After Three Hours of 'Metro Exodus,' I Was Surprised By How Much I Laughed


#1

“Listen up!” A rough voice crackles over the radio. “The baron is about to speak.” The baron, I’ve come to understand, is the leader of the Munai-Bailer (or “oil-rich”), a group of slavers that have a stranglehold on the desert wasteland’s oil. And then, without missing a beat, the voice of the henchman returns with similar cadence. “Listen up! The baron is speaking!” There is a dark comedy here, one echoed by the exasperated voice of the baron, who you can almost hear shooing away his minion as he steps up to the microphone to talk about how badly he needs his soldiers to hunt you, the player, down.


This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://waypoint.vice.com/en_us/article/yw8gzb/after-three-hours-of-metro-exodus-i-was-surprised-by-how-much-i-laughed

#2

I knew all those post-apoc games were coming out, but I didn’t realize they were all competing. That’s nuts. And I just saw this morning that Avalanche’s post-apoc co-op shooter Generation Zero is due March 26.

Anyway, I’ve enjoyed the Metro games, but many of the human enemies felt like fascist palette swaps, so I’m glad to hear there’s some meaningful variety in that regard. I suspect some fans of the early games may complain if the game isn’t grim enough to meet their expectations, but that won’t be me.


#3

I don’t expect a Metro game to just be “grim”, I’d like Exodus to keep the specifically Christian angst that made 2033 and Last Light feel so philosophically different. Artyom doesn’t say anything during the actual game, but his writings inbetween levels, a precursor to BJ’s internal monologues and Arthur Morgan’s journal, show a guy wondering if a loving god exists and what right he has to kill, even if it’s to defend his home. If the nuclear event was God’s will, what right do humans even have to exist? I wish the adaptation of 2033 had included the actual last thing that happens in the book where he finds out the Dark Ones were just trying to make contact and he trudges home in tears. Full disclosure, I’m personally fairly confident in the non-existence of a higher power, but I think games like the Metro series are really important for the way they incorporate themes of faith that isn’t just lazy and condemnatory.

I’m just personally worried that the open world of Exodus will muddy the themes and story and that’d be a real bummer. It’s okay for things to be linear sometimes.