Metro Exodus, by and large, the only modern Ukrainian AAA game, needs no special introduction. We waited for her for six years and waited in vain.
The action of Metro Exodus takes place two years after the events of Last Light, Artem, obsessed with the idea that life has survived outside the metro, continues its attacks on the surface and, as a result, turns out to be not so wrong as the inhabitants of the Moscow subway believed. The outside world is not only habitable – there are survivors upstairs, which means there is no point in huddling in the subway. Or is there? Once underground they knew that not the entire surface was radioactive, then why are they ready to do anything to hide this information? Is there more war? What to do next? Having escaped from Moscow on a stolen train, Artyom, along with a detachment of Spartans, goes in search of the truth, which will take a whole year. At first, Aurora, this is how the new-found house on wheels was named, will go to Yamantau, the location of the government’s secret bunker, and then, through the Caspian Sea,
Yes, the game has little to do with the book Metro 2035, the stories diverge almost at the very beginning, which may upset someone. We frankly say that we welcome this liberty in every possible way in the two previous parts of the metro of the capital of Russia, and managed to do some good work, and 4A Games, even in Last Light, proved that the studio can work with elevated levels as well as underground ones. At this time, open locations dominate, although the developers continue to drive Artyom into dark, corpses dotted with corpses, and where there are no dungeons, there will definitely be some kind of hangar, factory, or simply a dense forest with mutant wolves, so if you survived, it will not affect whether such a radical change of scenery to the atmosphere, then we hasten to reassure you – Exodus scares no worse than the previous parts, although it does so a little less.
“Almost” – because Metro Exodus remains relatively linear plot game, and in the sandbox, in which the player is free to entertain himself, does not seek. Exodus offers to visit two subways (Moscow and Novosibirsk) and four separate locations, each of which looks like a nod to the classic post-apocalyptic scenes – the cultist community lost in the swamps, the network of underground shelters inhabited by cannibals, diesel punk desert, poorly distinguishable from the next Mad Max, and the local counterpart of the Children of Corn.
Locations here are large, but not huge, but all events occurring on them are concentrated around objects related to the plot. In other words, it’s not particularly necessary to count on random meetings or side tasks, they are so rare that they look more like exceptions to the rules. The scattered markers with question marks scattered around the map are more likely to be accommodated for the night, and camps inhabited by enemies will occur only along the way from the plot point A to B. And, in some incomprehensible way, it almost always plays a game allowing you to create the right mood and without interfering with the exploration of an incredibly detailed world Yes, you will rarely meet characters who are ready to tell what has happened on the surface all the time while Muscovites sat in the subway; 4A Games tells stories differently – with the help of audio recordings, yellowed notes and mummified bodies, and this pushes the player to deviate from the main route indicated by the compass needle (there is no other task navigation in the game). What secrets do a ruined church keep or the entrance to the cave, visible on the horizon? There is no practical use for these wanderings, you know in advance that you will spend more resources than you find, but this does not stop, it is too interesting.
And here there is a dissonance – an almost extinct world opens up before Artyom, but the game at the same time constantly hints that there are much more people than it seems at first glance – merchants walk along the Volga transporting resources between settlements, the remains of less fortunate travelers (now it’s clear why good people are so rarely met – anyone would hide and keep away from the main routes controlled by maniacs of various ways), on the radio you can hear people talking differently towns or settlements, but most of them will remain voices. The Caspian became the apogee of illogicality, in which the slave-owning society was formed, only it consists of several dozen oppressors and twice as many slaves. Let’s say most of the bad guys went on a raid,
The changed map scale required the addition of a new mechanic. First, there was a change of day and night, which makes its own adjustments to the gameplay. During the day, Metro Exodus is played as a classic shooter – at this time of the day monsters are a little less common, but the chance to come across armed people is much higher. At night, the situation is diametrically opposite, but it’s much easier to secretly move around and eliminate enemies. Stealth, however, works just as unpredictably as in the previous games in the series: then the enemy doesn’t see Artem hiding in a meter away from him, then he notices for a kilometer. At the same time, the most “quiet” passage is necessary for a good ending – the characters repeatedly remind Artem that the bitterness of people is not a reason for murder and they are asked to go without victims if possible. What a shame, because the game is a good handball. The weapon is felt
However, the stealth orientation is noticeable even in the crafting system, which are necessary for survival and secretive passing objects like gas masks, first-aid kits, throwing knives, and Tykhar’s ammunition, can be created right in the field with a backpack. Modify weapons now also allow, not returning to the base, while cleaning the gun and create ammunition is allowed only on the benches. By the way, cartridges have ceased to be currency – there is nobody to trade with. The crafting system is as simple as possible: everything that a player finds is converted either into materials or into chemicals, from which the desired items are already created. More Artem often began to use transport, which is important, given the size of the locations and the lack of a system of rapid movement.
And if with the research, battles and plot of the game, by and large, everything is good, then some questions arise regarding the presentation of this plot. As long as we get information from old notes, everything is great, but if one of the characters opens his mouth, and the magic begins to evaporate. First, conversations with Artyom occur after the fact without him. Aurora’s team argues with the main character, praises him, asks questions, but he stubbornly plays Gordon Freeman and does not say a word. Even if it is addressed by radio. On the radio, Artem! Secondly, the characters speak very unnaturally, with spontaneously changing intonations and long pauses between sentences. You, it happens, have already managed to think that there will be no continuation and are going to leave, as the monologue continues, while the interlocutor turns to the place where, according to the developers, Artem should now be, even if he stepped aside, that looks very unnatural. You can leave the room, and the character will continue to speak with emptiness. Did not hear the essence of the problem? Well, it’s a pity, sort it out on your own, there’s no way to ask again, and the objectives of the task are not marked with markers.
Bugs also grieve: enemies periodically fail and even shoot through walls, sometimes artificial intelligence fails and the enemy is lost somewhere in the corner of the building, continuing to threaten Artem from there with violence. We have to look for the poor fellow, although it must be the other way around. Something incomprehensible sometimes happens with textures too, and some players also complain about non-working triggers, due to which the chapter has to be redone again. The latter, fortunately, did not happen to me, but everything else was noticed repeatedly.
Still, we can safely say that Metro Exodus is the brightest game in the series, which absorbed all the best of its predecessors and added to this incredibly beautiful locations that are remembered not only by incredible detail and spectacular change of weather conditions, but also by a unique atmosphere. The Aurora changing for the twenty-hour campaign was no less popular than the Normandie from Mass Effect or the Ebon Hawk from the Knights of the Old Republic, and thanks first of all for the group of badly voiced characters who miraculously helped to fill this thundering junk feelings of home warmth and comfort. In general, Metro Exodus is great at working with trifles and appealing to the feelings of a gamer, the game basically works for them.
Limited opportunities to interact with the characters on Aurora, creating inconvenience in preparing for missions, in quiet times, on the contrary, help to create the illusion that the squad members have their own lives that did not agree on the protagonist – everyone is talking your own affairs and seemingly even regardless of whether you are watching them or not. Long walks in the extinct world allow you to take a pause and rethink what you see, and the decision to abandon some “main villain” in this post-apocalyptic road movie is absolutely appropriate. Yes, Metro Exodus has its drawbacks, and there are more of them than we would like, but I really don’t want to blame the game for it. 4A drew a very atmospheric, anti-utopian picture that players will remember with something more than the horror stories from the darkness and the “post-Soviet aesthetics” and maybe
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