Metro: Exodus

Started by Chris L, Feb 16, 2019, 11:21 pm

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Chris L

Feb 16, 2019, 11:21 pm Last Edit: Feb 16, 2019, 11:35 pm by Chris L
I'm currently playing Metro: Exodus, a game from Ukrainian developer 4A Games Ltd. set in post-apocalyptic Russia during a nuclear winter. Previous games in the Metro series have been set in Moscow, centered around an isolated colony of survivors in the subway system. This one opens up the game world into the Russian countryside and the graphics are gorgeous, set in the snow-covered landscape between Moscow and some distant city previously believed by the Moscow survivors to be desolate and uninhabited.

The game has had a checkered history, originally planned for launch on the Steam online gaming service and even available for pre-order on Steam until 4A and publisher Deep Silver cut an exclusive deal with the relatively new Epic Games platform in a bid to turn Epic into a serious competitor for Steam but pissing off fans who had pre-ordered and expected to play the game on Steam's servers. (I gather it has a multiplayer component, though I'm playing in singleplayer mode.) Fans have threatened to boycott the series because of the unexpected disenfranchisement of Steam players, but Epic has cut the price to ease the pain. I don't really care, not having pre-ordered and not really being interested in multiplayer. It's a pity, because the game is considered by some to be an early contender for game of the year status, though it's early days yet. (It's hard to call the Game of the Year in February.)

It's an atmospheric first-person-shooter, survival horror, open-world game, if somewhat linear due to its railroad theme -- all of the games in the series have been oriented around the Russian train system, which necessitates keeping all of the action within walking/running/boating distance of the tracks. But so far it's a nice piece of worldbuilding, with a Russian accent. Eastern European games have been coming into their own lately, with the stunning success of the Witcher games from developer CD Projekt Red, which runs their own online games service, GOG.com. (GOG was originally short for "good old games," the company having initially specialized in selling old DOS games retrofitted to run under Windows, and is still the only legal source for games from the 80s and 90s, the era when I started playing computer games.) Their Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is arguably the greatest open-world RPG yet published, taking advantage of the new graphics standards made possible circa 2014 by the Xbox One and Playstation 4. (Major games for PC track console game capabilities because that's where the gaming money is for the big publishers.)

I'm loving it so far. The atmosphere is bleak and gloomy in the best possible way, with mutant creatures and scavenging bandits providing the player's main adversaries in the tradition of The Walking Dead, minus the zombies. I'm now trying to find someone to repair the train so that my merry band of cross-country travelers can continue their journey after damaging their train on an ice slide that was blocking the tracks.

Yes, I spend way too much time trekking through science-fiction and fantasy universes. ;) I highly recommend it, though, if games are your thing.
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