Rustling through my backpack, I grab the ingredients I need to throw together a health kit. Good thing, too: I’m on death’s door and there are two soldiers looking for me, guns in hand. Peeking from behind a nearby house, I fire an arrow silently into one of them, and run up on the final enemy, dispatching them before looting their bodies for more precious materials.
Welcome to Metro Exodus.
Last weekend I had the opportunity to sit down with the game (which is due out early next year) and play through about 30 minutes of content. It gave me a really good feel for the gameplay and aesthetic – and as a newcomer to the Metro franchise, I must say that it makes a compelling argument to play catch-up so I can enjoy this release to the fullest.
The 3rd game in the series canonically (4th overall, since Redux combined the first two titles), Metro Exodus continues to follow our protagonist Artyom as he makes his way out of the vast network of tunnels under Moscow; this where mankind had retreated following an apocalyptic event just over two decades earlier.
While we aren’t fully aware of the circumstances, Artyom has emerged into an unfamiliar and spectacular world. While you will struggle for survival against the mutants and rugged survivors above ground, you’ll also have difficulty focusing on the game when confronted with the spectacular environments that Metro Exodus has to offer. I spent a good 5 minutes admiring the fall foliage and expansive lake, rather than diving right into conflict.
Metro Exodus’ core gameplay is that of a first person shooter, with elements of survival and horror mixed in. Central to this game is crafting, which means that exploration is encouraged, and often rewarded. I was a big fan of this system during my brief time with it, because it captured the frantic nature of crafting crucial items under pressure (read: in the middle of a firefight), while still making it accessible.
Another element of the crafting system is robust weapon-customization. From sights to magazines, barrels and more, you can customize your various weapons to focus on being lightweight and efficient, but lacking power, to transforming yourself into a walking tank – with the speed to match.
Featured in the demo was the silent-but-deadly crossbow, outfitted with a night-vision scope. This was particularly useful as night fell, and I found myself squaring off against packs of deformed wolves. I was able to snipe off a few in silence before being confronted by a MASSIVE mutated…bear? Thing? Anyways it was terrifying and I ran away. #sorrynotsorry
When it was time for my appointment to wrap up, I had definitely found myself steeped in this dark and unforgiving world that 4A Games has beautifully constructed. Thankfully I have a few months to catch up on the lore – because I am not going to miss this game when it arrives.
You shouldn’t either.