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Metro Exodus Review

Metro Exodus Review

For a series that has made its name by putting players in tight, poorly lit tunnels fighting monsters and crazed humans the move to a more open world design surprised me. Taking place not long after the events of the last title, Metro Exodus promises to give players an immersive and challenging experience about exploring the wider world on a journey to finally find a new home. With two successful titles behind it and plenty of lore to build on, this latest entry looks to expand on the formula in almost every way possible. But for a series that has lived in the dark is the move into the light one of that works in its favour? Honestly, no.

From a gameplay standpoint, Metro Exodus keeps the familiar slow feel of past games but now places it in the open world. This transition is fine for the most part but in the large areas it can be frustrating moving at a snail's pace and finding yourself spotted from across the map. The shooting is solid though, with systems like how dirty your weapons are affecting your ability to fight. You’ll always want to take a moment before engaging in a fight to ensure you have the ammo and resources before committing to that encounter. Metro Exodus nails the gameplay on the head with the feel of slow, mechanical and stressful shooting while also keeping the usual features such as the gas mask. Though vehicles are hard to control and more often than not are just annoying.

At its core Metro Exodus tells a human story about hope. Players will leave behind the familiar Moscow Metro system very quickly as they venture out into the open world but that doesn’t mean the storytelling has changed. Events unfold slowly as you carefully progress into the unknown with moments of action mixing up the flow. You’ll even have plenty of down time between story beats to interact with your crew and experience plenty of engaging lore and character development. Though it is a shame that characters all end up talking over each other making it sometimes hard to hear what each is saying.

Metro Exodus Screenshot 2019.02.19 00.00.31.59

Of course, keeping everyone's spirits up is a fundamental part of the journey and your actions will have an impact on the world. Like past games a hidden karma system is present which will see some events play out differently depending on what you do. For example, sitting with your crew and having a drink and a laugh might have a positive impact. Playing the guitar to entertain other characters could also be of a benefit. Should you kill civilians or perform questionable deeds then you could rank up bad karma but honestly, the system is very unclear.

Because of the karma system and the large worlds Metro Exodus can become very stressful to play at times. This isn’t helped by the fact that taking the non-lethal route is made harder now than before. You can sneak around, hide in the shadows, turn off lights, and plenty more but with large open areas and unforgiving enemy AI, you will be hard pressed to actually get around quietly at the best of times. The result of this will, of course, be a ‘bad’ story in which your playstyle and actions lead to a somewhat disappointing conclusion. Should you play the game “correctly”, then you might be lucky enough to see the good ending.

Metro Exodus also makes use of side missions which offer the chance to further the narrative while also rewarding you with much needed supplies. To help with this and the new open world design you’ll find a day-night cycle present which also affects your gameplay and the dangers in the world. During the day more human enemies will be present in the world along with having a much larger field of view allowing them to spot you with ease. At night more creatures will be out making it more dangers to travel but human enemies will be asleep and less likely to see you. Night time also sees anomalies coming out which honestly, are never explained and basically one shot you so it is best to just avoid those.

Metro Exodus Screenshot 2019.02.19 00.13.32.80

Speaking of the creatures in Metro Exodus, they can just go away. I say that half out of frustration and half out of fear. You see in those moments where you do find yourself in a closed space full of creatures you’ll be victim to a number of close calls, jump scares and even some quick time events to see you survive. These moments are brilliant and make the creatures in the world feel like a real threat. Then there is the time you are travelling from A to B and they won’t leave you alone. The boat in the first region is a key example of this as you’ll be continuously spammed with enemies resulting most likely in death.

Regardless of how you play though, Metro Exodus for all the world building it does fails to really impress with the story outside of a few key moments. The overall ending along with the fate of some characters is easy to read from over a mile away while actual development feels like a step backwards for some. Take Anna for example, your beloved wife. In Metro Last Light she is a badass character who as the story progresses reveals a more caring side. In Metro Exodus she is reduced to nothing more than just being ‘your wife’ and it is a similar situation for many other characters. Heck, when a character died early on - as a result of me not performing three steps perfectly - the response from the crew was dull at best. People die in the world of Metro, but the weight of your actions never seems to be there.

Moving onto the technical side of things I’m sorry to say that it goes downhill here for Metro Exodus. First and foremost, the Epic Games launcher. Though this isn’t really an issue the serious lack of features is an understandable annoyance for some players. The only real problem it created for myself was that it lacks a screenshot function. Where as in Steam you hit F12 to take a screenshot you’ll need to use an external program if you’ll playing on the Epic Games launcher. This is fine, as the Nvidia overlay handles this task nicely but considering it crashes frequently it can make grabbing the perfect shot harder than it should be. It isn’t just this that crashes mind you as Metro Exodus has a bad habit of just not wanting to work anymore. You also can’t Alt F4 or Alt Tab the title which is a rather interesting issue to encounter.

