Overall - 60%
Metro Exodus has the potential to be a solid game, but it just isn't there in its current state. Those on the fence best wait for a few patches before picking this one up.
Metro Exodus seeks to take the ordinarily linear gameplay style of the Metro series and bring it to the open world. Does it handle the transition well, or is it just too much for the game to handle? Check out our review and find out.
Metro Exodus Review
Metro Exodus takes place in a world right after a large scale nuclear war. You play as Artyom, a special forces member of the Spartans, who lives in the metro tunnels under Russia. You believe that there is a better place to live on the above ground, and have taken multiple trips up to the irradiated surface to find it. With nothing but static on the radio, you return to your home a little worse for wear. Thankfully, before you are overwhelmed by mutants, your fellow Spartans come to your aid and get your back home. After you wake up and celebrate, you and your wife Anna head to the surface again to search some more. This time, however, you spot a moving train and know that people are living on the surface.
It turns out that this train is a big government secret, and upon exploring it, you destroy a radio jammer which reveals just how much of the world is still alive. Now a traitor to your government, you and your fellow Spartans leave on the newly acquired train to find a new spot to live. Over the next year, you will visit snowy plains, irradiated woods, bunkers, a dried up sea, and a devastated forest. Each location has its own people and factions, as well as enemy bandit camps and roaming mutant hoards. Length will vary depending on difficulty and exploration, but you will get roughly 20 hours of game time here.
That is, of course, assuming you make it to the end. Metro Exodus is a first-person shooter that relies heavily on stealth. When the stealth works, it is terrific. When it doesn’t work, you can quickly get overwhelmed by enemies and be forced to reload a checkpoint. I put most of this on the enemy AI and bugs, which are very hit and miss. Sometimes I could clear camps or encounters with no problem by utilizing stealth. Other times, I’d take a stealth shot and the body of my enemy would fall through a wall and alert the whole camp. Depending on what was going on, I’d just run through some of the encounters and finish the objective. It’s not always viable, but when it works, it can save you a lot of headaches.
The reason it works is because of the AI. Sometimes, they just seem to lose track of you as you go from room to room. It happens on both human enemies and mutants. Even if they do follow you, you can wait down a hall with your AK and funnel them into the kill zone. The AI will use tactics when they can, but if they cannot, they will rush you and die. I played the title on the standard difficulty, so maybe it is different on the higher ones, but I was expecting a little more out of the AI. Metro Exodus does have a cool mechanic though, where if you completely dominate an enemy camp your enemy will surrender. When this happens, you can choose to KO them or kill them.
The world itself works for the most part when you are on the surface. I honestly think the game suffers the most when you are in tunnels or underground bunkers. The reason for this is because it isn’t always clear what you need or where you should be going. You have a compass that will point in the direction of your current objective, but a map layout of the underground would have been a welcome addition. Your map shows the open world section, which is above the tunnels. For those sections, it works totally fine. Your map will reveal bandit camps, radiation hotspots, and other places of note in the world. Again, it is mostly optional, but for explorers it is excellent.
Weapon modding is a huge part of Metro Exodus. You have a backpack that lets you quickly switch weapon parts and allows you to do crafting. Being able to switch on the fly is a great feature, though I would have liked a loadout option for even quicker switching. You get new weapon mods by taking them from enemy weapons or finding old loot caches with extra mods on them. You can also find upgrades to your gear, such as night vision, additional armor, and new vests that let you hold more ammo or throwing weapons. A lot of these are missable if you skip the games few side quests or ignore bandit camps throughout your playthrough. You also have to weigh the pros and cons of wasting resources to get the equipment though, as ammo and health prove to be a constant issue.
I did run into some very annoying bugs during my playthrough. A couple of times when I pulled up my map, it would just float there, and I couldn’t get it to go away. Sometimes my workbenches just wouldn’t work, so I would have to reload. For some odd reason, my night vision would stop working, and green specks went over my screen. I thought it was because it ran out of battery, but my flashlight wouldn’t work either. Also, the load time from zone to zone is insane. I thought my game froze every time I loaded into a new area.
Metro Exodus has the potential to be a solid game, but it just isn’t there in its current state. Those on the fence best wait for a few patches before picking this one up.
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