E3 2018: Hands on with Metro Exodus

Metro Exodus is the latest entry into the Metro series and sees Artyom return to our screens seeking to help find a new home for his people outside of the Moscow Metro tunnels. Metro Exodus implements some great new features as well as returning all the old classics we’ve grown accustomed to in the dank subway tunnels. 

Most notable of these changes is the crafting mechanic/mobile workshop. Previously players have only been able to switch weapon attachments and modifications in certain locations. Now however Artyom has a mobile crafting station built into his backpack, allowing you to craft consumables, throwing items, and weapon attachments on the fly. This gives players access to a wider range of options when approaching a situation. The environment is full of crafting materials and you now have the option to break down found weapons for parts/modifications rather than having to drop your existing weapon for the new one. 

The mobile crafting station grants players far more choices in how to approach a situation, options that are expanded even further by the level design. Each level in Metro Exodus is far more open world than previous titles. There are linear segments in design, however the variety of different approaches is what makes Metro unique. Guns blazing may be the straight forward option, however it’s also the most dangerous, subtler and stealthier approaches may often prove more rewarding both financially for Artyom and from a story perspective. 

E3 2018: Hands on with Metro Exodus - n3rdabl3

Exploring the possibilities available via different pathways and tactical approaches often leads you to discovering hidden item caches or conversations that would have otherwise gone unheard, allowing you to modify your approach to the situation leading to a better outcome. For example during the demo level “The Bridge”, Artyom is trapped by a community of religious technophobes who summon the local Bridge Guard to come and “deal” with you. I naturally took the sneakier approach and spent a good portion of the encounter stealthily knocking out as many guards as possible before eventually getting drawn into a gunfight.

However the fight didn’t last long nor did it come down to the last man as during the engagement the guards got spooked by my superior firepower and surrendered! This caught me completely off guard and when I accidentally killed one of the now docile guards the screen flashed and slowed as if to hammer home the fact I did a bad. I was tempted to reload the checkpoint to save the guy!

When returning to the rest of Artyom’s crew I was greeted warmly and commended for my less lethal approach, sparing as many of the human combatants as possible. After all in Metro there are enough monsters out there to compete with, humans have to try and stick together. 

E3 2018: Hands on with Metro Exodus - n3rdabl3

The more open world section of the level followed shortly being tasked with approaching a location quite some distance away and presented with numerous ways of reaching said goal. One option was to simply take the boat and paddle straight to the target location, ignoring the land areas either side of the water… but where would the fun in that be? 

Exploring the wider environment in Metro Exodus allows you to find hidden secrets, lore, items and modifications you wouldn’t have found otherwise. Stumbling across an ill-fated expedition force with human corpses lining one of the waterways along with some weird fish/mantis creatures raised a number of questions until I managed to find the remains of their camp and the journal extract explaining their plight. These little tidbits are exactly the kind of thing that made exploring off the beaten path in Metro 2033 and Last Light so rewarding. Metro Exodus looks to give players far more opportunity to stretch your legs and discover even more of the world and lore.

Metro Exodus looks set to be a far bigger and more interesting adventure than the previous two titles combined. Building expertly on the framework provided by the preceding titles in all the right ways. Combat is smoother and flows better, exploration is more rewarding and the expansion of the world really allows players to get creative. Metro Exodus is definitely one to pick up on full release.

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