Metro Exodus is one of the most intense, nail biting shooters I have played in a while. Providing an breathtaking experience where once you finish a fight you will realize your leaning forward in your chair with every muscle in your body tensed.
As a bit of a disclaimer, I haven’t played much of the other Metro games. I had played about half way through the first one until I wasn’t sure where to go and ended up not completing it, although I had really been enjoying it. So with that being said I only knew very little about the story going into the game. I did read a bit more information on the second one to catch myself up, but even without having played the other games you will understand what they are currently trying to do, but you won’t know the relationships between the characters.
The Metro series is set in a world where a nuclear war happened in 2013, wiping out a large portion of life on earth and leaving the world in shambles. The games take place in Russia, where the people of Moscow have taken to living underground in the Metro system as the surface is filled with deadly radiation. The Metro is filled with mysterious and dangerous creatures named “The Dark Ones”, that survivors of the war have to fend them off as they build an underground community.
In all three games you play as a Russian soldier named Artyom, who is tasked with saving the Metro from the Dark Ones. Artyom ends up joining an elite group of soldiers named the Spartans during the events of the the first game, Metro 2033.
At the start of Exodus you find out that the high commanders in the Russian Army have been keeping a variety of secrets from the survivors, leading Artyom, his wife, and a few members of the Spartan Order to flee the Metro in a stolen locomotive they later named the Aurora. You must then Journey through the remains of Russia to find a safe place for you and the other survivors.
That is all I want to say about the story, as it is something you should really experience for yourself. Instead, the rest of the article is going to focus on the game play.
Metro Exodus offers some of the smoothest combat I have experienced in a shooter for a while. Allowing you to explore open areas and handle certain challenges how you would like. You can sneak past the enemies using throwing knives, silenced guns and close combat take downs to stay undetected. Or, if you want, you can walk into the area rocking a mini gun and an inventory full of grenades and blow the enemies to bits and pieces.
One reason this games combat feels so smooth is that it does not pause the game when you use your crafting inventory or open your map. This leads to situations where you find yourself crafting on the fly with enemies trying to take you out. This feature really adds to the immersion of the game in my opinion, as you can’t just pause the game and take as long as you want to craft your items.
This leads to situations where you have to make a split second decision on things like deciding if you should dive for cover and try to quickly craft a medkit, or if you should focus on finishing the enemies. While crafting during combat is always a dangerous choice, I love to have the option rather than games that simply do not let you craft if there are enemies nearby.
There is a variety of different enemies that you will face in this game, ranging from generic bandits to mutated flying beasts. Each fight feels different as you use whatever resources you currently have to win the fight.
It also provides a large amount of flexibility when it comes to customizing your guns. As you find different attachments for your weapons you can modify them at any work bench, adding things such as stocks, magazines, scopes, etc. This lets you try a large range of builds for each weapon, until you find what works best for you.
The game provides a simple but effective crafting system, where you collect two different resources that can then be crafted into a larger variety of items. This prevents the frustration of always lacking certain materials and makes it so you don’t have to spend time trying to find a rare material. While you can craft most things from your backpack, certain items such as bullets can only be crafted while sitting at a workbench.
One especially difficult part in this game takes place as you are blocked by a locked door and ambushed from behind by a gang of bandits. The leader of the ambush swings open the doors, wearing heavy-plated body armor and wielding a large minigun. The rest of the bandits started coming in from all sides.
As he entered the main entrance I tossed a molotov at him to distract him as I took out his gang.
Using my remaining bullets in my assault rifle I was able to eliminate a decent amount of the enemies. Once my gun ran dry I switched to my revolver and swiftly started to move for new cover, killing a few goons as I went.
As I made a mad dash across the room I was hit multiple times until I finally found cover behind a piece of broken wall with an open door on one side and window on the other. The machine gun wielding goon was hammering shots through the entrance as he made his way towards me, as his goons shot through the open window.
Knowing that if he made it through the door I was dead, I tossed a molotov between the heavy bandit and the entrance and then quickly tried to heal, only to realize I had no more medkits. Hastily I slam down my backpack as bullets fly by me from both sides, and swiftly craft a few healing items
I stab myself with my medkit, take a deep breath (in real life) and prepare myself. I hurry to step back and angle myself to toss a grenade through the door; Finally finishing the heavy goon. I then peek out the window and pick off the last few bandits. Left nearly breathless from the exchange, I had to lean back in my chair for a moment.
This was just one moment of the game, but I still remember how good it felt when I finished it. This game is filled with rewarding challenges such as this part, that will make you feel like you earn every win. Note: I played this game on Hard so that is the difficulty I would suggest. It has a scavenging system that forces you to take extra time to ensure you loot as much things as possible, but everything is well enough in supplies to be fair! The story is engaging and offers different endings based on how you play the game, and the combat is extremely rewarding.
If you are a fan of shooters this is a game I would recommend trying this game as soon as you get a chance. I had a blast playing, and the story had me hooked!
The game is also available on Xbox Gamepass and Gamepass for PC!