Metro Exodus Review – Continues to Impress
As stated several times before I am not a horror anything person with a handful of exceptions. One of those exceptions is the Metro game series.
Metro Exodus is the third series in the survival horror FPS games developed by 4A Games and published by THQ/Deep Silver/Koch Media. Metro Exodus plays very much like Metro Last Light and Metro 2033 Redux and, as is to be expected, looks absolutely amazing. The player is once again put in the boots of Artyom Chyornyj, Moscow’s favourite mute. Along with your team, including Colonel Miller and his daughter, Anna, now Artyom’s wife, the player finally leaves behind the cramped, claustrobic tunnels of Moscow’s metro and seeks out a new place to settle East of the city, where the air is safe to breathe, and life has returned to the surface.
Metro Exodus is the least scary of the three games, but still has plenty of moments of tension, mostly (for me) thanks to new mutants called Chameleons who blend in with their surroundings, particularly walls and shallow water, and leap out at the player. I initially thought that the game would stay within the frozen wastes of the city and was pleasantly surprised to find myself being taken to different environments as the party travels further from Moscow on their stolen train, the Aurora.
There’s something for everyone in Exodus; mutants, religious cults, bandits and cannibals are what I’ve encountered so far, at what I judge to be about ¾ of the way through the game. The English voice acting is still a bit shoddy, as it’s always been (I usually prefer to play the game with Russian audio and English subtitles), but the characters are as loveable as always. I’m particularly drawn to how realistic and carefully crafted the relationship between Artyom and Anna (the sniper from Last Light) is. They touch and talk (well, Anna talks) and Anna frequently expresses delight and concern when Artyom puts himself in danger and then returns unarmed.
As is to be expected of the Metro games the gunplay is solid. It’s not quite as hardcore as the STALKER games, which Exodus does share a very distinct vibe with now that there’s a more open game world to explore, but it’s satisfying and easy. Exodus brings in a portable workbench with weapons modifications and upgrades to your armor as well. It’s essential to search for any salvage and chemicals you can find if you don’t want to run out of ammo or medkits (which I’ve done both of already), especially on the harder difficulties where resources are scarcer, and enemies hit harder.
Exodus also continues the subtle moral choice system present in the first two games. For example, early on in the first real open zone of the game, you have the option to silently exfiltrate a church (or knock out every enemy NPC instead) or go out guns blazing. The decision the player makes here changes how the locals respond to them and whether or not the player can exit the zone and continue on their journey peacefully or if they’ll meet more resistance. Artyom’s team responds to his actions as well. If you exit the church without killing anyone, Anna will praise you. If you don’t, she’ll comment that she wished you could have done so without bloodshed.
Stealth has been ramped up some, too. The same system exists as it did in 2033 Redux and Last Light, but there’s now the addition of a day night cycle and the option to sleep until your desired time. Go during the day and there’ll be less monsters, but if you’re trying to be sneaky, you’ll find more resistance and less places to hide. Go at night and it’ll be easier for you to infiltrate and take our human enemies, but the mutants come out to play.
The game also offers bonus objective that pop up as question mark icons on your map; get a little girls teddy bear back from a demon, get a guitar for one of your teammates, save prisoners, get supplies, etc. It reinforces the idea of exploration and, again, moral choice. Freeing prisoners will earn more praise (mostly from Anna) and makes the new members of your crew you pick up along the way warm to you more quickly.
Aside from the slightly off English VA, the only real flaw of the game aside from the occasional physics problem, is the difficult to navigate options menu and some slight stability issues. I had to rename the intro video files to skip the logos and opening cutscenes so I could reach the main menu without crashing or freezing. It was an easy fix, but an unnecessary one. The cutscene before the menu is about a minute long and there’s no real way to skip it or the logos without messing around with the game files.
I have no complaints. The Metro series continues to impress. 5/5.