Metro Exodus Should Not Be Overlooked
Metro Exodus releases in less than a month and should be on your radar.
4A Games, the development studio behind the game has been releasing a wide variety of videos online drumming up anticipation. Many have been enamoured by what the public has been shown so far.
Metro Exodus is an ambitious studio, and while some players may have slept on their previous titles, this one should not be one to miss. We want to not only catch you up to speed but implore you to not overlook the upcoming post-apocalyptic first-person shooter.
The Metro game series is based on the book series of the same name by Russian author; Dmitry Glukhovsky. 4A Games, a Ukranian studio began working on the first title in 2006. After leaving game studio GSC Game World in 2005, 4A founders, Oles Shishkovstov and Alexander Maximchuk began hiring local talent to begin work on the 4A Engine, the foundation of what the Metro 2033 game would be built on.
After four years of development, 4A Games and THQ published Metro 2033 on both Xbox 360 and PC. Initial reviews were generally positive. Metro 2033 told a meaningful story, one taking place in post-apocalyptic Moscow.
After nuclear destruction, cities and countryside towns have become uninhabitable. Instead, survivors of the attack have begun living in underground subway tunnels, fending off mutated animals. Players take the role of series protagonist Artyom Chyornyj 20 years after the fall of civilization. Artyom is a young Ranger, who stumbles into a journey towards the main capital of the underground “Metro”, Polis to speak to a ranger known as Miller.
As Artyom finds his way closer and closer to the capital, he must cross paths with the Russian communist group known as Red Line. Artyom struggles throughout his journey, relying on stealth or otherwise to get through the Red Line’s defence. Though a much more ominous threat lingers behind the shadows.
Throughout Artyom’s story, surviving forces from the nuclear fallout only known as Dark Ones reveal themselves. Remaining cloaked in mystery, their intentions are not as black and white. The Dark Ones have a rather peaceful presence, though Rangers and other members of the Metro see Dark Ones as a direct threat to their survival.
After reaching Polis, Artyom speaks to Miller and the Polis Council regarding the treats outside their walls and the rising Dark Ones’ presence. Brushed aside, Miller proposes a direct attack on the Dark Ones by taking control of a lost missile launch facility known as D6. Taking back the facility, Artyom, Miller, and his accompanying rangers will then be able to launch a barrage, eradicating the Dark Ones.
As Artyom, Miller, and his crew continue to D6, fighting off the Red Line and other treats of the world, Artyom begins to have visions. These visions are direct communications from the Dark Ones, pleading to Artyom in very cryptic messages. Still unsure of their nature, Artyom is well aware there is a greater bond between them.
Reaching the D6 facility, Artyom makes his way to the very top, holding the missile guidance system. Players have a chance to make a grand moral decision. The peaceful route is to let the guidance system fall, and realizing the Dark Ones only wanted to communicate with humanity for peace.
The canonical ending, however, has Artyom launch the missile strike. Artyom stares out into the world in front of him, wondering about his place and the true intentions of the now destroyed Dark Ones.
Once Metro 2033 hit storefronts on Xbox 360 and PC, the game was received quite positively, though there were small bugs and a few rough edges. Between the two platforms, Metro 2033 reached upwards of 1.5 million copies sold. 4A Games proved themselves as a studio, and despite being a small team, they were gaining some notoriety.
4A stuck to their vision and began work on a continuation of the Metro series. They released the follow up, Metro: Last Light three years later. This time, 4A released their game on Sony’s PlayStation 3 console alongside the Xbox 360 under the publisher banner of Deep Silver.
Picking up one year after the D6 attack, Artyom has now risen through the ranks of the rangers. After picking up some intel on a sole surviving Dark One has been spotted, Artyom and a small group of rangers are sent to investigate on the surface. Accompanied by Miller’s daughter; Anna, Artyom find the surviving Dark One, only to discover it is nothing more than a child.
After attempting to reach out and speak to the young Dark One, Artyom and the child are captured by the Reich, a Nazi regime. Once freed by an unsuspected Red Line soldier, Artyom becomes aware of the Red Line’s plans to overtake the D6 facility, effectively controlling the Metro. Artyom manages to free the Dark One and escape the Nazi facility.
As Artyom makes his way back to the rangers, he experiences more visions. Similar to those in Metro 2033, Artyom is shown to have been saved as a young child by the Dark Ones. As the visions had shed new light on the Dark Ones’ purpose, Artyom swears to protect the young child while escorting it back to the capital of Metro.
Upon returning to Polis, Artyom convinces the council of the Red Line’s plans to overrun the D6 facility. Orchestrating a defensive plan, Artyom, Miller, and the rangers stand their ground at D6 while the Red Line close in. Similar to Metro 2033, players are given a choice on how to approach the ending. One being, as the Red Line close in, Artyom’s last ditch effort is to destroy the facility, killing both the rangers and the Red Line.
The other, and arguably the better ending is as Atryom approaches the self-destruct mechanism for the facility, he is intercepted by the Dark One child. The child has brought a small group of surviving Dark Ones who have been hiding in the facility. Through their supernatural abilities, they are able to incapacitate all remaining Red Line soldiers, thus stopping Artyom from destroying the facility.
The epilogue to both endings has the remaining Dark Ones telling Artyom and Anna, who are now in a romantic relationship that they mean only peace and offer their assistance to rebuilding a world once lost.
Metro: Last Light was received very well critically. In the first week of release, Metro: Last Light sold more copies than Metro 2033 has sold in three months worldwide. 4A found themselves on a roll, building a cult following behind them.
Metro: Redux, a remastered bundle of Metro 2033 and Metro: Last Light released on both Xbox One and PlayStation 4. The series attracted new eyes as players were yearning for something to play early on in the console generation. Metro: Redux sold a respectable 1.5 million copies worldwide in the first month of release. Since 2014, more and more players have been discovering the criminally underrated series.
In 2017, Microsoft’s E3 conference showcased the first footage of Metro Exodus. Once again working with Deep Silver, 4A Games looked to be working tirelessly on delivering a game showing off the potential of the current consoles. With new environments, enemies, and expanded scope, Metro Exodus quickly got on the radar of a lot of players.
During Microsoft’s E3 conference last year, Metro Exodus returned. It was during that time we had learned that 4A intended to have Exodus running natively at 4K on the Xbox One X and will push the PlayStation 4 Pro to its limits.
Andrew Prokhorov, the creative director and the team working on Metro Exodus have been pretty vocal on the scale of the game. Placing players in an expanded world, covering the continent of Russia. For the first time in the series, players will be able to traverse more of the surface than ever before.
Metro Exodus will also take place over the course of one year. In previous titles, the surface world has only been explored during the winter. The world will change around the player as winter turns to spring. Brighter colour pallets and wildlife will be a first for the series.
Metro Exodus has the potential to be a surprise hit this spring. 4A Games have continued to prove that the studio understands compelling storytelling. Mix in the beautiful graphics and the choice of stealth over run-and-gun gameplay, Metro Exodus should not be overlooked.
Metro Exodus releases on February 15th on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC.