|“||To live without hope is to cease to live.||„|
Metro Exodus is the third part in the Metro video game series, set after the events of Metro: Last Light and Metro 2035. It follows the adventures of Artyom, who returns to reprise his role as the primary character of the plot.
Exodus is a story-driven first person shooter from 4A Games that blends deadly combat and stealth with exploration and survival horror. It will feature vast, non-linear levels (set in the Russian wilderness) and follow a story-line that spans an entire year through all four seasons. Inspired by the novels of Dmitry Glukhovsky, Metro Exodus is the first game to be set after the books rather than during or between them. It continues Artyom’s story from where Metro 2035 left off. It was first announced at E3 2017 with a release date of 'departing 2018', which could mean December of 2018 or be a play on words in relation to the train (the Aurora) present in the game.
The heavily modified steam locomotive used by the main characters is known as the Aurora. Not all of Artyom's comrades will survive the journey, as 4A promises decisions with consequences as part of a gripping storyline with massive replayability. Currently there are very few other details about the game available for public viewing, but if one has played the games and read the books, as well as keeping a close eye on what is shown in the reveal trailer, it is easy to draw some conclusions and come up with a very likely theory.
Since Exodus is set after the events of Metro 2035 (in the year 2036), and Artyom is still the protagonist, it is safe to assume that the woman seen in the train who gives him a hand is actually Anna (her physical appearance also resembles that of Miller's daughter). If the events of the third book are canon - be it in one form or another - in the video game continuity, then Artyom and Anna are now a married couple.
They have fled from the metro, leaving Moscow entirely, on a journey to reach Vladivostok in the Far East. It is reasonable to say that the Trans-Siberian Railway may be heavily featured in Metro Exodus. The promotional material tells us that we will be able to explore vast stretches of the Russian wilderness, where the air is breathable without the use of filters and the soil may be fertile in some areas; this would confirm information already presented to the reader in the Universe of Metro 2033 book series.
In an interview with the developers, it was confirmed that the Redemption ending of the previous game is canon. Metro Exodus follows on from this, where Artyom has gathered a group of survivors to leave the metro and embark on a journey. So far, Anna is the only other familiar character shown, but there may be more. The Moscow Metro's bullet economy does not apply outside of the city, but scavenging is still just as if not more important than it was before.
Much like previous games in the Metro series, Exodus is a first-person shooter with survival horror and stealth elements - however it is not quite the same formula, as the experience has been greatly expanded and built upon for even more variation and non-linearity. Since the core teams at both studios have experience from working on S.T.A.L.K.E.R: Shadow of Chernobyl, their idea was to combine the mostly linear gameplay of the Metro franchise with the more open-ended nature of Stalker.
Therefore Exodus consists of large sandbox areas tied together by linear underground sections to preserve progression. The developers refer to this as "Sandbox Survival", highlighting the fact that it is not a full open world title. There are numerous places to explore on the surface of course, but some irradiated outdoor areas may still require gas masks to be worn for safety. Exodus will include a full weather system with a dynamic day/night cycle. 4A Games has promised no Far Cry-style fetch quests.
The player can customise Artyom's wristband with indicators and the firearms utilised in the game can switch out between different magazine types. Plenty of mutants from the older titles in the series return (e.g. the bear), but there are also many new additions (like the wolf) - varying by location and climate. Completely new gameplay mechanics include a map of the sandbox area, a Geiger counter, and binoculars that may be used for analysing the environment. The developers have pointed out that they addressed the most highly-requested feature by adding extensive customisation. The nixie watch from Last Light is back as part of this.
Weapons seen in the trailer showcase how far the customisation goes this time, as the first is an Uboinik shotgun and the other a variant of the Helsing multi-stroke pneumatic air rifle; both have seen some major changes, as the Helsing has been completely converted into a crossbow and the Uboinik can switch between various magazine variants. In fact, unlike prior games where Artyom could only upgrade weapons at set points, firearms can now be modded and customised in the field. Quick-time events make another appearance in the gameplay of Exodus, but are used sparingly. Finally, the karma system from the previous games is back and has evolved.
Jon Bloch from 4A Games has described Metro Exodus as their most ambitious project yet, which can be easily seen by looking at the scale and graphics of the game. It runs on the same engine that was used in Metro 2033 and Metro: Last Light - the proprietary 4A Engine - but this technology has, of course, been heavily updated and evolved significantly since the first title was released and over the course of Exodus' development. About 80 people in Ukraine and 70 team members in Malta are working on the game. The engine was built to be cross-platform from the ground up, so it takes full advantage of each console and the PC.