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Since the launch of the post-apocalyptic survival first-person shooter “Metro 2033” in 2010, the series has kept its action confined to the tunnels running underneath Russia. “Metro Exodus,” due out next month, takes the gameplay to the surface for the first time, going above ground with sprawling levels against a changing backdrop of weather conditions and seasons. Variety was able to play a couple of these environments at an event in London earlier this month, and after several hours exploring the icy Volga riverbanks and sunny Caspian desert, it’s safe to say that this approach does make the game feel less confined and linear, though the fight for survival is as tough as ever.
The “Metro” franchise has a history that predates the games, which are adapted from a series of novels by Dmitry Glukhovsky. “Metro Exodus” is unique in that it’s the first game not directly based on one of Glukhovsky’s books, though it does serve as a sort of companion to the novel “Metro 2035.” Set two years after “Metro: Last Light,” “Exodus” continues protagonist’s Artyom’s story as he navigates a toxic wasteland, deadly mutants, hazardous conditions, and a disapproving father-in-law over the course of a year, all while in search of a safe place to call home.
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Much of the story takes place aboard the Aurora, a train heading east, where Artyom, his wife Anna, and their small team of survivors journey on in hopes of finding sanctuary. The move out of the tunnels is significant because, as Glukhovsky told Variety, Artyom’s “biggest dream ever was for humanity to return to the surface, to repossess it, re-explore it, and repopulate it.” Glukhovsky also served as a writer on all three “Metro” games, working with the developers at 4A...
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