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Letters from the Front

The Metro series, it’s first two installments, was never really a runaway success nor were they never really that successful. Over the course of 2033 and Last Light, the series has garnered quite a following and the series has been compared to the likes of Fallout and BioShock with its grounded story, moody atmosphere, and extreme tension. 4A Games, with Metro Exodus, is stepping out of the shadows by taking the action above ground into what was once the Russian Federation. With a fully-realized world, beautiful graphics, amazing gameplay, and a well-paced campaign, this might be The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt of the Metro series. That one installment that breaks the glass ceiling and brings the franchise into the mainstream.

At the beginning of Metro: Exodus, we meet Arytom above on the surface where he must find a radio broadcast. After a few revelations, Arytom, Anna, and his comrades escape on the Aurora in search of a better life above ground while trying to find what happened in the 20 years since the nuclear fallout and what happened to the Russian government. Each stop along the voyage offers new territory to explore, from the shattered remains of Moscow to the dried up waterfront that was once the Caspian Sea. These levels and the world of Metro Exodus isn’t a true open world, but a series of semi-open worlds that allows for extreme freedom in how you can approach different objectives and approach how you want to do certain things; for example, do you want to tackle that objective at night or rush in during the day and get it over with? It’s all up to you. In these semi-open world sections, the full power of the Xbox One X is on display. From beautiful sunsets to gorgeous lighting illuminating the landscapes, the variety of the different locales keep the game fresh as it delivers new story beats, new factions to see, interesting characters to meet, new monsters to defeat.

The gameplay of Metro: Exodus is more of what you expect of a Metro game but not in a bad way. Exodus allows you to approach combat however you like; from night attacks to stealth sections, you have the option to do whatever you want. The best part of the gameplay is the combat and the general exploration, it is absolutely necessary to explore your surroundings as you might find some few new goodies for your outfit or for your weapons. The weapon customization isn’t wild like how you would expect in Call of Duty or a Battlefield game, it’s quite limited but that’s good as it allows for experimentation and allows for flexibility on the battlefield. It allows you to tweak your loadout on the fly, if you want to go in stealthy then you can customize your weapon right there and equip a silencer. One of the biggest complaints is how Artyom tends to go about different places, his traversal skills aren’t really the best. Artyom’s movement is slow, cumbersome, and what can he traverse is confusing at best. You would think driving down a hill wouldn’t kill you but apparently, it does in Metro: Exodus.

Crafting makes an appearance in Metro: Exodus so exploring every inch of the world is necessary. Resources are scarce in the Metro world but you won’t run out of anything if you take a little bit of time to explore and scavenge very little nook and cranny of the game’s world. A man’s trash is another man’s treasure in the world of Metro: Exodus. You might never know what’s in that corner if you don’t go looking.

In terms of story, 4A Games deliver the goods here like they always have done in the two previous entries. In many ways, it feels like 4A Games were inspired by MachineGame’s reboot of the Wolfenstein games as many of the scenes within the game feel like they belong in a Wolfenstein game and where the journey appears to be the more interesting thing than the destination, wherever that may be.

In the end, 4A Games succeed in achieving what they were originally planning to do with Metro: Exodus. There are a few shortcomings but it shouldn’t stop you from trying out this next installment in the Metro series. Stay tuned for my review coming soon.

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2 comments on “Metro Exodus: First Impressions

  1. I’d like to play Exodus, but I still haven’t played Last Light in spite of having it downloaded for ages.

    1. Physics says:

      To be fair, the Metro games take a while to get into. I remember I couldn’t get into 2033 for several months and then it bothered me so much that I just went in after like what 4 months I think of just looking at it. It takes a minute but with Exodus, it’s very accessible and very easy to get into which I like. I’m no means a “casual”gamer though, I just like a bit of accessibility.

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