Metro is an interesting FPS series of games, with elements of survival horror. Set in a post-nuclear war Russia, Metro 2033 & Metro: Last Light are set mostly in the underground metro. Metro Exodus changes the formula a bit, introducing a large open-world to explore from the start and gets you out of the small, cramped tunnels of the previous titles.
I got to play about an hour of the title at Gamescom. The new thing that is noticeable from the get go, is the openness of the world. There are caves to explore, buildings to raid, enemies to take on and environments to traverse. Metro’s new spaces don’t make the game any easier though. In fact, you have to think more tactically. In previous Metro games, the majority of the game took part in confined areas. Enemies would be in small numbers, but the dark, dank areas allowed the player to take out some enemies in a stealthy manner. In Metro Exodus, the expansive environments allow some more opportunities for tactics, but if it all goes wrong, you can be overwhelmed by hoards of enemies.
Gunplay was is solid, as you can use a number of weapons. These include silent crossbows, sturdy but short range shotgun or even long range riffles. Your enemies are equipped with similar weapons, which you can pick up on the fly. Now you may think that with a bigger world to explore, that there would be an abundance of ammo, but alas, there isn’t. You still exist in a post apocalyptic setting. Ammo is as scare as before and direct combat with a group of enemies is not advise. We were prompted at the demo to use the quick save feature, as we could “die at any time”.
So gun combat can be your approach, but you need to keep in mind that you are not Rambo and you will run out bullets and be killed without some pre-planning. Another option for combat is the stealth route. You can use your environment to your advantage. Hide in the high grass, turn of lamps the may illuminate your path and keep you hidden. Taking down an enemy can sway the odds in your favour, as you will have less to take on if a gunfight did breakout.
So how do you do you stay alive? Well you have a backpack where you can craft med packs to restore health, ammo for certain weapons, weapon upgrades or even distraction items to use to draw enemies attention. You collect crafting items throughout the world, by raiding buildings, enemies or even the glowing mushrooms that litter an area.
The controls were slick and responsive. You HUD is minimal and mapped to your wrist. You have a basic navigation direction, radiation counter and watch. Mix this in with the ability to use a lighter to illuminate the darker parts of the world. The backpack can be entered whenever and wherever. Graphics are top-notch, as there is huge detail in character models, environments and items. The night time excels in lighting, as glimmers of lamps light-up darker areas. But keep in mind, dark areas are good for you.
So there is my take on Metro Exodus. This world will take you in. It’s not for the faint-hearted. This world will gobble you up if you let it. Metro Exodus releases February 22nd 2019.