By Diana "DumeeGamer" Dumee on February 13, 2019
What would you do if you lived in a post-apocalyptic world, knowing for sure that the only other people alive are the ones in your group of survivors, until the day you discover certain things that prove there might actually be more survivor, as well as more inhabitable areas, than you previously thought? Would you stay with your own group and pretend nothing happened? Or would you go out, travel through the dangerous world outside and try to find other survivors? Time to find out!
During last year's Gamescom we had the honor to be invited to play Metro Exodus, a first person shooter with survival elements and the third installment in the Metro series. Of course we said yes, so in we went! We were duly impressed by the beautiful graphics and the smooth game play. The first thing that crossed my mind back then was that we'd have to wait a long time until the release of the full game. (yes, ladies and gentleman, the life of a game journalist isn't always easy) But now, months later, the time has finally come; Metro Exodus is going to be released on February 15!
I've played the first two games in the Metro series, but I never managed to complete them. And here is my reason why; for some reason I can't handle time pressure. The Metro games feature the use of a gasmask and the necessity to find and change the filters for said mask. This has always been something that made it impossible for me to complete these games. I always seem to run out of filters while traveling through the irradiated lands above ground, which are filled with enough dangers as it is, let alone the chance of being killed by radioactive stuff.
Another thing was that, during combat, my mask will become so badly damaged that it stopped functioning all together, so I was unable to continue my journey or even died right then and there. I was kind of hoping that that feature would be taken out of the new Metro game, but during the Gamescom demo session, one of the developers present told me that this feature is such a significant thing for the Metro games, that it would be nearly impossible not to use. So in short, I have to deal with it if I ever want to play a Metro game ever again. But after a months of therapy, preparing me for handling this pressure, I feel brave enough to enter world of Metro Exodus!
The protagonist of the game is, the well-known Artyom. If you've played the previous two Metro games, you know who I'm talking about. He is married to Anna, who he loves very much, but his father-in-law is not too happy with him. This is mainly because Artyom is always trying to get out of the safety of the underground living area and goes hiking in the dangerous world above. He's afraid that his daughter is going end up as a widow, but Anna has a will of her own and even joins Artyom during his travels. And that's where things go wrong. During the first couple of chapters, you'll discover, together with Anna, that you're not alone on this post apocalyptic world. There are other groups of survivors and, as you might suspect, not all of them are friendly.
The first couple of chapters are more straight forward, but as soon as you go out and travel in style on a train dubbed the Aurora, things get a more open-world character. You can decide for yourself whether you like to follow the main story and travel to your next story point of interest. But the map will also show you a couple of other interesting places and because you'll need every resource you can find, taking a peek is very hard to resist. I like the fact that interesting places on your map will appear after talking with NPCs. They will often call for you, when you pass them by and tell you about places where some very nice and dearly needed loot might be found... if you're willing to brave the dangers that lurk about, that is.
Here's the problem that comes with scouring interesting places: as I've said earlier, not everyone you'll meet is friendly and most of the time they will shoot first and ask questions later, if at all. And what to think of the mutant creatures that are freely roaming the Earth nowadays? On the ground, in the water, in the air, in abandoned tunnel systems; these nasty beasties are absolutely everywhere! I even got swooped into the air by a bird/bat-like creature. And okay, while falling out of its claws will damage your health, being taken into the air is something you'll want to experience at least once! It's awesome to get a good view of this broken and desolate world while being carried in the clutches of an airborne monster!
There's a realism to the game that I really like. For instance: the day and night cycle and the wear and tear on the weapons. The day and night cycle of this game makes enemies and creatures act differently. So it's good to keep that in mind while traveling. Daytime is safer, but you're easier to spot. At night, you can use the cover of darkness to make sneaking around easier, but the creatures might also be more brutal during this particular time. And always make sure you get enough rest from time to time and keep you equipment repaired and clean, or your gun might just jam when you least want it to. In other words, thoroughly prepare yourself for any trip or it might just be your last!
Now I can hear some of you asking; Listen Diana, that's all very nice, but how about the gas mask what almost made you not play these games anymore? Well, I don't know if it was the therapy, but it really didn't bother me that much. I had the idea that I also needed it less then in the previous two games, so that's a plus. I was also totally sucked into this game from the first second I started my post-apocalyptic adventure. Just watch the intro video and you'll know what I am talking about. After the intro, the story takes you into the action straight away.
If I had to list one thing I didn't really like about Metro Exodus, it would have to be the control scheme. There are so many actions you can perform, I had a hard time remembering the controls from time to time. You get used to it of course, but there are some actions which you don't need that much and after a while I can't remember which button I was supposed to push or hold to perform that specific action. But don't let that stop or scare you, you'll manage eventually, I'm sure of it. I mean, come on; if I can, you can too! Metro Exodus is definitely a game that I was looking forward to and it turned out even better than I had hoped! So now, if you'd excuse me, I'd like to continue my adventure and I have a train to catch!