Metro Exodus is a Superb FPS That Many Missed

Metro Exodus was released a few years ago by Deep Silver. Even though this franchise has spawned three installments since 2010. Thusly, there were a couple of remasters in the mix throughout the years. Even though this game appears to be just another post-apocalyptic FPS, there’s a lot working under its hood. These games are based on the Russian novel Metro 2033 by Dmitry Glukhovsky. Generally, these stories are based around bands of human survivors living in underground tunnels throughout Moscow. An entire civilization was established underground, producing several generations of people who had never seen the surface. The idea of living above ground was considered a “fairy tale” to these people. The main protagonist is Artyom, a Ranger under the orders of Commander Miller, a rugged veteran who ultimately bonds with Artyom after he marries his daughter. Many adventures happen with Artyom, Miller, and the Rangers which involve betrayal, loss, love, and even revenge.  These games are generally not very long, but they’re dense. There are a ton of things to do and find.

The thing is that Metro Exodus is the third, and possibly final, installment of this series of games. What makes this game stand apart from other FPS out there is the gameplay itself. It’s deep, practical, and intimate. There’s definitely a balancing act on how to manage resources and maintain Artyom’s gear. Many hotspots scattered around Earth are riddled with radiation which players will need to manually put on their masks and watch for spikes of toxic air. All these meters can be looked at on Artyom’s gauntlet that he wears on his left arm. Pushing a button will cause him to lift his arm up so players can read all the measurements of hazards and even Artyom’s vitals. Everything is very practical and the only HUD players will see on the screen will be the type of firearm equipped and how much ammunition it has.

A Better Tomorrow

Players don’t really need to play the first two games in order to follow the plot in Metro Exodus. This story is more or less self-contained, even though there’s a heavy sense of history between the characters. The story this time around centers on Artyom, his wife, and a group of friends stealing a train to find a new way of life on the surface after they managed to find communication on a radio. The train travels from place to place, offering enchanting promises of a new home, only to go sour one way or another. The campaign can last 20 to 30 hours, depending on how players go about their adventure. Each area is basically a small open-world map. So, there are places to explore and side-quests to complete at a player’s discretion. Each area involves very distinct enemies, both human and mutant, that are reflective of the environment and chapter. A cold marsh area has oversized crustaceans running around, while an underground bunker is overrun with cannibals who are armed to the teeth.

There is plenty of enemy variety here. The combat between human and mutants come in very different flavors. On the inhuman side, blasting them with whatever is available is usually pretty effective. It can be a straightforward FPS affair. Fighting humans, however, is a very different dance. Artyom can’t take much damage. A bullet or two and he’ll go down. Gunfights in Metro Exodus isn’t a bullet-slinging bombastic situation, rather it’s more cat and mouse. Very similar to The Last of Us and even Butcher Bay, in some cases. Artyom must use the dark to his advantage by shooting out lights, sneaking around in the shadows, and taking enemies down. Leaning around corners, taking pot shots and distracting enemies will usually win the day. Additionally, Artyom’s gear can get damaged during fights. Guns will get dirty and locked up, masks will crack and get coated with blood and flashlights will dim during mid-battle.

Mad Exodus

When it comes to flashlights, there aren’t batteries that will need to be collected. No, instead it manually charges by manipulating a lever periodically. So, during gunfights, this can be a tense situation. There aren’t very many classes of guns in Metro Exodus, however. Instead, there’s a crafting feature that can be implemented anytime. A pistol can turn into a sniper rifle, or an AK-47 can be molded into a silent rifle. There are many options on how players can gear up during certain areas, as long as they have the right resources. The human element is what makes this game special, in comparison to other FPSs out there. Between missions, Artyom can walk around the train and talk to everyone and even spend time with his wife.

Sitting down, smoking a cigarette while drinking whiskey, and singing tunes during a wedding is one highlight. There’s a kinship with everyone in this game and players will want to see everyone survive. Speaking of which, there are different endings to Metro Exodus. Throughout the campaign, there will be subtle choices that Artyom will need to make on the fly. There’s kind of like a hidden “honor meter” in this game, that’s kind of akin to the Red Dead Redemption 2. So, it isn’t advisable to kill every NPC that is encountered. Even if they’re begging to be put out of their misery. The choices that will need to be made are very gray in morality and it can be difficult to distinguish what the right decisions are.

Fight for a New Life

For whatever reason, Metro Exodus has slipped under the radar for many gamers during its initial release. However, throughout the years, more gamers are taking notice and talking about it. It’s a well-crafted FPS that deserves some more recognition. Despite its age, it still feels fresh, especially on next-gen consoles. If anyone is in the need of a post-nuclear FPS that isn’t like Fallout, then Metro Exodus might be in order. Sometimes, a good single-player campaign can remind gamers why they fell in love with video games in the first place.

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