4A Games’ beloved shooter series makes its return- here’s why you should be excited.
The Metro series developed by 4A Games and based on the novels by Russian author Dmitry Glukhovsky might not have the mainstream and widespread appeal of some other shooter franchises out there, but as fans of the series would tell you, there’s nothing else quite like it. With Metro Exodus, the psuedo-horror post-apocalyptic franchise returns, going bigger and (hopefully) better than ever before. With its launch getting closer and closer, excitement surrounding the game is continuing to mount. In this feature, we’re going to talk about fifteen pieces of info about Metro Exodus that are sure to get you excited for Artyom’s harrowing journey across a post-nuclear Russia.
Following on from the “Redemption” ending of Metro Last Light, Exodus picks up a year later, in 2036, and follows Artyom and Anna (who’re now married), and a group of Spartan Rangers flee from Moscow to head east in order to find a peaceful home for themselves. They journey across Russia aboard the train known as Aurora. The game’s story will span an entire year, and as a result show all four seasons, beginning with Winter.
Metro games have always been defined by tight, claustrophobic, and linear levels, but Exodus is going to open things up- a lot. While progression will still be linear (in that once you’re done with a level, you can’t go back to it), levels will now take place in large, open-ended, sandbox environments. Players will be free to explore, and according to the developers, even just the critical path in each of these levels can take up multiple hours of your time.
Though Metro Exodus will have larger and more open levels, the game is not going to be open world- what’s more, if you’re worried that the game will be foregoing the atmospheric and claustrophobic design of previous games, don’t be. 4A Games have confirmed that though the larger levels are open ended, there will be missions limited to corridor-style levels as well, and that the game will strive to strike a balance between the two styles.
One of the reasons that 4A Games were adamant on not making Exodus an open world game was so that they wouldn’t lose the tight narrative focus that the series is known for. As such, the open ended maps in Exodus aren’t going to have side quests in the traditional sense. There will still be optional activities, while exploration will obviously have its benefits, but all of that will be completely up to the player, and the game won’t really direct you in any way (which means no markers, either).
The Aurora, the train that Artyom and his companions use to traverse across Russia throughout the course of the game, will serve as a hub environment for players between missions. Though the train will begin the game as only an engine, throughout the course of the game, players will add more carriages to it. Characters players meet in the game can be recruited to join their party aboard the train, and players can witness or engage in conversations with these characters by returning to the train, similar to settlements in previous Metro games.
Weapon customization is going to be a much more emphasized gameplay mechanic than it has been in previous Metro games. Unlike its predecessors, in Exodus, players can customize weapons on the fly. Using parts or resources that you scavenge from the environments, you can engage in extensive customization and modification of your guns, to suit any particular needs you might have.
The large, open environments of Metro Exodus will have an element of dynamism to them- this will happen mostly through different weathers, such as sandstorms, which will alter things such as visibility. Additionally, the game also has a day and night cycle, which will also have an impact on how players approach their objectives.
Since Exodus’ story spans an entire year, players will get to witness four different seasons as well, and as the season changes from winter to spring to summer to autumn, the environments will be altered as well. Seasons will also have an impact on what sorts of enemies players encounter in the game- which brings us to our next point.
While mutated animals and humans will of course be among the enemy types that players will cross paths with in the game, the human enemies you come across will also have some variation to them, and will belong to different factions, which will be introduced across different seasons in the story. During the Winter, players will meet the Hanza faction, the dominant faction on the surface. The Fanatics and the Bandits are two more factions that will be introduced in Spring. The faction that will emerge in Summer will be the Children of the Forest, a group of young children who live in the woods, and do not take kindly to those encroaching on their territory.
Player choice has always been part of Metro games, and that won’t be changing in Exodus. Throughout the story, at several moments, players will be given choices, which will shape the way the story unfurls. As per the developers, these choices will be nuanced and subtle, and won’t be telegraphed in a way that players can see them coming.
Of course, choices means multiple endings, which is something else that Metro fans will be familiar with. The choices that players make throughout the game’s story will shape its ultimate outcome. According to the developers, there won’t be any “wrong” ending, and the conclusion that players get will fit with the way they have played the entire game.
As linear, story-driven shooters, Metro 2033 and Last Light were both games that players could roughly finish in 10 hours- Exodus is apparently going to be much longer than that. Though the developers haven’t given any specific figures for what the playtime will be, they have said that, owing to the larger levels and the increased focus on exploration, the game will end up being longer than its predecessors. It’s apparently got a lot of things to say from a narrative standpoint as well- its script is supposedly longer than both Metro 2033 and Metro Last Light put together.
Photo Modes have become increasingly common (and popular) in games these days, and players can expect to see something similar in Exodus as well. Developers 4A Games have also announced that there will be a Photo Mode in Metro Exodus– at launch. Which is a good thing, because the game looks like it’s going to be a visual beast.
For the biggest fans of the Metro series, publishers Deep Silver are also going to put out a collector’s edition. The Aurora Limited Edition will include, of course, a copy of the game itself, as well as the expansion pass, an artbook, and a steelbook case. The entire package will cost $90.
PS4 PRO AND XBOX ONE X ENHANCEMENTS
Metro games have always sported top notch visuals at launch, and Exodus is looking like it’s going to continue that tradition. In fact, developers 4A Games have stated that they’re looking to take full advantage of the more powerful hardware of the PS4 Pro and the Xbox One X. On the One X, Exodus will have a native 4K resolution, and while the developers haven’t said anything specific about the PS4 Pro version, we can expect it to hit at least dynamic 4K as well.