Ever since I saw the reveal trailer for Metro Exodus at E3 2017, I have been enthralled with the idea of its open world. Despite having only played a small amount of the previous installments in the series, Metro Exodus looked like it was right up my alley and immediately became one of my most-anticipated shooters.
Recently, I got to sit down and play Metro Exodus for nearly an hour and left both impressed and somewhat disappointed. While my demo proved to me that the underlying systems and ideas that lie at the root of Metro Exodus are solid, I wasn’t able to see much of what the game had to offer, but that was mainly due to the time constraints of the demo itself.
My demo opened near the start of the game with series protagonist Artyom setting out towards a church to make contact with a group of locals. Upon getting equipped with my weapons and gear, I was let loose in the game’s world to make my way towards this location. The new open world hubs of Metro Exodus have been one of the biggest selling points of the third installment in the series but, unfortunately, I didn’t get to wander about too much in my own session. This is understandable given the short amount of time that I had to play, but I also wasn’t able to get much of an idea as to how the large or explorable these environments will be.
This lack of exploration went hand-in-hand with my larger issue of this demo: it featured far too much exposition. When playing the final product of any game, large swaths of narrative delivery are expected, but during my brief time with Metro Exodus, I would have preferred to see more gameplay-heavy sections. I’d say that somewhere around half of what I played of Metro Exodus simply involved interacting with other characters in the world.
The other fresh aspect of Metro Exodus that 4A Games has highlighted is the crafting system. This new element of Metro Exodus lets you build attachments for your guns and create new items. The items that you utilize to build this gear will be found by scavenging throughout the environment. In my own session, I found a handful of caches spread throughout the limited portion of the world that I could explore.
Ultimately, I never really got to utilize this new crafting system much when playing. By the time I had reached my first crafting bench, my time with Metro Exodus had reached its end. I got to check out a bit of the many different options that are at your disposal to craft, but I never really had the opportunity to create anything for myself. Still, the system itself seems incredibly deep and allows for tons of different options that will allow you to adapt to your own playstyle.
Of course, I engaged in a shootout or two while playing this slice of Metro Exodus as well, and the controls felt great. Rather than being fast-paced like a Call of Duty or Titanfall game would be, the shooting here had a bit of heft to it. Also worth mentioning are the gorgeous visuals that were running in 4K during my demo: if you’re playing on any of the premium consoles — like PS4 Pro or Xbox One X — or a high-end PC, you won’t be disappointed.
Even though I don’t think this slice of Metro Exodus was the best to showcase for the purposes of an E3 demo, I didn’t leave feeling negative about what the final product will be. Even though I would have loved to have more freedom to explore in my play session, I’m still sold on all of the new ideas and systems that are being implemented in Metro Exodus and 4A Games’ track record has proven that they’re more than capable of making a great shooter. If everything turns out like I expect, then Metro Exodus should likely be the best game in the series so far.
Metro Exodus is due out next year on February 22, 2019, for PS4, Xbox One, and PC. You can pre-order it on Amazon right now to lock in a copy ahead of time.
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