In the wake of Fallout 76, Metro Exodus comes at just the right time to potentially take the top spot of post-apocalypse survival game. Mixing together elements of survival horror and stealth elements, Metro Exodus is an excellent showcase of new visual technology.
For those of you who are new to the series, Metro Exodus is the third game in the Metro series, which in turn, is based off the book, Metro 2033. The Metro series is set in post-nuclear-war Russia, where the last remaining survivors are sheltering from the nuclear winter (and giant mutant, monsters) in the metros (underground subways).
Metro Exodus wastes no time in setting the scene and feel of the game. Immediately you are placed in the role of Artyom, an ex-Ranger, who is crawling around abandoned areas of the metro and trying to escape from hideous mutants. Developers, 4A Games, really managed to hook me in only mere minutes into the game. Soon enough, Artyom eventually leaves the confines of the metros that the previous games tied you to and it’s all aboard the Aurora for a visually appealing road trip across the continent.
Each stop on your post-apocalypse adventure is a small, opened world level where you are usually tasked with finding and retrieving something. How you do it is entirely up to you. I personally feel that this is where Metro Exodus stumbles at little bit. After the tutorial stages of the game, your first mission has you enter a small gated community on a lake. You meet up with a contact and are given a choice, exit guns blazing and kill all the guards who are looking for you, or stealth your way out of this mess. Being an avid Metal Gear Solid fan, I opted to stealth my way out of this situation. Unfortunately, I soon learnt that stealth and FPS don’t really go well together. It was near impossible to tell if I was hidden out of sight of any guards I saw and then, out of nowhere, people started shooting at me. My cover was blown and I had no choice but to shoot back and Rambo my way out. After I had picked off most of the guards, the others did put down their weapons and surrender, at least giving somewhat of a “morally good” play-through. Having said all of that, I can’t really complain about shooting things when I’m literally playing an FPS.
Aside from shooting people and ghoulies alike, the second thing you’ll be doing most often is scavenging. Just like in any other survival game, you’ll be looking high and low for materials to chuck in your backpack so you can upgrade all your gear and ensure you have enough supplies. One of the great potential storytelling pieces of this game is your gas-mask. While exploring some of the more decrepit areas, you’ll be prompted to put on your gas mask, and when you do a timer will start ticking down. This timer indicates how long you have left before your gas mask needs a new filter and it stops doing it’s lifesaving job. This can bring rise to some rather intense moments as you’re trying to fight off a mutant, maintain your gun and ammo, and keeping an eye on the timer. Not only will you be on the lookout for mask filters, you can also spend a few moments checking out the enemy’s gear to see if it has anything worth picking up; most notably, their gun upgrades.
Magazines, barrels and stocks are all things you’ll need to keep an eye out for to create the gun that fits your playstyle. It’s worth pointing out too, that 4A Games have done away with using ammo as a currency, you can shoot things without having to worry if you’re going to have enough money or ammo.
Visually, the game looks stunning, which is no surprise as this is the second title to support Nvidia’s RTX technology. (The first being Battlefield V). Dhayana and I first saw this at PAX Australia at the end of 2018 and we were blown away back than too. The lighting detail looks amazing, especially since the game cycles through day and night and takes place over the course of a year with changing seasons. This technology is only available on the RTX 2060 and above.
However, I’ve been running Metro Exodus on a GTX 1060 and the detail in everything is great. This is of particular importance as Metro Exodus does a lot of storytelling through its visuals. It is the visual prompts throughout the game that adds to the overall detail of the game’s narrative.
While Metro Exodus does look amazing and shines a bright future on the new ray tracing technology, the gameplay loop and story is something Fallout veterans have all experienced before. However, Metro Exodus is an excellent entry point for anyone looking to get into the series and to test their computer’s graphical potential.