Metro Exodus Brings the Series' Grim Atmosphere Aboveground

WIRED | 2/15/2019 | Julie Muncy
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Before playing Metro Exodus, or any game in the Metro series, there's something you have to do. To wit: Go to the options screen, and find the audio options. Turn subtitles on, and then change the speaking dialogue from English to Russian. I am loathe to tell anyone they're playing a videogame wrong, but this is the right way to play the Metro 2033 series.

It's the right way because Metro, as a series, is defined by its atmosphere. Based on a series of Russian novels and set in a distinctly Russian post-apocalypse, these games, created by Ukrainian development team 4A games, have always been about setting up a thick mood. Earlier games take place in the Moscow Metro system, which is treated as a giant fallout shelter for the city's survivors after a nuclear apocalypse—an entire civilization huddled in subway tunnels. These are games about the desperation and privation of everyday life 20 years after the end of the old civilization, less concerned with apocalyptic imagery in and of itself and more a particularly bleak and isolated way of life that's resulted from it.

Metro - Exodus - Name - Metro - Subway

Metro Exodus, as the name suggests, changes up that atmosphere by taking the Metro denizens out of the subway. You play as Artyom, a member of a small group of soldiers and civilians on a stolen train, riding out of Moscow with gas masks and guns, hoping against hope to find somewhere on the surface habitable enough to start a new life. Even in new settings, though, atmosphere rules: The story is less about the politics that led to the apocalypse or the meaning we can draw from it and more about broken train parts, water tanks running empty, and a small band of survivors trying to find hope in the creaking, rusted tracks stretching out before...
(Excerpt) Read more at: WIRED
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