Don’t tell anyone at EGX incase they don’t let me in next year, but I’m honestly awful at getting round the big games at the show these days. Maybe it’s because I’m old, or maybe it’s because I don’t enjoy the wanton urge to saw off my own legs at 30 second intervals, but I quite consistently feel that whatever’s at the end of a two hour queue probably isn’t worth two hours of standing about for, right? Right. Maybe. I dunno, I’m missing out on a lot with this ideal so. The point is, there were some big names I sadly didn’t get to at EGX this year, but one that I did make it to, was Metro Exodus.
Inarguably, Metro Exodus had the most jaw-slapping stand at the event. And that’s including Monster Energy, who brought a BUS. I’m not even sure what was happening on the bus really. Is there a Monster Energy game now? Either way, Metro’s four-walled behemoth, complete with rusting archway and rusting weapon display cabinets and rusting METRO EXODUS sign, stood out like a glorious rusting thumb.
The sign wasn’t actually rusting tbh, but it worked in that sentence so.
As a fan of the eye-roastingly beautiful Redux editions of Metro 2033 and Last Light, I was keen to get a look at where Deep Silver are taking the series next, albeit with the nervous disposition that I approach most promises with.
You’ll likely remember the aforementioned entries’ similarities to Deep Silver’s previous post-apocalyptic ‘em up S.T.A.L.K.E.R, and if those memories are fond, well, you’re in for a treat with Exodus.
The demo kicks off with a mind-boggling demonstration of the controls. As the v/o reels off the fifteenth sub-menu opened by holding one button, pressing another, rubbing your belly and yelling an obscure Saxon poem at the ceiling, I begin to wonder where my keyboard is. A small cardboard instruction talker in front of the TV assures me I can just refer to that if I need to reload during the heat of battle. Let’s give it a go then.
I don’t even know any Saxon poems.
Running on an Xbox One X and some quad-K-packing telly, it is of course, absolutely gorgeous. The visuals also make for one of the most arresting things about this entry; the colours are deep and over-saturated. They rush and clamour on screen, smudging into focus beautiful mud and undergrowth on the floor, and fierce evening skies rich in the full spectrum. It’s almost overwhelming at first, but you soon get used to it. Exodus seems to do with colour what Fallout 4 tried but failed with, working vibrancy into a post-apocalyptic setting in a manner befitting the tone.
The next surprising thing I find with the demo is how accessible it is. Given the myriad of button combinations I’m told I need to commit to memory, I actually found everything was more to hand than I’d thought it would be. At one point remembering where the hell my torch was took a momentary glance at the button layout, but other than that it all did what I needed it to do. And while I didn’t get time to explore this to its true extent, it infers a nice balance of playability and depth.
Still bitter about Fallout 4 tbh.
I crawl through the woodland area, I liberate a man I presume to harbour questionable intent, from other men that I think are bandits but who knows really they’re dead now. I locate an outpost, make a royal balls up of not alerting anyone, and proceed to flail bullets every which way until everyone everywhere is dead. I make an escape into a mountain where I narrowly avoid conflict with a pack of rabid canines, slide down a muddy passageway and into a trap. As everyone around me gets up to go, it turns out I made it to the end of the demo and watch the final scene, that ends with an encounter of, yeah, you’ve seen it, a BEAR.
I barely finish games at home nevermind actually on the stand so Exodus gets a 10 from me immediately.
I probably gave the first Metro games less time than they deserved, in spite of my thoroughly enjoying my time with them. Exodus, by all intents, is looking like it’s going to live up to and potentially expand considerably on the series’ prestige.
More as we get it on Respawn, you lot.