Metro Exodus Enhanced Edition Review: Metro Exodus Has Never Looked Nor Performed This Good – But Is It Fun?
Unbelievably, It’s been over two years since Metro Exodus was released worldwide. If like me you don’t know where the last 24 months or so have gone, Metro Exodus: Enhanced Edition is the perfect way to experience Artyom’s latest romp through post-apocalyptic Russia.
Despite a dramatic visual improvement, the game largely remains the same as it was when it first released – for better and for worse.
Bugs, What bugs?
When we reviewed Metro Exodus at launch, our very own Francis DiPersio found his playthrough frustrating because of crippling performance issues and a range of irritating bugs. He said:
“Metro Exodus also suffers from some rather serious performance issues, at least when played on the Xbox One X. The frame-rate regularly dips considerably in outdoor areas which can make combat feel janky and unresponsive as you battle the stuttering frame rate.
He went on: “The worst offender, however, is the frequent crashes where the game would completely freeze until I forced it to close through the system’s dashboard.”
I’m delighted to report during my 20-hour playthrough, I’ve not experienced a single bug nor performance issue with the game.
In fact on the PS5, the game does its utmost to lock itself at 60fps and even if there’s a sandstorm, a pack of bloodthirsty humanimals chasing you, with tumbleweed being thrown around the place, the game never stutters, blinks, glitches, or any of those undesirable elements.
Tracing Rays From Moscow to Vladivostok
4A Games were one of the first developers to embrace ray tracing when the new batch of RTX-enabled Nvidia graphics cards was released. It resulted in visuals on PC that looked truly next-gen.
For the uninitiated, ray tracing is a super clever programming technique that effectively, simulates what light looks and behaves like in real life, in a video game. Ray tracing approximates the color of pixels by tracing the path of the light from the eye of the viewer; to the light source in question. This includes objects light hits, passes through, and reflects off of.
The result of this technical wizardry is a truly remarkable visual upgrade on last-gen consoles vs current-gen consoles. Want proof? Check out the remarkable video at the end of the review.
Away from salivating over ray tracing, 4A Games has targeted a 60fps experience for players on all consoles, which largely holds up, even during the more graphically demanding Taiga area.
Ah, and one other thing worth mentioning is 4A Games’ use of haptic triggers – they’re subtle, but bloody excellent. Stuck in a corridor full of spidery bastards, with your flashlight rapidly dimming? Whip out your windup battery pack, and the Ps5 controller’s triggers will tighten up, simulating actually having to power up your torch.
It’s the same with guns. You’ll need to squeeze the trigger a bit harder to actually fire your gun – or even charge it up, like the pneumatic tikhar.
Gameplay is Unchanged From Metro Exodus
While 60fps is the definitive way to play the game, the gameplay itself is unchanged, unfortunately. Of course, I wasn’t expecting an overhaul of the core mechanics of a two-year-old game, however, you should check your expectations if you’re expecting a Fallout-styled post-apocalyptic jolly.
Obviously, this is a dark and serious game – which I have no problem with. It’s more that it’s marketed as an open-world adventure. This game is no sandbox. Besides doing the story missions and collecting additional gear items to butcher mutants, cannibals and bandits more efficiently, there are no side quests, points of interest or anything else really to divert your attention from progressing through the plot.
For me, this is disappointing. Metro Exodus is a game about hardened survivors, desperately seeking a way to live with purpose, instead of just scraping by. Anna, for instance, is desperately searching for life for her and her beloved Artyom. Her Father, Miller, seeks a sense of purpose and belonging; a way to make every sacrifice he’s made justifiable, and Stepan just wants a family of his own.
But away from the beautifully orchestrated intermissions on the Aurora, sandwiched between each ‘level’, and the handful of characters you’re compelled to meet to move the game forwards, there’s little to no interaction with anyone in what’s left of Russia, and I think it’s a terrible shame.
There’s a rich backstory that’s begging to be told in Metro Exodus, and unfortunately, it’s relegated to the occasional tape recording or note that you could easily miss as you murder your way through.
Yes, It’s Worth a Punt For The Price
Is Metro Exodus: Enhanced Edition worth picking up? It absolutely is for the price it’s being sold at. It’s a little over 30 quid/dollars and with the DLC and took me about 20-25 hours to get through with a young puppy in the house.
It obviously includes the base game, but also comes with the story DLC that came out with the expansion pass. Both add new narrative beats to the game.
But where Metro Exodus: Enhanced Edition really lets itself down is the execution of the world it is based in. Sure, crafting an arsenal to butcher hundreds of faceless bandits is fun. But Metro Exodus’ complex post-apocalyptic world has such a deep lore, begging to explored properly.
It deserves better than this.
Final Verdict: 3.5/5
Available on: PlayStation 5 (Reviewed), Xbox Series X/S, PC ; Publisher: Deep Silver ; Developer: 4A Games ; Players: 1 ; Released: May 6th, 2021; ESRB: M for Mature; MSRP: $35.99
Full disclosure: This review is based on a copy of Metro Exodus given to Hey Poor Player by the publisher.