Menu

Metro Exodus Review

We live in a world obsessed with post-apocalyptic stories, to the point where the genre is a bit crowded (especially in games and film). That doesn’t mean there aren’t any stories left to tell but that they have to work harder to stand apart. How does 4A Games deal with their trek into the genre?

Metro Exodus is the third game in the Metro series, with Metro 2033 and Metro: Last Light originally releasing on PlayStation 3, and then as a collection on PlayStation 4. You are Artyom, a soldier who, for some unexplained reason, doesn’t talk. You are supported by your wife, Anna, and a crew of special forces soldiers who admire you. Metro Exodus is definitely heavy on the story it’s telling but is it worth spending your time on? Let’s get into what makes the game tick.

 

Endgame

 

Metro Exodus Review

Metro Exodus is set in Russia, with events beginning near Moscow. A civilization of survivors have created a home underground, in the metro. It’s believed that there are no other survivors outside of the underground metro. This game follows the events of Metro: Last Light. Even if you haven’t played the first two entries in the series, Metro Exodus does a good job of catching you up with significant events.

You play as Artyom, a seemingly mute scout searching for life on the surface. Based on other characters’ observations, Artyom keeps risking his life due to his dream of finding a habitable place to live on the surface.

The biggest flaw in the story is the fact that Arytom isn’t voiced. He’s portrayed as a passionate, strong character, but that doesn’t come across when other characters constantly speak for him. “Artyom wants this,” and “Artyom wants that” has much less impact than if he spoke for himself. It’s weird because, during longer loading screens, Arytom is given voiced recaps of his thoughts on events that just took place. It’s really awkward to see him motioning (throughout the game) with his hands in reply to the other characters but not saying anything.

The reason this doesn’t work is that Artyom IS actually talking but his lines don’t show up in text or voice. Supporting characters put words in Artyom’s mouth, and a strong character is made to look like a puppet, more than anything else.

Metro Exodus Review

Main character’s unexplained muteness aside, Metro Exodus does have an interesting enough story. You’ll find a train, which serves as your main transportation and also a base of operations. The train serves as the connector between areas on the surface world. When you’re not on missions, you’ll be traveling to the next destination by train.

The relationships between the characters and seeing them interact with each other during downtime are my favorite parts of the story. Later in the game, there’s a particular moment that really touched my ice-cold heart. I won’t go into it for spoiler reasons, but I wish the game had more moments like that one.

Unfortunately, Metro Exodus has only a few highlights during the story. Many of the supporting cast feel like throwaway characters. Anna and Miller are really the only other strongly written characters. The game tries to get you to feel for some of the cast but some of the characters just feel replaceable. Ultimately, I think the game has a lot of wasted potential in the story department, which is too bad.

 

Your Arsenal and Using it

 

Metro Exodus Review

One of Metro Exodus’ strengths is the wealth of gadgets and weapons that it gives you. As you progress, you get upgrades and additional gadgets. You’ll get a lighter (used for burning spiderwebs), a flashlight (which you have to charge occasionally), a gas mask with replaceable filters, and more.

The weapon system in the game is deep enough without being overbearing. You’re allowed to carry two main guns and a special weapon at once. Each weapon is customizable, with replaceable magazines, stocks, and more. There’s also a cleaning system that affects gun strength but isn’t obnoxious.

Almost all your items are stored in your backpack, which also serves as a mini crafting station. Artyom is able to craft on the go, although you need to be aware that the game won’t pause when you’re crafting ammo and health packs. Crafting takes resources, which you harvest from corpses and the world itself.

Metro Exodus Review

Metro Exodus isn’t an open world game and it embraces this well. There are large areas that you get dropped into, with some optional side objectives to complete. They don’t feel like sidequests and, instead, are legitimately optional. You won’t gain levels in this game but you will find upgrades and additional weapon enhancements if you dive into some of these side objectives but the risk is wasting ammo and resources.

