We live in a world obsessed with post-apocalyptic stories, to the point where the genre is a bit crowded (especially in games and film). That doesn’t mean there aren’t any stories left to tell but that they have to work harder to stand apart. How does 4A Games deal with their trek into the genre?
Metro Exodus is the third game in the Metro series, with Metro 2033 and Metro: Last Light originally releasing on PlayStation 3, and then as a collection on PlayStation 4. You are Artyom, a soldier who, for some unexplained reason, doesn’t talk. You are supported by your wife, Anna, and a crew of special forces soldiers who admire you. Metro Exodus is definitely heavy on the story it’s telling but is it worth spending your time on? Let’s get into what makes the game tick.
Metro Exodus is set in Russia, with events beginning near Moscow. A civilization of survivors have created a home underground, in the metro. It’s believed that there are no other survivors outside of the underground metro. This game follows the events of Metro: Last Light. Even if you haven’t played the first two entries in the series, Metro Exodus does a good job of catching you up with significant events.
You play as Artyom, a seemingly mute scout searching for life on the surface. Based on other characters’ observations, Artyom keeps risking his life due to his dream of finding a habitable place to live on the surface.
The biggest flaw in the story is the fact that Arytom isn’t voiced. He’s portrayed as a passionate, strong character, but that doesn’t come across when other characters constantly speak for him. “Artyom wants this,” and “Artyom wants that” has much less impact than if he spoke for himself. It’s weird because, during longer loading screens, Arytom is given voiced recaps of his thoughts on events that just took place. It’s really awkward to see him motioning (throughout the game) with his hands in reply to the other characters but not saying anything.
The reason this doesn’t work is that Artyom IS actually talking but his lines don’t show up in text or voice. Supporting characters put words in Artyom’s mouth, and a strong character is made to look like a puppet, more than anything else.
Main character’s unexplained muteness aside, Metro Exodus does have an interesting enough story. You’ll find a train, which serves as your main transportation and also a base of operations. The train serves as the connector between areas on the surface world. When you’re not on missions, you’ll be traveling to the next destination by train.
The relationships between the characters and seeing them interact with each other during downtime are my favorite parts of the story. Later in the game, there’s a particular moment that really touched my ice-cold heart. I won’t go into it for spoiler reasons, but I wish the game had more moments like that one.
Unfortunately, Metro Exodus has only a few highlights during the story. Many of the supporting cast feel like throwaway characters. Anna and Miller are really the only other strongly written characters. The game tries to get you to feel for some of the …