Metro Exodus: Enhanced Edition
Braving The Russian Outdoors In Metro Exodus
Released in 2019, Metro Exodus is the third game in the Metro trilogy, based on the novels of the same name. Focusing on a post-apocalyptic Russia damaged by a war-torn nuclear meltdown, the remnants of mankind have lived in a bubble known as the “Metro” in which Artyom, the protagonist, seeks to escape to find life out there outside of the “Metro.” He gets more than what he’s bargained for as he puts the life of his companions close to him at risk, engaging in fights with mutated beasts as well as hostile enemies who wish to control whatever’s left of the world with absolute power.
The series has received acclaim across the board, from FPS fans and non-FPS fans alike, so naturally, it would take me until 2021 to play Exodus, much less play a single game in the series, because of course, I’m the type of person to not play critically acclaimed titles until the very last minute. Better late than never though and honestly, consider me surprised.
Metro Exodus's Definition Edition Is The Future
The PS5 and Series X versions differ from the previous generation by enhancing the graphics considerably, boasting “ray-tracing capabilities at a solid 60 fps.” For a game that relies on dark environments to set the mood of traveling dangerous territory, the RT effects bump the rare lighting that does occur within the night skies or the pitch-black caverns. It makes being aware of one’s surroundings paramount, as one of the first “jump scares” involves the player taking note of an ambush with several mutant wolverines.
The gunplay feels amazing, the guns sound punchy and feel responsive due to the haptic feedback of the PS5 allowing the kickback of the gun felt through the vibration triggers. It makes each shot feel not only satisfying but almost sacred as if you’re using your powerful gun in a situation that absolutely called for it.
Conserve Your Resources --- It Means Life or Death
I say this because the game prides itself on not only conserving ammo but being aware of how scarce ammo is in the open world. This is a post-apocalyptic world, so coming across resources for your gun is like approaching gold, which is evident due to the realization that most guns only carry ammo within the single digits. Scavaging ammo from enemies is a welcome treat as you can save your ammo for a rainy day or when things go sour although the game relies on stealth to go through unnecessary combat.
In most situations during my first experience, I was often outnumbered and outgunned, so a lot of cunning had to be taken into consideration to avoid pointless confrontation. There’s a section where you are without any means to defend yourself, so the only thing you can do is avoid bright lights, enemy sights, and rely on wits to push onward, reuniting with your wife. Even as you reunite with your wife, as the two of you escape, you have to contend with an entire armed force on a manhunt, which means you must use what you’ve learned including interacting with generators and taking out enemies via stealth to ensure you don’t meet a quick end.
Graphics Tell The Story In Metro Exodus
The graphic enhancements bring out the emotions of the characters quite well, even when they aren’t a primary focus. There was a scene early on where Artyom is being greeted by his friends after awakening from a wolverine ambush. The leader of the group, having chastised Artyom a few minutes prior, looks onward at the spectacle in silent annoyance, yet it’s never explicitly mentioned. The fact that facial expressions can be seen from NPCs, including their body language, is enough to tell the story of a character or a scene moments before it happens.
The only real negative is how the “complete edition” is handled for PS5, as it uses a DLC code to download the two expansions for Metro Exodus. The Xbox One/Series X version has the content already on the disc, with the Xbox One version having to download over the XBLA service. Still, if the Xbox version didn’t require a code for the bonus content, why does the PS5 version, one that should have more allocated space on the blu-ray, require one?
Regardless, for console players, this is the definitive way to play Exodus, especially from one such as myself who has never played the title nor any entry in the series. To my knowledge, this takes place after the previous Metro games, but I didn’t need to know too much of what was going on to get involved. If anything, it may make me want to pick up the game next time it’s on sale, since I usually always see it discounted at some point anyway.
Metro Exodus: Enhanced Edition is available on PC, PlayStation 5, and Xbox Series X