[Review] Metro Exodus
Metro Exodus is one of the most immersive first-person shooters of 2019. It has excellent graphics and a great mix of both linear and openworld gameplay. While the game has its share of graphical bugs and polish issues, it is a great ride from beginning to end.
A Russian Fallout, is what I would describe the Metro series as, especially Metro Exodus. In this game you actually get to explore 4 different biomes in their unique open world format. What makes it unique is that while the story is linear, the game drops you off in 4 different miniature open worlds as it goes through the story. Each of these game areas is large enough to spend a few hours in, exploring, and each has its own set of environmental challenges.
The way Metro accomplishes having multiple open worlds in a linear story is by utilizing a train as a main story element. In order to escape Moscow in the beginning of the game you hijack a locomotive and use it to hunt down a place with no radiation to live with your family.
This train takes you to a frozen river biome, where you have to deal with cultists who pray to a fish god. Then a desert, where you must survive harsh sandstorms while fighting an oil baron. Followed by a lush forest, populated by children of the apocalypse. Lastly you must navigate a lifeless city for the endgame. In between these areas you learn more about your comrads on the train with scripted touching moments to remind you why you’re on your quest.
Metro Exodus has fairly standard crafting mechanics. When exploring the world you come across either mechanical or chemical crafting components, and you can use these at anytime to create filters for your gas mask, medkits, bullets, or change the attachments to your weapons. Each attachment gives your weapons different handling characteristics, sights, or abilities.
One of the unique parts of Metro Exodus is the Pneumatic Gun. This is a special weapon that is powered off of air pressure. Its ammunition is very inexpensive to make so it will always be a go-to choice for most of the game. Later in the game you also have access to a crossbow that has its own unique set of attachments to make it a heavy hitter in its own right (you can also recover your arrows which is helpful in a world where you always have to craft your ammunition)
While in radioactive areas you always have to wear your gas mask, which could be annoying. Every few minutes you have to switch out your gas mask filter which is a craft-able item (you also can find filters out in the world). The gas mask can also get cracked and break which you also have to fix with materials. These mechanics are not too much of a hindrance though, only once during my play through did I have to quickly craft a filter in order to not die from radiation poisoning. It’s not as obnoxious as Fallout 2’s medicine mechanic, most of the time I forgot I could craft filters for my gas mask because i just always had them.
In my 14 hour play through I did notice some graphical anomalies in the game, like a weird black smudge that went away after looking around. A couple times when exiting the game I was informed my save file was corrupted as well for some reason. I just ignored that message and was able to keep playing, just be careful not to overwrite your save accidentally.
While Metro Exodus does have some polish issues, it is a gorgeous game with a compelling story. Its diversification of environments creates the feeling of a complete package that’s well worth the price of admission if it’s on sale.