At its heart, the game is still a first-person shooter with survival and stealth elements. The gunplay is typical of the genre but it does feel a little too slow, even with the sensitivity turned all the way up. It’s taxing to turn and face enemies behind you because they will probably get a hit or two in before you get there. Besides that, the game is really fun to play. I played on Normal difficulty and still received a challenge. It doesn’t take much to kill Artyom, so make sure to stock up on health packs.

Exodus encourages you to avoid encounters as often as you can. Some enemies, particularly monsters, don’t drop any ammo. When you’re constantly trying to conserve ammo, there’s a weight to attacking when you might not get anything in return. Many of the missions encourage you to take the stealth approach. As soon as you’ve alerted the enemy, it’s really difficult to blend back in so it’s best to take your time during encounters. You’re able to take enemies out quietly with a couple punches from behind or stab them and kill them. This plays into the morality system implemented into the game.

Depending on how you play the game, you’ll get a specific ending tailored to your choices. Unlike other games, this mechanic isn’t as obvious. I thought it was a refreshing take on what other games do. Other games typically bludgeon you over the head with good and bad choices. Exodus is more about playing the game and more naturally receiving an outcome by the end. I will say that my ending was pretty devastating but I’m not sure how it compares to the others.

 

Sights

 

Metro Exodus Review

This is a really gorgeous game, mostly in terms of the environments. Everything is rendered beautifully and effects, such as lighting and snow, are stunning. The most satisfying visual design choice in Exodus is the fact that you don’t really have a HUD. Your health, directions to the next objective, and radiation levels are all implemented as part of your character’s physical design or how he sees the world. The only real HUD element that shows up is the amount of ammo you have, but it only briefly flashes in the bottom right corner of the screen. Besides that, the game lets you enjoy the environment without distractions.

The animation in the game does need a little more work as many of them seem a bit stiff. There are a few visual glitches that I ran into, especially with enemies. This either showed up as randomly slowed framerates or bad rendering during movement. The animation is passable to good, but not amazing. Maybe I’ve been spoiled by other games but I think it’s fair to expect high quality from a game like this.

Overall, I think you’ll be impressed with the visuals for this game. It really does an amazing job of setting a mood with the atmospheres and varied environments. I got some crazy Mad Max vibes in one area (you get to drive a car in this area), while the final area gave me chills with how spectacular it looked.

 

Sounds of the Wasteland

 

Metro Exodus Review

The sound in this game is worthy of some praise. Gunplay and environment sounds are on point. The sound effects help you feel like you’re actually in the game. I generally wasn’t taken out of the experience by any of the sound elements, except for one.

This may sound like a nitpick but I’ve never been so annoyed by the sound of footsteps before. Most of the time, they sound like something heavy being knocked against a wall repeatedly. The sound is so unnatural and happens so often that it continually took me out of the experience. Anyway, that’s the only real complaint I have for sound design. The rest is pretty much flawless.

Metro Exodus Review

The soundtrack for Metro Exodus is mostly minimal and does more to enhance the experience than dominate it. There are two or three primary tracks, that play at appropriate times, that were incredibly memorable and I would go out of my way to listen to again. One of the ending themes in particular completely won me over. I’m going to be downloading the soundtrack just for that song.

Voice acting is kind of a mixed bag. I almost wish the game was voiced completely in Russian because the English is spotty and awkward. I thought about this for a long time but I just don’t think the voice acting is that good. If I didn’t have the subtitles, I would miss out on a lot the characters are saying. Things are phrased awkwardly and the characters honestly talk way too much and too unnaturally. Characters rant on when just a sentence or two would have been enough. It’s almost as if they’re making up for Artyom being silent.

 

To Exodus or Not to Exodus

 

Metro Exodus Review

I would say that Metro Exodus is a story worth experiencing, even with some of its shortcomings. The game has a phenomenal atmospheric quality to it that never goes away and changes as the game’s environments evolve. The gunplay and stealth elements are fun and have a weight to them if you fail. There was only one part in the game where I was stuck (for about two hours, so not great) because of the unfair amount of enemies and poor cover. Besides that area, the game has good pacing. The sound design is mostly effective, with some awkward voice acting all around. Metro Exodus is an impressive game in a genre that doesn’t necessarily need more entries. If you’re looking for a solid survival shooter that will last you a while to get through, look no further.

