The gist of it:
Metro Exodus is now one of my favorite games of all time. After 2 great games in the universe, Metro Exodus goes above and beyond to give us one of the most atmospheric games of all time.
Metro Exodus is part 3 of the Metro game universe, starring again, our mute hero Artyom, and a lovable cast of teammates that are put into an adventure to figure out what’s going on outside their homes and finding a new home or future.
You’ll visit a number of interesting places each with its own unique set of stories or problems to solve, from insane cults to slavers. In between these levels, you’ll be aboard your train along with your travel mates. Each one of your friends is unique and interesting and there will be a huge amount of dialogue between them and you can spend hours just listening to them talk. Anyone who rushed to finish the game as fast as possible has missed a lot of charm and love and not just from the travel mates but from the world as well, as it’s full of interesting things to see and listen to.
As with the previous games, the moral system also returns, meaning killing innocents or avoiding helping them when needed will score you negative karma. The karma system will obviously influence the ending and some of the characters you meet. Killing bandits or those that simply attack you should be fine as long as no innocents die in the crossfire, though I mostly knocked humans out. Some enemies might surrender so make sure not to kill them as well.
Story rating: 9/10
As with the previous games, Metro Exodus is at its heart a survival first-person shooter. Playing it on anything below Hardcore is a travesty to the game, in my opinion. Metro games should be played with a little UI as possible and with a difficulty that will make you panic if you try to be Rambo or too brave. This is, after all, set in an unforgiving post-apocalyptic world where resources are scarce.
Besides the usual shooting, there’s a crafting system, albeit not a very advanced one, and weapon degradation, which only decreases certain stats or its effectiveness if you do not clean your weapons regularly. You can craft ammo, medicine, filters, and other various throwables wherever you are to help you survive the hard world you’ll be facing.
Exploration is rewarded accordingly, and if you’re playing on the proper difficulties, it’s quite mandatory, besides the fact that you’ll encounter upgrades for your weapons in these unique places. These upgrades, just like crafting, can be changed at special crafting stations or wherever you are in the world.
Overall I played stealthily whenever humans were involved, minus a few exceptions and guns blazing when encountering monsters. Shooting feels very nice, guns have quite the packing punch, and each weapon feels unique from one another.
Gameplay rating: 9/10
The voice acting of each character, minus a few ones, is well done in Exodus. It’s incredibly overwhelming how much dialogue there is in a game that’s not an RPG, assuming you allow each character to talk and don’t just rush things. I can’t stress this enough, the world and characters feel alive if you allow them to. The banter between characters is funny, dramatic, interesting. It’s a shame Artyom still won’t talk except when narrating.
The soundtrack and the sound effects are also pretty good. The music is never too loud or too dramatic or overplayed or repetitive. It feels natural and plays perfectly when there are certain events. Sound effects from the ambiance are also well balanced. Weather sound effects and monsters sounds are especially well done, as they create a lot of tension.
Not everything is perfect, though, with the sound design. There are some very poor voice actors that truly felt like they were just reading lines, and some of the sound effects felt incredibly low detailed or weird, especially your footsteps. They’re exactly the same from previous games, and honestly, I never liked them before either. It feels like your constantly dropping something. Not very bad, just a nitpick of mine.
Audio rating: 8.5/10
Graphics, performance and tech analysis
The atmosphere. Where do I even start? This truly is a work of art and I was in awe every time I resumed my game. I wanted to take a screenshot at every step. The worlds you explore are breathtaking. The way they are built, and how everything falls naturally into places and the attention to detail is top-notch. Weather effects, the lighting, the shadowing give you the feeling that you’re in a CGI. I especially loved how different weather effects visually change your weapons and not only that but the world as well. For example, you can literally see the dust settling in on your gun as the dust storm picks up or if you jump in the water, your weapon gets muddy. So many small details simply add up to create a perfect atmospheric game.
Obviously, I need to talk about the lighting and shadows as well, specifically Ray Tracing. Yes, I upgraded my GPU specifically for this game, and I am very happy I did. I was not a believer at first, I was adamant on the fact that shadows simply cannot contribute that much to a scene, BUT I was so wrong. I won’t go into details regarding what exactly the RTX technology does since you can find many comparisons on the internet, but I will say that the CGI part I was talking about earlier is what RTX does. It adds a huge amount of depth and realism to the artistic design of most levels. It does not always look good. Some scenes can make the characters look dark-skinned rather than shadowed, but overall it looks amazing, plain, and simple, and you’re free to look at some of my screenshots. Even without ray tracing, the game still looks amazing, so don’t get turned off from playing it if you lack the GPU for it.
Now sadly with such huge graphical fidelity, there’s also a downside, the performance. I have an i7 8700K, 16 GB of RAM, and an RTX 2080, and I was unable to max it nor play it smoothly all the time. My settings were at 1440p, ultra detail, high RTX, and everything else turned on or maxed such as PhysX and tesselation and in certain levels, more precisely the forest one, frames could drop to 40’s due to a huge amount of vegetation. Other than that specific level, it ran mostly above 70 frames per second so not that big of a deal since the game itself isn’t a twitch shooter or something that would require you to aim spastically all over the place. It’s a very slow-paced game. It can certainly use a lot of optimizations especially in that forest area but other than that I was pleased with the performance though I can understand why some might not be, after all this is a Crysis situation all over again, probably not as demanding but close enough if you plan on using RTX on ultra.
I have not encountered any major or game-breaking bugs, only a few minor ones where vegetation was floating or some characters were stuck in weird animations.
Graphics, performance and tech analysis score: 9.5/10
Metro Exodus is without a doubt a perfect game from an atmospheric point of view, and it does not stop there. The characters and the worlds you explore all add to create a wonderful experience one that should not be missed. It’s a game of the year contender, and it will take a whole lot to best Metro in the atmosphere department. Highly recommended at any price.
Written by Nightingale Prince, follow at Twitch.
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