Content of the article: "Metro Exodus: More relatable Post-Apocalypse Than Fallout (For A European Gamer)"
Metro Exodus is the third game in the Metro series and was released in early 2019 on consoles and on PC. From a gameplay perspective and stylistically it was a departure from the previous two games. I got the complete edition in for PS4 earlier this year and played the game during lockdown. Exodus was a captivating experience from me and it took me a few months of reflection (as well as playing the fist two games available as "Metro Redux" and reading the first of the books that the entire game series is based on). I realized that I find Metro Exodus to be the most relatable post-apocalyptical fiction I have encountered yet.
A lot if not most post-apocalyptical games are set in the US. And usually you wander through the ruins of the American Dream in these games. In Last of Us 1/2 but also in Mad Max or Fallout, you encounter a world that is build on the remains of distinctly American culture. Examples would be: In Last of Us you explore enormous suburb "mansions" (for the standards of the rest of the world), Mad Max is based on oil and the car as a main means of transport and Fallout parodies "Nuclear Age" retrofuturism with over the top American imagery.
I was born in the last years of the German Democratic Republic aka "East Germany", a country in the Eastern Bloc and while not part of the Soviet Union it had a sizeable force of Red Army troops stationed on its territory and was strongly aligned with the USSR in all aspects of life, military, economy, culture and more. In 2020 we still have quite a few so called "lost places", ruins of former Soviet military installations as well as museums, memorials and more. And even though I live in "the West" now, parts of my upbringing were still influenced by the Cold War. For example I grew up in typical "Soviet" prefab housing, I went to summer camp in former socialist "pioneer camps" and I have seen my fair share of Soviet military equipment.
And with that in mind, Metro Exodus hit me on a different level than other games. You explore the ruins of houses that look exactly like the one I grew up in, the Metro system of Moscow is more akin to the metro I take to work every day than the 6 lane highway I explore in Fallout and at some point you even come across one of these "pioneer camps" I mentioned. And sneaking to the ruins of a flat that looks oddly familiar was a very emotional experience in a game, especially playing it during a pandemic lockdown.
From the general gameplay perspective I can also strongly recommend Metro Exodus. It features small "open world" main levels interlinked with more linear missions. The survival gameplay is fun, the DIY weapons are fun to use and I generally enjoyed spending time with the characters. In my personal opinion the first two games don't hold up that well but I know that a lot of fans of the series regard Exodus as the weakest game of the three.
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