Metro Exodus Screenshot 2019.02.20 15.23.22.13

Let’s also not forget about the save feature or rather the lack of save slots. The whole game uses one save and you can only load the last auto or manual save. At the time of writing the game features a number of serious bugs that can cause the game to break and even delete your save which is a big issue. Fingers crossed the development team fix this, along with all the other bugs in the title, soon rather than later. Visually speaking though Metro Exodus is a beautiful title and the sound that accompanies it makes for a truly immersive experience. Well, except for the melee sound. That sounds like it has come straight from Looney Tunes.

At the end of the day, Metro Exodus is an interesting title that has many high points that unfortunately is let down by technical problems and poor design choices. Most of all the story of Metro Exodus fails in comparison to the other entries in the series and is the main disappointment. Sure, gameplay is fun when it works as intended but the whole journey is a painful one both for the characters and player. If you can look past all the issues you’ll likely find a title worth playing but for many it will all be a bit too much. Metro Exodus left me disappointed and it isn’t a title I’ll be revisiting anytime soon.

6.00/10 6

Metro: Exodus (Reviewed on Windows)

Game is enjoyable, outweighing the issues there may be.

With a less than impressive story, poor design choices, and technical problems aplenty. Metro Exodus ends up being a disappointing end to what is otherwise a brilliant series.

This game was supplied by the publisher or relevant PR company for the purposes of review
Nikki Koolonavich

Nikki Koolonavich

Staff Writer

Married a light cruiser. No, really

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COMMENTS

Oli
Oli - 10:56pm, 18th March 2019

Did you actually play the game?

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NikkiChan
NikkiChan - 11:00pm, 18th March 2019 Author

I did indeed play the game, Oli. Thanks for the comment! 

Reply
Godot
Godot - 01:59pm, 17th May 2019

English is not my favorite language but I hope you will understand me.

question do you get money for those reviews or is this a hobby side? For a professional you should get a bit more wisdom in elements of a game. For example what is completely subjective and what is objective and really wrong. maybe you need a bit more empathy.

I check this review because its the second worse from metro exodus press.

Everything happens for a reason and There is a reason why you are the second worst :) I would give Metro Exodus a 10 maybe 9/10 however youre review is a reason why I can't trust the press and only check Steam reviews from real customers who pay money from this. Its still a shame that press reviews and customer reviews are so different.   Im also working as a sucessfull indie dev on Steam and I have a different view about working in the industry.

Youre critique points looks okay but in the other hand they make only little sense. For example you put the story as the main reason of this game why you think the game is a bad game (and 6 / 10 is a bad game for most people) and like many press people you ignore a lot of new features and work from the designers. The critique point to the open world with the difficulty and the stressfull gameplay seems to me, you are casual gamer not a core game like most of the player who will play the game. That is something you could write in a review to identify the target group of a game that would be something objective that would be good because you only argue with yourself and not with the players.

  if you compare this game with the last game you can see so many improvements (looting stuff, weapon upgrade system, open world design, much more to find, different gameplay styles in the action) but for you the most important thing is the story.  However your arguments make only a bit sense and is only completely subjective. The girlfriend for example is no bad ass girl anymore, correct, But the illness background later and the background about her past is very interesting and has more depth than in the last game. And the funny thing is that the game has two other bad ass women later...and now? Does it change the game 2 points more? ^^  Then the argument that are no "Luke, Im your father" shocking surprises in the Storyline. However you have 3 or 4 cool new scenarios and a survival story for every soldier who plays a role in this game with interesting senarios like the desert and the cool situation with the train. Is that happen in previous parts of the game? no! Does the game has a very dramatic end (and I heard tears in my eyes) yes. And the last games where are the huge surprises in the game? I really can't remember. it was a nice and atmospheric storyline  like Exodus.

I also had no technical issues and only had a few very small bugs. But in the text you write like every people will have those problems. 

I dont like most of american press ,often they do the same faults like you. for me in my country germany there is a press called Gamestar and sure playing is always a subjective feeling but they try to find a objective way much more.

So this is only an advice if you will work in the press for the next 30 years you should learn a bit more about different target groups and different opinions to find a bit more objective way. That would make you a much better press worker and more people will trust your opinion. Sure you can do it like many press workers try to provocate and polarize to get more viewers, some customers will aggree , but Trust is the most important thing you need from many people. 

You didnt like the game that is an argument for a bad review , however you should work on the the critique points and maybe you find a more objective style. then it would be an 8/10 review with "Some weaknesses" and the correct way for most people.

cheers maybe I check your next reviews about different games and can agree a bit more. xD

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Acelister
Acelister - 02:13pm, 17th May 2019

Hey Godot, by all means head to our Contact Us page (link at the bottom of the site) and tell us how to get in touch with you about your games, we'd love to check them out and give you some coverage!

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NikkiChan
NikkiChan - 02:56pm, 18th May 2019 Author

Hi Godot, thank you for your comment and feedback on my review. You make a number of interesting points which I'll be sure to review and consider for the future. To answer your question, I write as a hobby and don't take payment for these reviews. The code was provided by the publisher for the purpose of review, as stated just below the given score. I'm sorry that our verdicts on Metro Exodus did not align but then us having our own opinion is part of the experience.

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Platinum
Platinum - 02:08pm, 17th May 2019

6/10 is above average not bad.

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