Metro Exodus Review
For the first time since 2014 develop 4A Games is a releasing a game in the Metro series. Metro Exodus is based on the Science Fiction novels by author Dmitry Glukhovsky. The game is referred to as a first-person shooter survival horror game. That long description fits with elements similar to Resident Evil, PUBG and The Division just to name a few. Effectively it is a PvE Battle Royale action RPG. If that makes any sense.
In Metro Exodus you play as Artyom. Set in a post-apocalyptic wasteland around Moscow you the player must attempt to guide your group to safety. The world of Metro Exodus is filled with all sorts of dangers, from deformed people little better than zombies to powerful beasts. Meanwhile any surviving humans should be approached with suspicion because you don’t know their attention.
Scarcity of resources
Surviving the wastelands around Moscow is made even more difficult due to the scarcity of resources. Ammunition, bandages, and gas mask filters are all in short supply. If you miss a target you may well end up wasting huge amounts of munition just surviving an encounter.
That said Metro Exodus forces the player to make choices. Artyom is equipped with all sorts of secondary equipment such as throwing knives, Molotov cocktails and grenades. Apart from grenades these weapons are often for show in other games, but in Metro Exodus they are invaluable to save ammunition.
Now in Metro Exodus there is plenty of room to scavenge for resources. The maps are large and filled with little hamlets or abandoned factory plants were you can scavenge chemicals and parts. These can be used to make ammunition or even improve your weapons. Normally with games any kind of upgrade is for the better. Not so in Metro Exodus. As an example, you can upgrade a suppressed pistol to a fully automatic carbine, but in doing so it is no longer useful for stealth attacks.
Meanwhile scavenging for resources brings with it many perils. There were times I ran away from one zombie horde straight into another. That usually means game over. Speaking of game over, it does take time to get used to the wonky save functionality. That along with the sometimes insufferable dialogue that cannot be skipped could have done with more tweaks.
The world of Metro Exodus is highly dangerous but it is also an integral part of the experience. The beautifully rendered environments, the snow, the frost and sleet add to the games character. It really feels like you are fighting against the elements and not just holding the trigger button when convenient.
As Artyom it is up to you to press forward into the story. At times it is hard to do so when you know an area is filled with creatures bent on killing you. If you have little ammunition clearing out an area can be a tough chore. That can dampen some expectations. Despite some similarities in style to Half-Life 2 this is not a fast paced game.
Metro Exodus is also not without some other flaws. Player movement is not smooth. I think this is by design, swerving is what we do in real life. But at times when running my character got caught on something. Also not every window or doorway can be jumped through even though they look as they might allow it.
While playing the game past Friday and Saturday I noticed a few bugs as well. These were usually no more than a few graphical glitches that were for the most part non-recurring. I expect that developer 4A Games will solve those in time. However, I have also had a few crashes. Usually this happens when I am in an area with more than the usual number of zombies. So perhaps there is a performance problem related to scaling.
I am currently playing the game on PC with a i5-6000 and ATI Radeon 460. I bought the GPU as mid-budget card two and a half years ago and so so far it is has not let me down with any triple A games. Lets hope 4A Games will do something about these blemishes. I am sure they will as this often happens with big releases.
Metro Exodus is one of those games I just known I will still be playing a few years down the line. The campaign is not particularly long. It took me a weekend and a day to get though it, but the story and the experience make it worthwhile. So far 2019 has gotten off to a good start.