 

This version of Metro Exodus was played and reviewed on PlayStation 4. A code was provided to us for review purposes.

We live in a world obsessed with post-apocalyptic stories, to the point where the genre is a bit crowded (especially in games and film). That doesn’t mean there aren’t any stories left to tell but that they have to work harder to stand apart. How does 4A Games deal with their trek into the genre? Metro Exodus is the third game in the Metro series, with Metro 2033 and Metro: Last Light originally releasing on PlayStation 3, and then as a collection on PlayStation 4. You are Artyom, a soldier who, for some unexplained reason, doesn’t talk. You are supported…

0

User Rating: No Ratings Yet !
8/10

Summary

Metro Exodus is worth a playthrough, even if some of its components need a little work. The game does a brilliant job of building an enticing atmosphere in its many environments while telling a compelling story. The gunplay and crafting system are interesting enough to carry you until the end, even if some of the characters aren't. It's a lengthy adventure, one that I took about a couple dozen to get through.

Sending
User Rating 0 (0 votes)

No comments

Leave a Reply

Newsletter

Links Awakening Cover Art

The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening Review

The original Link’s Awakening has a special place in the hearts of those who played it. Its surreal, Twin Peaks-inspired atmosphere and its character-driven story combined to create a unique…

September 22, 2019, 92

The Sojourn Review – Le Pneuma, Portal Deux

Well, I’m sure we’ve done this rodeo… many, many times.   From Portal to Pneuma, Qube to Quantum Conundrum, Braid to The Bridge, blah blah blah, we have another one after so long. The ol’ narrative puzzle-platformer dance that’s…

September 20, 2019, 75

September PlayStation State of Play Announced

It’s been a while since we’ve gotten one of these. After five months of near radio silence with the last month airing in early May, Sony announced that the third…

September 19, 2019, 56
Isometric gameplay still of Disco Elysium, portraying gunplay

Disco Elysium Announced for October 15th Release

The long-anticipated open-world detective RPG Disco Elysium has a release date and it’s sooner than you may expect! Developer ZA/UM’s intricate translation of pen-and-paper character development to a stylish isometric…

September 18, 2019, 64
Cinematic still of skateboarding simulator Session, showing player's character olleying off a ledge

Early Access Launch Trailer for Session Has Released

It’s been a vacant few years for skateboarding games in the aftermath of the implosion of the Tony Hawk franchise, and EA’s radio silence on the trajectory for Skate, but…

September 17, 2019, 190
Cover art for the first 3 dragon quest games that are now coming to Nintendo Switch

The First Three Dragon Quest Games Are Coming Soon to Switch

Publisher Square Enix has announced via twitter that the original three Dragon Quest games are coming to the Nintendo Switch. All three games are coming to the eShop on September…

September 16, 2019, 77
PlayStation 4

PlayStation 4 Surpasses 30 Million Units In United States Market

PlayStation 4 is nothing short of a resounding success for console manufacturer Sony. The console reached the impressive 100 million units shipped milestone faster than any other console, making it…

September 16, 2019, 59
The Game Awards Logo

Geoff Keighley Announces the Date for The Game Awards 2019

Geoff Keighley is not only famous for making a cameo appearance in Death Stranding, he also created The Game Awards – the annual celebration of the best of the best…

September 13, 2019, 100
Girls doing yoga using Ring Con controller

Do Yoga, Kill Monsters in Ring Fit Adventure on Switch

Last week Nintendo shared a pretty bizarre teaser trailer showing happy families getting physical with a mysterious ring-shaped peripheral. Today they drew back the curtain and officially announced Ring Fit…

September 12, 2019, 127
Left Alive gameplay image, features main character Mikhail behind cover

Left Alive Postmortem Review– Metal Gear Slop

Dead in the Water Amidst the legendary blowouts of its contemporaries Anthem and Fallout 76, it is the relatively under-the-radar Left Alive that has been given the bomb beneath the…

September 9, 2019, 193