Metro Exodus is looking like an incredible game from everything that we’ve seen of it so far, and the reason we, among many others, are so excited about it is because it represents something of a change in direction for the series in terms of design philosophies. Where Metro 2033 and Metro: Last Light (which were mind blowing, mind you) restricted players in spooky and claustrophobic areas and mostly kept to either the underground or within the vicinity of Moscow, Exodus is really opening up, going for a much larger scope.
We recently had a chance to speak about the game with Huw Beynon, head of Global Brand Management at Deep Silver, and when we asked him about what are some of the most major ways Exodus is changing things up from its predecessors, his answer was quite interesting, to say the least. He said that while the first two games were very much story-focused linear titles inspired by Half-Life 2, Exodus is a much more ambitious project.
“Metro Exodus represent a new chapter for the studio,” Beynon told GamingBolt. “The first two games were kind of similar in many ways: very linear, story driven, heavily inspired by Half-Life 2. You almost think of them as two parts of a major story. This team really wanted to try something different, ambitious. So, from a story perspective we have left Moscow; you go on this year-long journey across post apocalyptic Russia. That means you’re no longer confined to the tunnels, the snowy wasteland of Moscow.”
How exactly are things going to change, though? Well, that change comes in several forms. From day and night cycles, to dynamic weather, to larger, more open levels, to new locations, to even seasonal changes, Metro: Exodus is just looking like a bigger game than any of its predecessors. Beynon gave quite an extensive lowdown of all this.
“We’re going to take you through four seasons, and some incredible locations that might be surprising to Metro fans,” he said. “At the same time, from a design perspective, it reflects their creative muscles. It introduces some new elements: player freedom, which fans have been asking for. The game still plays out in a linear order: play through a level, complete it, move on. We’ve introduced a handful of huge levels; we called them sandbox survival levels. Each of those can last many hours of critical path gameplay. Even more, if you want to explore side contracts.”
“We have full day/night cycles and dynamic weather,” he continued. “You can spend days of in-game time in these environments, scavenging and hunting in the wild. You’re really free to explore and enjoy the city at your own pace. Those are the two real big shake-ups. Then, we’ve made countless changes to the tech and the granular features.”
Honestly, the more I hear about Metro: Exodus, the more I become pumped for it. The idea of combining a linear, narrative-driven experience with more open ended level design sounds like an enticing one, not to mention the fact that it just automatically means more content. What the game’s quality hinges on, now, is the quality of that content, and also on making sure that it retains the semi-horror, survival-centric tension that defined the previous two titles. I have a good feeling that it might, though. Metro: Exodus launches for PS4, Xbox One, and PC on February 22, 2019.