversations with the NPCs could have been better scripted. But it does detract from a wonderful crafted game that should be played.
“This is how survival horror game should be made”