When it comes to post-apocalyptic, open-world games, Bethesda’s Fallout franchise is the first that comes to mind, followed by cult classics like Stalker and Wasteland and perhaps even Mad Max. Earlier this year, we got a much-needed addition to the genre, in the form of 4A’s Metro Exodus. The game landed on all the three major platforms but the PC version got a bit of extra attention, courtesy of NVIDIA’s RTX and DLSS technologies.
Although DLSS was panned in the beginning for being too blurry, a flurry of patches were soon rolled out, making it more than just bearable. The ray tracing effects in the game are quite intensive on the hardware, but you can’t argue with the fact that it makes post-apocalyptic Russia even more gorgeous. But enough about RTX, in this post we have a look at Metro Exodus and see why its one of the best titles in the genre.
Metro Exodus: Story
Exodus continues Artyom’s story after Metro: Last Light wherein our protagonist is obsessed with finding a radiation-free, safe heaven on the surface, away from the congested tunnels of the Metro. The game sees the main characters including Miller, Anna, and the other Spartans traverse across mainland Russia, in search of a suitable place to settle down. Unlike the earlier entries in the franchise, Metro Exodus gives the player much more freedom to explore and experiment with different play-styles.
The game is divided into several different levels or locations, each quite different from the rest. You’ve got the snowy expanses on the banks of the river Volga, the deserts surrounding the Caspian Sea and the picturesque valleys of the Taiga, in addition to a few linear missions into the ruins of the old world. The game like its predecessors uses a morality system to judge the player and accordingly ends on a dark or somewhat positive note.
Gameplay and Crafting
Like most survival, open-world titles the game features an intricate crafting and equipment management system which allows in-depth customization of weapons while also keeping a track of the weapon health and other parameters.
There’s also real-time weather and daylight tracking that affects more than just the level of lighting in the game. Nights are more suited for raiding enemy camps and carrying out surgical strikes. During the day, it can get hard to sneak past undetected or at times just plain impossible.
The story is very much on par with the previous entries, enough to keep the player immersed and itching to know what comes next. Compared to the last two titles, Metro Exodus sees Artyom take on more responsibilities. In addition to being Miller’s 2nd-in-command, he also is more concerned over Anna’s well-being and unlike earlier, his own ambitions and dreams don’t take precedence over others.
RTX and DLSS: Visuals
We did a bunch of posts dedicated to the DLSS quality and the PC performance analysis of Metro Exodus. You can check them out here. But if you want the short version, then here it is. For fluid 60 FPS gameplay, you need at least an RTX 2060 to leverage ray tracing at 1080p, an RTX 2080 for 1440p and lastly the beastly 2080 Ti for 4K. If you’re planning to drop the fancy RTX features, then the requirements go down by quite a bit. The last-gen Pascal cards are also sufficient for the DX11 ultra graphics preset.
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To be fair, the game looks drop-dead gorgeous even without ray tracing. Enabling the latter enhances the immersion with much more accurate global-illumination and ambient shadowing, although if you prefer brighter indoors, then you should just probably just avoid DirectX ray tracing (DXR).
After the disappointment that was Fallout 76, we desperately needed something to keep the genre alive. Metro Exodus does just that and then some more. It is also a testament to the fact that if you want solid 25-50 hours of single-player content, then it’s always better to look towards small and medium-sized developers instead of handicapped giants like BioWare.
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