Thoughts on Metro Exodus
What a ride.
Thanks to Google Stadia I was finally able to play Metro Exodus to completion. I've been a long time fan of the Metro series having played and beaten 2033 and Last Light on Ranger Hardcore mode (one of the only games I've beaten on the hardest difficulty).
When Metro Exodus came out I knew my computer was going to struggle to run it and playing it on a regular PS4 was out of the question. I rented it from Redbox for a weekend and found it far to sluggish on the PS4 to really play.
Then it was announced as a Stadia title and I knew this was my chance. I picked it up a week ago and have played it a little every night since.
The game is fantastic, but feels a bit less coherent than the first two. That's largely due to its open world nature. I loved the open world and exploring the map. It really felt like each area I visited had a story to tell. Unfortunately, the main story was pretty lack luster. I was pretty disinterested in why I was doing the things I was doing who is that sniper girl in the desert And why do I care? What's this mission for oh yeah, it's because no one has water. What's up with this anti technology cult? Oh I guess they control the gate to let the train pass?
The story didn't grab me, but the gameplay was enough fun to keep me going. It was a Metro game. I knew it was going to be slow and methodical. Stealth is a must.
- I love the new weapon upgrade system. It really gives a reason to explore the map. You were always being rewarded with a special weapon part or special armor part. With a few exceptions each weapon part was a complete upgrade to the weapon so there was really never a reason to not just equip the latest part.
- The gameplay is still fantastic. If you're like me and prefer stealth games where your approach matters then Metro Exodus is for you. If you want run and gun is doable, but it'll be pretty difficult.
- The immersion. Metro has always been very immersive. Over thing you might not every think about is the lack of a HUD in metro. You only see your ammo when you reload or open your backpack. All the equipment is hidden. There's no compass to guide your way. It's led to some really tense moments when I was in a fire fight and wasn't going my shots. I move up to push and go to fire. Click click, there's no ammo and I'm reloading. Now I'm scrambling to find cover and reload.
- The music. Just go listen to the ost. You'll be glad you did.
- The open world. I really enjoyed the open world, but I don't think Metro makes a great transition. The detail in the world is stunning, and the locations tell stories, but I miss the cramped feeling of the metro. I miss the subtle details of listening to the pipes, and the way muzzle flashes illuminated the walls by the enemy highlighting where they were. There are some sections that bring back that feeling but much like the out doors sections of the first games they're dispersed throughout the story.
- The crafting mechanic. I never really found a use for this. Sure it was there but outside if making medpacks I never really used it. If you stealth the game you'll be pretty much always stocked up on ammo. Sections where you need to use the gas mask were so infrequent I was constantly above 20mins of filter time without crafting.
- I am rather annoyed that the game found a reason to reset you every level. I'd frequently finish a map with 900+ resources each and full ammo only to have it taken away from me in the next level. Sometimes this was clever like the forest level But other times it made no sense. I had 900 of each resource before this map but suddenly I don't anymore.
I don't have a ton bad to say about Exodus but there were some annoyances.
- Most of the horror ish elements were gone. Metro was at it's best when The Dark Ones and anomolies were involved. I'm really sad that Exodus had so few. The institute was Fantastic but it was too little.
- Was there a morality system? I heard the familiar sound of a morality choice being made a few times but it really didn't seem like it had a bearing on the end like in the previous games. I know Duke can die if you kill the cultists but I wonder if there's a larger impact on the ending.
- The ending. It was abrupt. I was expecting one more mission after The institute but nope. I was expecting a big fight to claim the promise land or something like that but it never happened.
Overall I consider this a worthy successor to Last Light and am looking forward to playing it again; however I don't think I'll play it as many time as I have 2033. There are days when I'll redownload and play 2033 again just for fun. Asides from one more play through just to see how things go guns blazing, I don't think I'm every going to stream (Stadia) this game again.
If you haven't played it yet I'd highly recommend picking it up on Black Friday. It's worth the money.