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Metro Exodus

My lack of familiarity with the Metro franchise is painfully evident to everyone in the room less than 10 seconds after I’m handed the controller. As my comrades on the Aurora, the massive train jettisoning Artyom, Anna, and the rest of his crew of survivors across the Russian landscape, discuss what to do next now that we’re low on fuel and water, I’m doing my best Dean Takahashi impression, running around the engine room like a frightened bat that just flew into an open window. It’s embarrassing, it really is, but any feelings of inferiority quickly dissipate as I find the open door and head out into the harsh wilderness of the Caspian Desert.

Metro Exodus breaks from the prior two games in the series by introducing massive, open environments to explore and survive rather than just the small, frozen corridors of past games. Each level takes place in a different season and players will experience the blistering cold and swamp-ass-inducing heat as they complete a year-long trek that spans winter to winter. The Caspian Desert is the game’s “summer” level. This big, massive open-world stage is the largest level in the game. I’m told the area is larger than the last two games combined. For this hands-on session, I get just two hours to see anything and everything I can. And while the environment is vast and wide, my journey through it is arguably narrow.

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