Metro: Exodus is finally slated to release on consoles and PC early next year, and 4A Games brought their latest installment in the long-running Metro franchise to E3 2018 to show off what their progress. Although the first game, Metro 2033, was based on the novel of the same name by author Dmitry Glukhovsky, its sequel, Metro: Last Light, wasn't expressly based on a particular novel and took the series in a different direction. And now, the studio is looking to continue that story with the third installment.
Not counting 2014's Metro Redux - a remastered collection consisting of Metro 2033 and Metro: Last Light - 4A Games upcoming game, Metro: Exodus, marks the third installment in the franchise that started way back in 2010. It was announced during Microsoft's Xbox press conference at E3 2017 but has been mostly kept in the dark ever since. The studio brought the game back to E3 this year and revealed a bit more about their next chapter, including allowing show attendees to try out the game for the first time.
Developer 4A Games and publisher Deep Silver had an approximately hour-long, hands-on demo for Metro: Exodus at E3 2018, running in native 4K on the Xbox One X, and Screen Rant got the chance to check out the game for ourselves. Here's everything we learned about it from the demo and the developer's brief presentation:
- Metro: Exodus is double the content and size of Metro: Last Light.
- It has more dialogue than the past two games combined.
- Set in the year 2036 - two years after Metro: Last Light.
- Artyom will be leaving Moscow for the first time in the series, and he will be traveling by train, the Aurora, and landing at the Volga River near the Ural Mountains.
- Every weapon has 5 hard-point slots for modifications.
- Metro: Exodus' day/night cycle will affect how enemies engage and react to players.
- We played it on an Xbox One X running at native 4K resolution - an extended version of the E3 gameplay trailer.
- "Every encounter has a new story to tell," according to the developers.
- Crafting, extensive day/night cycle, and dynamic weather are all possible thanks to 4A Games’ new engine.
- All previous "Metro elements" are back in the sequel, but this time with an open world aspect. And it's easy to get lost in the beauty and vastness of the open world.
- Its open world is restrictive in nature due to the fact that players travel from one location to another via train.
- There are remnants of past events and stories littered throughout the world. It helps bolster the game's riveting story of searching for survivors outside of Moscow.
- The AI is quite intelligent and reactive to external catalysts. For instance, two enemies reacted almost right away when they saw a green laser sight. Players will have to rely heavily on strategy when taking out (or sneaking by) enemies.
- Players can carry up to three weapons at a time, with only one being the "primary" weapon. Players can craft ammunition for their primary weapon on the fly, but the other two weapons need to have ammo crafted at the crafting table.
- Looting downed enemies’ backpacks and weapons are separate interactions. Players can deconstruct weapons into parks to use for crafting materials later on.
- It seems ridiculous in this day and age to have to activate movements like climbing a ladder or squeezing through a small spot, especially since several other triple-A games have those movements naturally ingrained into the movement system.
- Story content is locked for Metro: Exodus; it’s in beta now and 4A Games is simply optimizing it before release in February. They've also been working on the game since 2014.
Metro: Exodus' hands-on demo was a live build and didn't take place too far into the game. It had us performing two missions shortly after a group of people, presumably bandits, had damaged the train and the train tracks via an explosion. Because of that, the main character, Artyom, is tasked with looking for spare parts and a person capable of fixing the train, but of course, there were some detours along the way. It wouldn't be a Metro game, otherwise.
While the gameplay was certainly refined and improved upon compared to past Metro games, it wasn't ground-breaking in any way. That's not necessarily a bad thing because the rest of the game is quite ambitious in almost every aspect. Metro: Exodus represents a significant milestone for developer 4A Games, especially with regards to the open world they've created. There is plenty that's still unknown about the game, the developers are keeping that information close to the chest in fear of spoiling the game for their fans, but they are promising a new, immersive experience with Metro: Exodus. And based on the brief demo that we played at E3, it certainly looks like the wait will have very much been worth it for longtime franchise fans.
Metro: Exodus releases on consoles and PC on February 22, 2019.